Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...
Party Line: What's the word, hummingbird? Let's dish! See More...

Do You Dare Resist?

Chris Howard’s Night Speed is a drug-fueled sprint through the streets of NYC (and an examination of the struggles that come with addiction). You could win a copy!

Do You Dare Resist?

BOOK REPORT for Night Speed by Chris Howard

Cover Story: Speed Force
BFF Charm: Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: And They’re Off
Anti-Bonus Factors: Drug Abuse
Relationship Status: See You in a Few Years

Cover Story: Speed Force

I’ve recently been catching up on a backlog of The Flash, so I have Speed Force on the brain. I know that the light Barry leaves in his wake is yellow, but the light on this cover is definitely reminiscent. (And Zoom’s light is blue, so.)

The Deal:

A year ago, Alana was a normal teenage girl. But on a trip to the comic store with her brother, when she was rushing to get home and annoyed at the fact that he was dragging his feet, he was seriously injured by a criminal known as a breakneck—a criminal with super speed and super strength, thanks to a drug known as tetra.

After her brother’s accident, Alana became a member of an elite team of teenage law enforcement agents known as runners who use tetra (and its effects) to bring breaknecks to justice. But there’s only so much time until Alana grows out of being able to handle the effects of the drug. And when a takedown goes wrong, Alana’s forced to go undercover in an attempt to bring the whole system down.

BFF Charm: Eventually

As someone with family members who’ve had their lives nearly ruined by the effects of drug use, it was hard for me to read about Alana, her choice to use tetra, and her ever-increasing need to use it one more time. Because of this history, I don’t think I’d be able to be her friend while she was using—and I’m certain she wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to talk her out of it. But I’d like to think I would be a good person to rely on in the recovery stage.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

As an agent, Alana relies on her handler, Tucker, for support. A former runner, Tucker knows what Alana’s going through, both on the drug and off. There are feelings on both sides, but neither party wants to jeopardize their working relationship.

When she’s undercover, Alana makes a connection with Ethan, a breakneck who she quickly learns is much more than a common criminal.

There are shades of love triangle, but it never gets too complicated. Unfortunately, the swoon in both relationships takes a serious backseat to the larger plot.

Talky Talk: And They’re Off

Appropriately enough, the plot of Night Speed starts at a fast pace that doesn’t let up until the last couple of pages. Chris Howard did a great job of weaving the aspects of a similar yet slightly different world into the plot while it moved, rather than pausing the story to explain. His descriptions are super visual, which was both good and bad, depending on the situation (I mean, the symptoms of drug withdrawal can be horrifying.) Howard’s characters are flawed, but it’s obvious that they’re really trying to make the world a better place.

I struggled with connecting with world or the characters, however; I often found myself frustrated with a chain of events that I feel could have been easily avoided or a character's decision that had me Roger Murtaughing. And I’m usually quite good about separating myself from reality-adjacent stories.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Drug Abuse

Although Alana’s drug use isn’t recreational, and is for the most part a literal part of her job, it’s hard to read about the effects of tetra use, particularly the suffering Alana goes through when she’s coming down from the high. It’s brutal, and Howard doesn’t pull punches when describing the after effects. That said, I still feel like Night Speed glamorized drug use more than it condemned it.

Casting Call:

Bex Taylor-Klaus as Alana

Relationship Status: See You in a Few Years

I really do wish you the best, Book, and hope that you’re able to move past the many side effects and consequences of hardcore drug use. And I’m totally game to meet up in a few years to catch up. But now, it’s time for you to get some help.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Katherine Tegan Books, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Night Speed is available now.

This review is part of the Night Speed Blog Tour!


Only those young enough can survive the pulse-pounding rush of tetra, a dangerous and addictive new drug that fuels a nine-minute burst of superhuman strength and speed. Alana West has been trained to use the drug so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power—criminals like the breakneck who nearly killed her kid brother.

On tetra, Alana is unstoppable. The rush makes her an explosive blur as she surges through New York City, battling to bring down breaknecks before they leave more people dead or injured in their wake. But with the clock ticking down to her eighteenth birthday, Alana will soon be too old for the rush...when just one more dose will prove deadly.

Supported only by her strong and steady handler, Tucker, Alana goes undercover, infiltrating an elite gang of breaknecks to stop the supply of their drug. But when Alana gets trapped on the wrong side of the law, she learns the breaknecks are not quite what they seem—especially Ethan, the artistic boy whose bottomless brown eyes seem to see the truth inside her. With her own dependency on tetra increasing, Alana must decide where her loyalties lie before the rush ends. Forever.


Chris Howard was born and raised in England, and it was there he first began writing stories and songs. He now lives in Denver, Colorado, where he and his wife enjoy mountains, music, and mugs of good coffee. Chris is also the author of the Rootless trilogy.

Connect with Chris: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr


4/25: Page Turners Blog
4/26: Ex Libris
4/27: The Reader Bee
4/28: Icey Books
4/29: Brittany’s Book Rambles
5/2: Cuddlebuggery
5/3: Sci Fi Chick
5/4: Forever Young Adult—You are here!
5/5: The Irish Banana
5/6: Novel Novice


Want to win a copy of Night Speed? Leave a comment telling us: Would you take a (legal) drug to make the world a better place? Why or why not? A winner will be chosen at random next Wednesday, May 11. Per the publisher: U.S. only, please. The giveaway is now closed.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.