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Book Review: The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes

Today I’m talking about the just-released middle grade adventure tale The Storm Runner by author J.C. Cervantes. I absolutely LOVED this story – which is the first installation in The Storm Runner series – so I’m happy to know there is more to come, even if I’m already impatient for the next book in the series. I think this is a book that will flying off library shelves as it ticks off a lot of boxes: action and adventure, mythology, fantasy, and it has a pretty great protagonist, too.


Book Review: The Storm Runner by J.C. CervantesThe Storm Runner (A Storm Runner Novel, Book 1) by J.C. Cervantes
Published by Disney-Hyperion on September 18, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Caribbean & Latin American, Action & Adventure, General, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon

A contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology from Rick Riordan Presents!

Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He'd much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno--for his one good leg.

What Zane doesn't know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he's destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in--unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father.

To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can't even walk well without a cane?



If you are looking for a fantastic, funny, crazy adventure for your middle grade reader, J.C. Cervantes’ novel The Storm Runner is an excellent choice.  A modern take on Maya folklore, it offers readers a rollicking adventure with disgusting foes from the Underworld, crazy Maya gods and other unexpected creatures, and is helped along in his adventure by an unlikely cast of characters including his pro wrestling-mad Uncle Hondo, his nearest neighbors who consist of the blind phone-psychic Mrs. Cab and the besotted Mr. Ortiz who is obsessed with growing hot peppers, and a girl with more than a few secrets of her own.

The Storm Runner is narrated in the quite expressive, honest, earnest voice of its 13-year-old hero, Zane Obispo. An unlikely hero he is – born with a limb difference, he is used to being taunted by classmates for an obvious limp due to his “gimpy” leg, and so he’s happiest on his own, exploring the dormant volcano near his home in the New Mexico desert with his three-legged dog Rosie.  Did I mention that his mom doesn’t like him exploring the volcano, or that he’s been warned away by Mrs. Cab?

When he sneaks out one night to explore the volcano, he sees something bizarre –  and soon realizes that nothing in his life is what he thought it was, or people are more than he knows them to be – including the father that he never met.

He’s a character that means well, but sometimes breaks the rules – even if he has good intentions behind his decisions – and one of those decisions fulfills a Maya prophecy at which he is the center. This story unfolds with a breakneck pace and a whole lot of imagination, from mystical ways of travel, crazy inventions from a diabetic giant (who grows when his blood sugar gets low), and breakaway twists and turns.  This book is pure FUN.

The Storm Runner is part of Rick Riordan Presents, a Disney imprint, which publishes books by middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage.  It has the feel of one of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson tales, only with a disabled Hispanic teen at the center of a great Maya prophecy and tangled in Maya folklore. It’s a lot to celebrate here, and Zane is a brave, realistic hero that I think will appeal to middle schoolers (and those of us of an older age who still love a great adventure.)


About the Author


Jen is the award-winning author of the middle grade novel TORTILLA SUN and THE STORM RUNNER (Disney-Hyperion Rick Riordan Presents) and THE FIRE KEEPER (The Storm Keeper #2), 2019.

She believes in magic. Loves football. Always roots for the underdog.

She also writes under the name Jennifer Cervantes.



My love language is books. I received this title for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. After all, books can’t buy me coffee.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. If you like this post, do me a solid and buy your book from Amazon via me, pretty please.

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