Read The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor Online

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Nothing ever happens on the Otter Lake reservation. But when 16-year-old Tiffany discovers her father is renting out her room, she’s deeply upset. Sure, their guest is polite and keeps to himself, but he’s also a little creepy. Little do Tiffany, her father, or even her astute Granny Ruth suspect the truth. The mysterious Pierre L’Errant is actually a vampire, returning toNothing ever happens on the Otter Lake reservation. But when 16-year-old Tiffany discovers her father is renting out her room, she’s deeply upset. Sure, their guest is polite and keeps to himself, but he’s also a little creepy. Little do Tiffany, her father, or even her astute Granny Ruth suspect the truth. The mysterious Pierre L’Errant is actually a vampire, returning to his tribal home after centuries spent in Europe. But Tiffany has other things on her mind: her new boyfriend is acting weird, disputes with her father are escalating, and her estranged mother is starting a new life with somebody else. Fed up and heartsick, Tiffany threatens drastic measures and flees into the bush. There, in the midnight woods, a chilling encounter with L’Errant changes everything ... for both of them. A mesmerizing blend of Gothic thriller and modern coming-of-age novel, The Night Wanderer is unlike any other vampire story....

Title : The Night Wanderer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781554510993
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 215 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Night Wanderer Reviews

  • Tahleen
    2019-04-19 23:53

    Tiffany Hunter is dealing with a lot. She lives in Otter Lake, an Anishinabe (Ojibwa) reservation in central Ontario with her dad and grandmother. She's doing poorly in school, she fights with her dad constantly, and to make matters even more difficult she is trying to navigate a new relationship with a white boyfriend. Demons and ghost stories are the last thing on her mind—but they're the center of everything for Pierre L’Errant, the new boarder Tiffany's father has just taken into their home. Though from Europe, he is clearly Native, and mentions he is of Anishinabe ancestry. But who is he really, and where did he come from? Why has he come to Otter Lake, of all places? In The Night Wanderer, Drew Hayden Taylor gives us a new and refreshing twist on the centuries-old legend of the vampire.The more I thought about this book, the more I liked it. At its heart, it is about home and family. Tiffany struggles with this, as she is constantly battling with her father over pretty much anything, though especially about her boyfriend Tony. There are a lot of underlying issues with this, as Tiffany's mother left her father, Keith, for a white man about a year earlier. Keith is still trying to recover, and unfortunately he isn't getting very far. He doesn't know how to handle his daughter, so he lets out his anger and pain on her—and she returns it full force. Stuck in the middle of this is Granny Ruth, Keith's mother. She's feisty, but is trying to deal with all of this pain and anger and not-talking-about-the-real-issue on her own, until Pierre enters the picture.Pierre is a character we can sympathize with, though we're not sure we can trust him. His motives aren't clear until the very end. But what is clear is his attachment to his homeland, the place where he was born centuries before, when he made the decision to leave it and everything he knew for adventure and the unknown. He is not the tortured vampire struggling with what he is at his very essence, though there are hints that he has thought about it. He knows what he is and accepts it, which is truly a nice change from the brooding bad-boy vampire so popular in today's teen fiction.Taylor works Anishinabe (more commonly known as Ojibwa) culture and language into Pierre's and Tiffany's intersecting stories—both in the modern and more ancient culture and teen experiences. Tiffany is trying to sort out what it means to be a part of her native community, often trying to escape it, though sometimes feeling guilty for not knowing more than she does (for example, she can't speak the language, like her grandmother). Usually I am hesitant to read fiction about certain cultures, especially Native American ones, for fear of misrepresentation of the people and the history. But because Taylor is Ojibwa himself, I trusted his descriptions and allowed myself to enjoy the story, knowing it is authentic. He also manages to include an interracial relationship and its resulting difficulties, such as racism and Tiffany's discomfort at being the only Native teen in a group of white ones.Another thing I loved are the sometimes surprising little dashes of humor Taylor throws into his prose every so often. I found myself sporting a quick grin at many little details he includes, like this sentence in the middle of a suspenseful scene: "From deep in the bush, a hunter older than James, his house, and the mayonnaise at the back of his refrigerator all put together watched him closely" (79). But despite this comic relief, there are a few chapter that got my heart pounding—many strange and unnatural things are seen on the Otter Lake Reservation after Pierre arrives.My only complaints lie with the characterization of Tiffany. For a while I felt like she was too flat of a character—I wasn't really getting where she was coming from, and she just seemed a bit off through the beginning. It took me a while to get into the book because it was mostly about Tiffany at first. However, once Taylor started writing about Pierre and other characters, I could see his talent better. I found out afterward that this was originally written as a play, and I thought that might have had something to do with it.These days, everyone is sick of vampires and their sparkles and forbidden love interests in virginal white girls. But with his fresh interpretation and the addition of family drama and the importance of home, Taylor has given us a reason to enjoy vampire novels again.

  • Katrin
    2019-03-25 15:40

    a quite quick read. it's just 200 pages and not very dense ones, so this one was easy to read through quickly. it was a good story and i liked the info on the native canadian population. also how the vampire is portrayed was absolutely nicely done. the story though is quite small and does not give room to spread out correctly. i think there was much more potential for a much broader story. i understand this was more or less written for teenagers, but teenagers nowadays also read game of thrones or the whole harry potter back catalogue in a devouring manner, so the amount of pages could nevertheless have been much more. this would have helped me feel more with the characters and also feel more emotions during the quite clever end.

  • kari
    2019-03-27 23:49

    I really wanted to like this one more than I did. It could have been so much more than what's here. It actually feels like two disjointed stories barely linked together and that the good story isn't actually told.Tiffany is a difficult character to like. She is so overblown in her reaction's to things in her life. She seems almost a charicature of a teenage girl, stomping and cussing and running off, saying they'll all be sorry. I get that teenage girls are emotional and overly dramatic at times, but she's just too much silliness instead of real a flesh and blood girl. And speaking of blood, that brings us to the other central character, Pierre L'Errant. I so much wish his story had been told. This book would have been great if Tiffany's chapters had been pared down to one or two to bookend Pierre's story which would have been very interesting. Sadly, when he gets around to telling his story, we're told he tells his story, but we don't get to read his story. Aaarrrggghhh! Yes, we got the bones of it, but there surely was so much more that could and, in my opinion, should have been included.This book is only a little over 200 pages and still it felt like a long read. I was never gripped by the story, never had any trouble putting it down until later. I never felt involved with the characters or story.It's called a Native Gothic novel, but the Native touches are very light. It seemed to me that it could be about anyone and that was something of a disappointment. The only Native connections seemed to be Tiffany's use of her tax-free card, the fact that they lived on the reserve and her grandmother's use of Anishinabe words and phrases that no one else can understand. Maybe that is how it is living on a reserve today, I don't know, but I was hoping there would be more connection to that. I did like Pierre's understanding and connection to his homeland and I'd have liked to know more about his preparations and all. But I've already said I would have liked to have known his whole story.I have to add that I was surprised by how little dialogue there is in this book. The author is a playwright so I'd think great dialogue would be his strongest talent, but the conversations here are either brief or alluded to without actually reading them or they don't seem to flow very well. I'm not sure why. So much of the story is internal for each character; either their thoughts or bits of backstory, but not much on the page is action.Still, I'd try another book from this author.

  • Kayla
    2019-03-28 19:41

    I thought this was an interesting read and it's not something I usually pick up. This was the first book I've read where the paranormal guy in the book was actually creepy (I suppose The Historian may count too but since I basically just skimmed most of that book, including the parts about Dracula, I can't really say.). One of the strange things, though, is that even though Pierre is a vampire who does not mind killing humans, he still came across as a good guy (view spoiler)[ because of his fasting. I could buy that he was a typical, Dracula-type vampire if it was just the fasting, (hide spoiler)] but Pierre was also pretty nice to Tiffany (more so than necessary) and he helped out her and her family even when there was no reason for him to get involved. I couldn't understand his motive and I felt that it really contradicted the image that I thought the author wanted to give of Pierre, which was that he was not the usual "human-souled" vampire that you typically see in YA lit. But I don't know-I suppose without Pierre's involvement in family matters, he wouldn't have come across as such a sympathetic character, and it's important to think of him as such in order to get the full effect at the close of the last chapter.I really liked reading about the Native mythology. I wish the author had included more of that. He only described a couple of myths very briefly. It was the first time I ever read about the legend of the wendigo. I had heard about it before on an episode of Supernatural (awesome show!) but I hadn't come across anything about wendigos since. It's really not that common of a myth, which is a shame because I think the story's really interesting.One problem that I had with the book, though, is the fact that Drew Hayden Taylor does not know how to write about teenage girls. Tiffany came across as so cliche that she never seemed real to me. Also, Taylor would have a character think something and then say the exact same thing out loud, which was unnecessarily repetitive. This happened a few times and it got a little annoying.

  • Margaret
    2019-04-11 15:45

    Tiffany Hunter has a lot of typical teenager problems: her dad hates her white boyfriend and thinks Tiffany should study more, her boyfriend's friends seem uncomfortable with her because she's Native, and her mom took off with another guy. She longs to be older and to be able to leave boring Otter Lake Reserve for the exciting outside world. And now just to make things more complicated, her dad has taken in a boarder, a mysterious European named Pierre L'Errant who doesn't eat with them and only goes out at night.I thought this was a really neat and original take on vampires. (This isn't a spoiler because it's quite clear to the reader from the outset what Pierre really is.) Instead of being sexy and beguiling, Pierre is old and knowledgeable, ready to come back to his ancestral home after wandering Europe for centuries. Taylor shows bits and pieces of the Ojibwa culture of Pierre's youth, along with the culture clashes of today, between Tiffany and her family and her boyfriend. I thought the teenage voice faltered occasionally in Tiffany's parts of the narrative, but not enough to throw me out of the book. And I really liked the ending, which is full of tension yet not at all a showdown between vampire and human.

  • Stacia
    2019-04-12 16:05

    This ia a YA book (not normally a favorite of mine), but also a vampire book (a definite favorite of mine).It was actually pretty interesting because of the Anishinabe/Ojibwa angle of the story. More creepy than outright scary & a very good ending, imo.I'd recommend it for young teens & up. A worthwhile read & a good October read that's not too scary.

  • Shawn Birss
    2019-04-18 22:03

    I finished this novel on the day I began reading it. I didn't want to put it down. It was very readable, with a fast-paced story and short chapters. This isn't surprising considering that the Ojibway Canadian author adapted it from a script he had written years earlier. One cannot be too generous with descriptions or wordy in dialogue with theatre without quickly losing the audience. So it's tightly told, and fun to read. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed reading it, and really did want to like it, I found the flaws in the book a little too glaring to ignore. The female protagonist, a teenage girl, is too melodramatic and extreme to be believable. As someone who works with young adults, and who has done so for many years, I just could not imagine a realistic person to match what I was reading. Her escalation is just too fast, and too far. Also, the final confrontation between this female character and the Night Wanderer character for which the book is named is inexplicably contrived. The last pages painfully conclude the book like a "very special episode", revealing that the story we have been reading has been a vehicle for didactic exposition before all else. And the subject matter of this little lesson, though important, is simply not earned by the two hundred pages that precede it. It feels forced. Furthermore, some of the "advice" the book so baldly gives is just not very deep or important, and is given with very little empathy, rather more like a lecture telling a character, and the reader by proxy, to basically just grow up. This is without any appropriate acknowledgement that, melodramatic though she may be, our protagonist's feelings are her own, and she deserves some validation for it. She is not wrong to *feel* wronged. In fact, not only is the counsel blunt and lacking empathy, it even comes with violence, which is more than problematic. I couldn't help but get a feeling like the author thought this melodramatic girl just needed to be knocked around and told to smarten up, even if that wasn't his intention (which I choose to believe it wasn't). Still, there are a lot of really brilliant ideas here. The author uses the agelessness of vampires and the European roots of traditional vampire lore to illuminate the difficulties of change in the Canadian FNMI community over time, the erosion of culture by European influence, and the different generational perspectives on those difficulties. Romantic relationships across cultures are explored to some degree, though without any suggestion that they could ever work or be healthy, which is too bad.(The next two paragraphs are written the next day, after reading the graphic novel adaptation.)I would like to see this story as it was originally, in theatre, before being adapted into a novel. Theatre has a way of handling melodrama that doesn't always transfer well to other mediums. Also, interpretation of time and space can be more fluid in theatre, which may have helped the story. It was told at a fast clip, which made it an easy read. However, ninety minutes on a stage might have better created the illusion of the space the story needed to breathe. It also may have given the actors an opportunity to better sell me on the main characters' motivations. Upon reading the graphic novel, I can more clearly see that it is the final act that needs work. I just don't believe it. I don't feel it is earned by the story preceding it. There is so much action and movement that brings us to this place where two characters suddenly sit and talk. It just doesn't strike me as the same story. And the first two acts make me want to know a great deal more about these characters than the last act allows. So a lot of air just gets let out of the story's tension, instead of giving us a true climax. I enjoyed reading this book, which is a lot for me to say for YA Vampire Fiction. I wanted to like it more than I did. I would highly recommend it to any lover of YA fiction and/or or vampire fiction who likes the idea of reading the genre as penned by an Ojibway Canadian. However, if looking for the best of Canadian fiction, I would suggest searching elsewhere.I really wanted to like this. If the author were to ever rewrite this book, or write another longer, more complete, more adult version of the story, or expand the story of Pierre L'errant, I would definitely read it.

  • Melinda Worfolk
    2019-04-07 17:38

    I received this review copy through NetGalley from Annick Press. This review is also posted on my blog and on NetGalley. I will definitely use this as a text for First Peoples English. First of all, I'm intrigued by the use of genre--I think the story suits the graphic novel format particularly well given that the narrative relies on atmosphere. The illustrations are clear, crisp, and make good use of contrasts (dark/light areas). The book tells a simple story and tells it well--Tiffany Hunter is an Anishnaabe teenager living on the Otter Lake Reserve who is clashing with her dad, not doing well at school, and experiencing the pains of young love. Pierre L'Errant is a mysterious European stranger whom the Hunter family take in as a boarder to help with the rent since Tiffany's mother left. Even though the book is short and we don't get to know Tiffany or Pierre particularly deeply, Drew Hayden Taylor does a good job of revealing their personalities and circumstances through current events and flashbacks. The narrative provides opportunities to discuss various aspects of Indigenous storytelling as well as social issues like prejudice and racism.My only issue with the book is that I wish it were longer! It seemed to end a bit abruptly. Recommended for young adult audiences or anyone interested in a good fast read that combines a look at Indigenous culture and...vampire lore. -------The program I teach in uses a lot of Drew Hayden Taylor's plays as required reading, so I am eager to check out this graphic novel to see if it would be suitable for our new First Peoples English course. It is a graphic novel adaptation of The Night Wanderer: A Gothic Novel. As far as I know, there aren't a lot of vampire novels set on First Nations reserves! So far, I'm enjoying it.

  • Vanessa
    2019-03-22 16:48

    Actually I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could, halfway between 'liked it' and 'really liked it'. I didn't realise this was meant for young adults until I was about a third of the way through; I also didn't like the writing for the first few chapters but I slowly got sucked (haha) into the story. Ultimately I ended up reading this before bed across 4 or 5 nights - amazing, as it takes me literally years to finish a book these days - and I even had nightmares once! The book was addictive, creepy and FUNNY, which I wasn't expecting. Also, very edifying - learned a lot about Anishinaabe/Ojibwa culture. If they made a movie out of this (or better yet, an adult, expanded version of the story), I'd be all over it. I'd like to read the graphic novel next. Overall, an entertaining read, and a unique and creative take on a timeless myth.

  • Miriam
    2019-03-23 17:50

    In two alternating narratives we are introduced to Tiffany, a typical teenage girl, and Pierre, a mysterious "European" traveler. The first half of the book is dominated by Tiffany's point of view; this gives it an uneven feel since it is almost entirely quotidian matter about school, her boyfriend, wishing she could have new shoes, fighting with her dad, etc. The small bits of Pierre with hints of the supernatural seem like an odd interruption and connect only coincidentally with Tiffany's life. But the second half works betters, as their stories connect.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-21 23:48

    This reminded me of really classic YA. It's a coming of age story told from third person, though it's also a vampire/horror/gothic read, set on a First Nations reservation. It's not scary and it's obvious what's going on from about page two, but the story that Pierre tells and how it weaves into Nation legends was unique and engaging. It's a quick read, though don't go in for character development -- go in for the storytelling. Perfectly fine for middle schoolers. It's an older title but timeless.

  • Sonia Hardy
    2019-04-09 17:05

    This book was alot different than what I am used to reading but I can honestly say I loved it. It took two things that I absolutely love, vampires and Native American culture, and combined the two. It was a wonderful story and beautifully written. I recommend it to someone who wants a quick and good read. The ending was kind of sad for one character but happy for another.

  • Danya
    2019-04-04 23:05

    Nothing makes you power through a book faster than the knowledge that you need to discuss it in class the next day.

  • Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
    2019-04-08 16:01

    A dissatisfied Ojibwa girl called Tiffany has a new lodger, a mysterious stranger called Pierre who looks Native but comes from Europe. Pierre has come home to his reserve after many, many years away in the hopes of finding closure to a life that has lasted far longer than he intended. Another book to add to my growing list of indigenous authors' takes on mythical creatures.

  • Fiona G
    2019-04-13 20:46

    The story line was decent but I found the main character quite annoying, even though she was going through a lot. I felt bad for her at times but also groaned at her. In my opinion, this is a very quick yet only okay read to put it simply.

  • Kumar Kutliev
    2019-04-19 23:55

    The drama is OK written; you get to care about the main character. But the vampire does almost nothing throughout the novel, and it keeps constantly cutting to him. So, since the vampire added nothing, I have to give this a 3/5 stars.

  • Laura
    2019-03-31 16:45

    I found this such a refreshing read in the vampire genre - new and real and with more questions than answers. Also to re imagine this genre beyond white European narratives.

  • Clivemichael
    2019-04-12 23:41

    Entertaining.

  • NebraskaIcebergs
    2019-04-15 16:02

    The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor is one of the more unique multicultural selections I have read. Taylor blends European vampire lore with modern Aboriginal culture to create a deliciously creepy tale.Many multicultural stories are often set in the past so that authors can educate readers about a culture. When set in the present, multicultural stories instead tend to tackle discrimination. It’s rare then for a multicultural author to explore genre such as Taylor does with The Night Wanderer. The result is an unusual tale, rightfully labelled as a native gothic romance. True to gothic form, The Night Wanderer contains supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events and a curse. The secretive stranger who lodges at the Hunter home, unknown to anyone in the First Nations community, has existed for over three hundred years. One minute Pierre can be speaking to a character, the next minute he has disappeared without a trace. What’s just as mysterious is that he never shows himself in the daylight and makes a great effort to avoid eating and drinking with others.True to romance form, The Night Wanderer also utilizes overwrought emotion and a female in distress. Tiffany Hunter’s mom has deserted the family, leaving Tiffany rebellious against her dad. Tiffany gets involved with a white boy named Tony, lets her grades slip, shuns her friends, and acts in other irrational ways. As Taylor begins to provide clues to the background of Pierre, my nervousness continued to build. Is he the one killing old-timers and young people? If so, will he kill Tiffany’s grandmother? When Tiffany runs away from home, and is followed by Pierre, what will happen when Pierre catches up to her? While vampire lore and romantic angst might seem like typical teen fare, Taylor blends them together to create a unique moralistic story that, thankfully, does not involve vampires and humans falling in love.Normally, young adult literature is written in first person and, as such, provides immediate and personal connection to the narrator. At times, I missed this feeling in The Night Wanderer. However, there’s also a valid reason for using such a style. A prime example of the third-person omniscient style in young adult literature occurs in The Body in the Woods, where April Henry successfully intensified the suspense in her crime mystery title by switching seamlessly between various viewpoints. Similarly, by allowing readers to see inside the heads of both the peculiar stranger and the Hunter family, Taylor creates tingles. We know that Pierre has killed even those whom he loved. What is his motive in returning to the village of his childhood? We also know that the Hunter family is just distressed enough to have let down their guard. Will this be a mistake?Although not set in the past, The Night Wanderer also does educate readers about modern Aboriginal culture by appropriately depicting a conflicted mix of old and new lifestyles. Tiffany’s family lives on Otter Creek Reserve, but she learns about Nazis and Bolsheviks at school. Her mom had been part of a traditional Native dance troupe but, at the same time, her dad drowns his sorrows over his divorce by watching television. Tiffany’s grandmother still speaks mostly Anishinabe but at the same time has a fondness for pickles. In addition, she relies on plant roots to cure illnesses while also shopping at Walmart for shoes. Even though Aboriginal families have been granted status cards for necessities, Tiffany uses it instead to impress her boyfriend with luxuries such as jewelry. Finally, native mythology is full of mysterious creatures such as wendigoes, but Tiffany and her friends find more relevance to the monsters they battle in video games.One of the members of the diversity committee to which I belong borrowed The Night Wanderer before me, but then returned it saying that she didn’t like to read scary stuff. While The Night Wanderer did cause goose bumps, I appreciated that my apprehension arose from bump-in-the-night chills rather than bloody and gory descriptions. If you enjoy old-fashioned horror, this coming-of-age novel is worth checking out.

  • Richard Van Camp
    2019-04-04 21:05

    Drew Hayden Taylor’s novel, The Night Wanderer (Annick Press): Drew Hayden’s new novel, The Night Wanderer, is a joy to read and, I believe, Mr. Taylor’s finest writing yet.It’s always a joy in Aboriginal literature when we are able to follow the daily lives of an Aboriginal family. Craig Lesley let us follow Jack and Danny Kachiah, a Nez Perce father and son team, in his wonderful series, River Song and Winter Kill, and Lee Maracle allowed us to follow Will and his family in the Sto:loh epic, Will’s Garden. Richard Wagamese let us follow the Wolfchild and Hartley families as they braided their lives together in his fantastic novel, Dream Wheels, so I was thrilled to follow an Ojibwa family around still recovering from the separation and divorce of Tiffany Hunter’s parents, Keith and Claudia, as well as the budding relationship between Tiffany and her first real boyfriend, Tony B. The Night Wanderer takes place on the Otter Lake First Nations Reserve in Ontario—where the author now lives. The novel opens with Tiffany’s father, Keith, deciding to make extra cash for the family by renting out a guest suite in their house. What they don’t know is their first guest, Pierre L’Errant, is Ojibwa and a vampire.What sounds like a plot that could turn into a sitcom or campy is actually the opposite. Annick Press calls the novel “a mesmerizing blend of coming-of-age novel and pulse-pounding thriller”, and I agree. This could be marketed as Young Adult literature and it could be found in the fiction aisle in any bookstore; it’s open to academic interpretation and it’s also a fun read. I think it’s all of this, and that’s a great compliment to our author.The reason I say that this is Drew’s finest writing is Drew once told me that he never considered himself a prose writer a few years ago. I disagreed strongly at the time after reading his brilliant short story, “A Blurry Image on the Six O’Clock News” in the anthology, Our Story, published by Doubleday. It was that story that gave me a glimpse of Drew Taylor’s gift of mastering any genre he puts his mind to. His characterization throughout The Night Wanderer is completely compelling. The writing is spectacular in the hunting scenes and the dialogue hits home every time. His themes of family, home, transformation and inheritance give this story a heartbeat that everyone who reads it will connect with. I won’t give the most shocking scene away, but I will say that the true horror of the novel comes not from the vampire but from Tiffany herself in the climax of the story. I do have three editorial concerns about the novel: I could have used more of the Ojibwa language throughout the interplay between characters—especially coming from Pierre L’errant and Granny Ruth. I would have loved to read an Ojibwa dialogue between Granny and Pierre in Ojibwa—without English interpretation--especially in that last scene, which just blew me away with its tenderness. I could have also used more descriptions of the Hunter household (Are there still pictures of Claudia in the house? Where did all the family pictures go?), and that last line of the novel should be in a paragraph of its own—but these are editorial mistakes. The editors should have pushed Drew to work harder here.But, all in all, The Night Wanderer is a gem of a novel and a very important book for Aboriginal, Canadian and world indigenous literature because it’s fun, contemporary, action packed and full of mercy. Pierre L’Errant could have torn the throats out of the entire Hunter family, two bullies (who are without mercy themselves) and a reserve of 1,100 or so. Instead, what we leave the novel with is a wiser Tiffany Hunter and a vampire with a peace that only home can bring. I’d give this novel a 5 out of 5. It’s just brilliant!

  • Dorothea
    2019-04-04 23:43

    [I was sort of wondering if this YA vampire novel (published in 2007) was in any way a response to the Twilight books and their portrayal of the Quileute Nation. But according to the afterword, the story (with both the vampire and the teenage girl) originated 15 years earlier in a play, A Contemporary Gothic Indian Vampire Story. Now you know.]Pierre L'Errant, once known as Owl, has come to the Otter Lake Reserve on a mysterious errand. He prefers the basement to a comfortable bedroom, won't eat any pancakes, and sleeps all day, but at least he's paying rent. Tiffany Hunter, at least, is very glad that he doesn't want her room after all: with high school, her problematic new boyfriend, and fighting with her father, she's got enough to worry about.The story follows these two in alternating chapters -- Owl/Pierre as he re-learns the land by night and remembers his long life, spent mostly in exile; Tiffany as her frustrations build to a crisis.No, (thank goodness,) this is not a love story. Owl/Pierre and Tiffany are not Edward and Bella or Angel and Buffy. Tiffany isn't even particularly interesting to Owl/Pierre. But he does give her something -- maybe the only thing that a supernatural being many times older than an ordinary teenage girl really can properly give her -- memories. Memories of life, of experience that she doesn't yet know and he knows much too well, and of the past that can be important now to her as well. As he says: perspective.When I first heard about a novel about a Native vampire returning to his homeland for the first time in centuries, I was overcome by the potential of such a story. I'd just learned about the rediscovery in the 1970s of an eighteenth-century village at Ozette, and its effects on the Makah people. Ownership of Ozette dig resulted in the archaeological confirmation of oral history, evidence that won a legal case, a renaissance of Makah traditional culture and language. I heard about The Night Wanderer and imagined that the artefacts of Ozette could literally talk: the oldest elder ever whose memory went back before contact with Europeans, who could tell everything, who could soothe some hurts with his memories, who could himself be healed by the end of his exile.I forgot that vampires are not just immortal: they're also monsters who drink human blood. And this is a Gothic novel. So Pierre has, over the centuries, stopped caring very much about individual people, and he's much too scary to make his age and identity known. He's seeking healing for himself, but he doesn't intend to offer it to others -- he might end up killing them instead. It's in spite of his monstrousness that he gives what he does: a longed-for Anishinabe word in the sleeping ear of an old woman; a story for Tiffany; and, also for Tiffany, a material connection to their past.

  • Daniella Armstrong
    2019-04-03 19:44

    As it’s now October, I decided to read a series of spooky books to set the tone for the month. This was my first choice, and I had very high hopes for it. Billed as a ‘Native Gothic Novel’ I was interested in reading it especially considering the author himself is Ojibwa.Definitely a topic close to my heart, and one that fits with my intention of checking out more diverse reads.Was I ever in for disappointment.This book centers around two main characters: Tiffany, a teenage resident of Otter Lake, Ontario, and Pierre L’Errant, a mysterious European man who comes to stay with Tiffany and her family.The story idea was interesting, but it felt rather disjointed for most of the novel. Eventually things came together at the end, but it was ultimately unsatisfying.Tiffany’s tale was the usual teenage coming-of-age: she feels her family is unfair to her, she’s super invested in having a boyfriend, and she’s dealing with the absence of her mother. Her story also touched upon issues related specifically to being Native: the reaction of her father when she starts dating a white boy, her boyfriend’s abuse of her status card, and the loss of the Anishinaabe language as native speakers become fewer and fewer. These points were really interesting and well done, but Tiffany herself wasn’t a particularly likeable protagonist.She didn’t really care about school even though her greatest wish is to leave the reservation and see the world. She kind of abandons her friends in favour of her boyfriend. And she’s always bizarrely rude to Pierre when all she really knows about him is that he’s a paying guest in her home.Pierre L’Errant’s tale, on the other hand was very interesting. Formerly known as Owl, he is also Anishinaabe, though he hasn’t been home in centuries. Fighting his very nature he returns home with a very specific purpose. The flashbacks of his past are the most compelling and interesting parts of this entire book.While I think that the author portrayed a very realistic teenager and family dynamics, and the two main characters come together in believable ways, I think the book would have done better had it focused on one or the other.A tale of Tiffany dealing with the difficulties of her life, or a tale of how Owl became Pierre L’Errant would have been far more enjoyable in my opinion. As it was, my favourite character ended up being Granny Ruth!Not the best spooky read, but then I don’t think that was its intention.Regardless, I think I still would have been disappointed.

  • Heather
    2019-03-28 22:02

    Enjoyable, but a bit thin at times. I enjoyed Pierre/Owl's story more than Tiffany's struggles, but even he was a bit thin on characterization. The grandmother was the only character I felt was well developed. Tiffany felt a bit cookie-cutter to me.I enjoyed the parable at the beginning as a thematic set piece, and you can see the thread of the two wolves running through the story. I still hoped for more...substance. There was a lot of opportunity to build on and make more of the Wendigo, and other, legends and create more of a sense of unease in the forest. I just never found the threat threatening enough to be truly scary. I found the ending a bit abrupt as well. Some aspects I found well wrapped up, others not (without resorting to spoilers). What I liked? Tiffany's cookie-cutter problems do make her relatable to the youth, and had I been 15,I likely would like her more. As an adult, I kind of want to smack her upside the head. That's the sign of a decent teen protagonist, right? I liked the little vignettes of life in Otter Lake used to set up the tension. I wish there were more, both because they were great little windows into the community and they would have helped establish more of a sense of unease/danger. Pierre's backstory is super interesting, and I wish it had been more detailed. I also liked the setup of the tension between Otter Lake and the largely white town next door. Tiffany has a limited grasp of it, like most teens would. She knows there's tension, she knows people talk, she doesn't really get it, and that made it more real to me. I know few teens with a nuanced understanding of the complex political and social issues that impact their lives. It was an extremely adept portrayal of how people boil down and characterize complex issues into one or two aspects they can harp on. I also liked that ultimately, Tiffany's issues were super teenagery and not at all political.At any rate, I was a bit more generous with the stars as this is YA, Taylor is a great author, and this is his first outing with YA. I do think authors tend to simplify for teens. They really don't need to simplify or tone down much, and I feel like this one was a step too far down the simplified road.

  • Miranda
    2019-03-27 16:45

    I’ll admit, I don’t often read modern vampire stories. I’m not sure why that is, to be honest. Maybe I hold the more traditional stories more closely, making me hesitant to read something written in today’s world.Those hesitant feelings did make an appearance when I came across The Night Wanderer, but they were pushed aside by the description of the story’s setting and characters. After all, I haven’t seen any other novels about a vampire on an aboriginal reserve. I was more than a little intrigued.The life of 16-year-old Tiffany hasn’t exactly been easy. She doesn’t do well in school, her mother left a little over a year ago, and she and her father haven’t been getting along. The only real bright spot in her life is her boyfriend, Tony. However, it isn’t until her father rents out her room that Tiffany’s life really starts to unwind. The arrival of their visitor, Pierre, means having to stay in the family’s creepy basement. But it turns out that the basement isn’t nearly as creepy as the man staying with her family.I have to admit, the character of Tiffany did annoy me at times. But, that was because of her teenage attitude more than anything. She acted the way that many teenagers do, which added a great realistic aspect to this supernatural tale.My favourite character in the novel, though, was Pierre. His point of view gets plenty of attention throughout the novel, and I found myself looking forward to the next time we’d see the world through his eyes. He definitely had that creepiness factor, but his story was so interesting that I couldn’t help wanting to know him better.The plot and characters alone aren’t the reason I’m recommending this book. Being set on a reserve and focusing on Anishinaabe characters, the novel effortlessly discusses aboriginal culture. It touches on everything from traditional customs to youth suicide rates, but all in a way that flows with the story and fits into Tiffany’s world.All in all, The Night Wanderer is a great combination of culture, gothic horror, and modern-day young adult novel. I highly recommend that you take the time to read it.*This recommendation was originally posted on my blog.

  • Heather Pearson
    2019-04-05 23:01

    Pierre L'Errant is a secretive man. He is travelling to the Otter Lake Reserve, but his is exhibiting mysterious behaviour such as hiding in the airport all day and only leaving the buildings when it is night time.On the Reserve, sixteen year old Tiffany Hunter has been told by her father that she must move all her belongings to the room in the basement; no explanation is given to her. Being a teenager is tough enough when your mother runs off with another man and you are a visible minority in your school. Now her father doesn't appear to want her in his daily life.This book has all the earmarks of a Modern Gothic novel: mystery and horror. Next, add in a little romance and the angst that accompanies all teenage affairs of the heart and the stage is almost set. We also learn, that the swamp at the north end of the reserve is believed to be populated by unseen monsters and demons. Thank goodness I wasn't sitting home alone while reading this. I can't tell you any more about the story as I'm sure I would spoil the suspense and mystery.We do spend a lot of time with Tiffany and learn of her troubles of coming of age while living first, in a broken family and then by being the outsider at school and in her boyfriend's group of friends. She also is dealing with the heritage of the Hunter Clan. Her grandmother speaks to her in the language of the Anishinabe, of which she is the last fully fluent speaker on the Otter Lake Reserve. Tiffany hardly understands a word, but her grandmother continues to do this. How is it that Pierre understands her?This novel is clearly written for a young adult audience. It is just creepy enough to keep their attention, but not too scary to cause nightmares. Much of the focus is on Tiffany and her boyfriend, with that story running parallel to that of why Pierre is visiting the reserve.I continue to enjoy the writing of Drew Hayden Taylor and look forward to another of his works.

  • Eden
    2019-04-13 20:57

    Tiffany Hunter's mother left, she and her father don't exactly get along and she is wondering what is going on with her new, non-Native boyfriend. She's too busy with her own life to pay attention to the stranger who is staying in their basement for a while. He sleeps all day, doesn't eat meals with them and is out on the reserve all night long. The whole family thinks he is a bit strange, but it seems the stranger and Tiffany have more in common than she thinks.I'll admit that this book was very slow in the beginning and it was a whole of stereotypical teenage attitude right from the beginning, which tends to annoy me sometimes because not all teenagers are like that. But I'd say about 30 or so pages in, the book gets increasingly good and you do see a different side of Tiffany. Her attitude is just to cover up her pain and I really like seeing the other side of Tiffany. She can definitely be a deep thinker.And then, there is the strange from Europe, Pierre. There is definitely a lot to him and I liked him, I liked how he talked to Tiffany and with his stories, helped her. It seems the family doesn't ever totally figure out that Pierre is a vampire. I know that vampire books aren't unique and are very common nowadays. What does make this book very unique, in my opinion, is that Pierre is a Native American vampire. I haven't heard of many (actually, any besides this one) vampire books where there is a Native American vampire. I thought it was a very good book and it left me with many things to think about. I love when I read a book and it leaves me thinking. So, in the beginning the book did move slow, but it turned out to be very good. I think the author did a great job and hopefully he'll write more YA books in the future.

  • Hannah
    2019-04-11 22:38

    Eh, I read it for school. Couldn't stand Tiffany, and I wish Pierre played a larger role.

  • Jenny Staller
    2019-03-27 16:05

    This book falls into the category of titles I really wanted to like more than I did. I was weeding my horror section and came across this book, and the description--Native American take on a vampire story--really intrigued me. Unfortunately, I don't think the author has much experience with teenage girls, because the main character's voice was completely unbelievable. She was histrionic and self-absorbed (which, yes, teen girls can be) to the point of feeling like a comical stereotype rather than a sympathetic character that the reader should be investing in. Her dialogue and actions were just so over the top that it made it difficult to enjoy the story.I preferred the vampire's story and wish that it had been the primary voice of the book. The flashbacks about Pierre and the way traditional vampire lore and Native American lore mixed was compelling and what I had expected and hoped for when I picked this book up.Ultimately I decided not to weed it (on the basis that it does offer a unique take on the vampire story and is a title with Native American characters that isn't historical fiction) and I'll try to recommend it to students who enjoy vampire stories and also possibly as an alternative to Twilight.

  • Parallax
    2019-04-02 17:37

    The book started slow, but then got more interesting once Pierre, the vampire arrived at Otter Lake. Some of the things I liked about the book were: the original take on vampire stories, how there was a young looking centuries old vampire and a teen girl in the same story and they had ZERO romantic overtones (in fact, Pierre treats her with the vague benevolence of a boarder, and they do end up bonding a bit in a purely platonic way), the Dracula shout outs, and the sense of an age passed. I liked how Pierre tried to revisit and reconnect back to his roots, but knew the time and place was gone. It was a good contrast to Tiffany, who thinks that history has no bearing on her life. The bad: Tiffany felt less like a character, and more like a stereotypical teenage girl--boy crazy over her boyfriend, fighting with her parent, and prone to self-involved melodrama. Add that with a certain amount of expositiony preachiness, and Tiffany's parts dragged on. I did like how Tiffany lived very much in the here and now.

  • Michelle Pegram
    2019-04-16 21:45

    Night Wanderer is the story of Tiffany, an Ojibwa girl who is coping with an absentee mother, an overwhelmed father, and a boyfriend who may not be all that he is cracked up to be. As if that is not enough, her father moves her to the basement so that they can rent to a lodger, who stays up all night, sleeps all day, and has a "special" diet, to help make ends meet. The subtitle of this novel, A Native Gothic Novel, is fitting as Drew Hayden Taylor brings the vampire story to an Ojibwa reservation. The novel alternates between the stories of Tiffany and the lodger, Pierre L'Errant, as they move towards an inevitable, and eerie, collision. This is not a story about the Ojibwa, but, rather, a story that is set in the modern world of their reservation that weaves the culture and experience of the characters into the tale.This book would be appropriate for middle school or high school and would make an interesting addition to a unit on Gothic literature. I can also see it being a good option to use with reluctant readers.