To say Caleb runs long distances is an understatement. He's an ultra-marathoner, which 100 mile marathons across what most would think is crazy terrain -- through mountains and deserts, rather than on simple roadways. Those of us who run sidewalks for just 3-4 miles at a time are total wimps compared to Caleb. He loves it and it's his passion, though his obsession with ultra-marathoning has also lead him to keep his distance from his from his brother, Shane, for years.
Caleb's running club adheres to incredibly strict rules for it's members and when Caleb breaks one of them by falling in love with another member and subsequently becoming entangle in a quest to save her sick daughter, we know things are going South pretty quickly. This is when Shane becomes involved and his experience with biotechnology comes into play. Told in alternating chapters, Shane and Caleb begin to work together to save the child and, Shane hopes, to bring his brother back home.
As a runner, I'm totally fascinated with the idea of ultra marathons. I don't think I'll see myself crossing the finish at a plain, old 26.2 mile marathon, let alone running a 100 miles at once, but the people that can and do are just fascinating. Race Across the Sky totally sucked me in for that reason, as the author obviously knows ultra marathons well. He either did a whole lot of intense research or runs them himself (his bio didn't clarify).
The running club portions bothered me a bit and felt like an unnecessary portion of the story. I was all into reading about this awesome ultra marathon runner and then I was hit with the running club. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about them, but I really wish their strict rules had been left out of the story altogether. I was psyched about a novel on running, as I've yet to find one, and with this being compared to Born to Run, I was even more excited. A little let down after getting really into the story.
On another upside, I did really like the biotechnology aspects of the story and was totally fascinated with learning a little about how pharmaceutical companies work, though I did find it super convenient that Shane happened to go into pharmaceuticals and his estranged brother happened to need his help desperately, which is how they came back together. Lots of little "coincidences" like that.
If you're a runner and the idea of a novel about runner intrigues you, give this one a try. I had a few quips with it, but was entertained overall. Plus, we all know, I often have irritations that most readers do not. I'm weird like that and not ashamed!
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the review copy.
Check out the rest of the tour here.