Author: Mark Frost
Publisher: Random House for Young Readers
Date of Publication: September 2012
Will West is careful to
live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to
get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his
cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the
charts on a nationwide exam.
Now Will is being
courted by an exclusive prep school . . . and is being followed by men
driving black sedans. When Will suddenly loses his parents, he must flee
to the school. There he begins to explore all that he's capable
of--physical and mental feats that should be impossible--and learns that
his abilities are connected to a struggle between titanic forces that
has lasted for millennia.
Back in college, I read two books by Mark Frost, but haven't read anything since. I was looking for a good YA book to take a break from romances and The Paladin Prophecy seemed to fit the bill. I'm am happy that I gave it a chance. This book was awesome! I loved it from start to finish. It's pretty fast paced and kept me fully engaged.
On first look, it may seem that this book is just another story about a special academy for the privileged youth who may possess special abilities. While it does involve those elements, it goes above and beyond. I was kept fully engaged and is given just enough information to make me want to keep reading to see what was going to happen to Will and his friends next. The characters were fun and engaging. I loved Nick and his humor. He was great comic relief during some tense times. It wouldn't be a high school without bullies and the ones in this story are pretty realistic.
The technology in the book was very cool. I really think that most Sci-Fi/YA readers will get a kick out of it. Although, the "synapses" sounded a bit creepy. I'm not sure if I would want one of those. Along with a sci-fi element, the book involves some pretty scary supernatural beings that come from a place called "The Never Was". We are also introduced to a tough and, at times, amusing guardian angel named Dave. I liked the combination of sci-fi and paranormal. It was a great mix and the two elements complimented each other nicely. I look forward to the next one in the trilogy.
If you listen to the audiobook, like I did, make sure you listen to the afterword read by the author. It was really interesting to hear how this book came about and his thoughts on the difference between writing for TV/film and writing a novel. I do think this would make a great movie, but I HOPE that the author writes the screenplay and stays true to the book. I would hate for it to turn into a disaster like the Percy Jackson movie. This was definitely a pretty clean YA and I think would be appropriate for most 12 and up readers.