Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-07-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Frost, adult author and Twin Peaks co-creator, makes his YA debut with this densely plotted thriller, first in a trilogy. After a lifetime of keeping a low profile, 15-year-old Will West is forced to live up to his true potential when strange forces take over his parents’ minds and he seeks refuge at the elite Center for Integrated Learning, a prep school for the gifted. There, he’s confronted by a demanding academic schedule, but encouraged to embrace his abilities as a superhumanly fast runner and a scholastic genius. He befriends his roommates, investigates his parents’ odd behavior, is targeted by a malevolent secret society, and discovers the extent of his superhuman abilities. Disparate elements —super-science, evil conspiracies, genetic engineering, an extensive cosmology featuring a war between good and evil—give this adventure something of a split identity. Despite the feeling that Frost threw in everything but the kitchen sink, his story has serious entertainment value and pulls together satisfyingly by book’s end, while laying the groundwork for the sequels. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Ltd. (Sept.)
Run, Will, run
Will West knows how to blend in. He can run 1.2 miles in 3:47 minutes and scores off the charts in aptitude tests, but his teachers can barely remember his name. As the 14-year-old hero of The Paladin Prophecy, the first in a new series from New York Times best-selling author Mark Frost, Will should be showing off his talents; instead, he’s keeping the promise he made to his parents to never reveal his true abilities.
Will and his parents have moved from city to city “like Bedouins every eighteen months.” On a breathtakingly beautiful Southern California morning, though, Will finds out why: Someone is after them—him, especially—and now his father’s admonition to trust no one is proving very helpful.
Whether it’s by dark-suited men in black sedans or yawping, snarling, fleshy masses from the nightmarish Never-Was, Will is being chased. They’ve already gotten to his mother; the proof is in her glassy eyes and eerie smile. “Do whatever you need to do to stay alive,” his father tells him in a video message. And so Will does.
Frost, co-creator of the creepy television show “Twin Peaks,” heads in a more action-adventure, sci-fi direction with The Paladin Prophecy. The result is a fast, fun novel that will spark imaginations like something off the silver screen.