So I was trolling the book store on Tuesday and saw that book two of a YA series I had read was out. This is a series by Mark Frost, who among other accomplishments was a cocreator of Twin Peaks. This is targeted at audiences 7th grade and above. And it centers around a group of extraordinary students with extraordinary powers at a boarding school (sound familiar?).
The first book (Paladin) had our main character Will reeling after a tragic accident takes away his parents leaving him orphaned and alone. But when a mysterious man arrives and says “You are invited to attend the Center” an exclusive school where the kids of the fabulously rich and famous attend along with scholarship kids with uncanny abilities in athletics, computer hacking skills, art, etc. The bullies at the school try to recruit, then kill Will, who defeats them in an epic battle where we think all the bad guys have been caught and arrested.
End book one, begin book two. In the beginning of Alliance Will is trying to get his act together with the help of his inscrutable, Jeddi master like Native American Football coach. “Find your true voice” etc. Will regains his confidence and gathers his gang of five friends (the healer, the voice, the eyes, the fists, and the knight) together to solve what is behind the Center and what the true purpose of the Paladins is. There are a lot of references to Native American myth and evil spirits. A lot of running around in tunnels and very little school since this takes place mostly during holiday.
There are semi sentient computers, telepathy, altered DNA experiments, and a conspiracy going back hundreds of years. So I liked it. Did not love it, but it was fun. I would like to note that GPS does not in fact work unless your device can “see” the satellites that transmit the data so one won’t work a mile underground in dark tunnels, and computers don’t operate quite like described in the book. But when people can turn into tentacled monsters, and stone trees can bite and move, then what’s a little suspension of disbelief. The friendship shown between the gang of five reads genuine, and the dialog can be funny. The one exception is the character Nick McLeish, who is a “master of several martial arts”. No one can be that stupid and be a “master” of anything.
Now when I read the first book Paladin I had just finished reading books one and two of Mercedes Lacky and Rosmary Edgehill’s Shadow Grail books. And frankly at times I had a hard time telling the two series apart. Legacies has an almost identical story to Paladin (ok so in Paladin the bad guys are exiled Native American deities and Legacies main character is a girl) but holy smokes, it was like reading the same books. twice.
- Boarding school for super wealthy, check.
- Students who have warrier powers, or other magical abilities check.
- Students disappear after questioning what is going on, check
- Evil club in school filled with bullies, check.
- Destiny that involves the end of the world, check.
- Paladins / Aurthur stories going back centuries, check.
- Alumni with delusions of world domination, check
I dont know if it is because I read it first, but I like the Shadow Grail series better than Paladin Prophecy but both series are worth a read If you are into boarding school meets magical fiction. This is the kind of YA story that I can see Harry Potter fans enjoying.