Ever since hearing about Mark Frost’s YA debut at the RHCP blogger brunch this summer, I have been desperate to read it so when I was offered a copy for review I jumped at the chance.
The Paladin Prophecy tells the tale of Will West. He’s careful to live under the radar and according to his dad’s rules, but after accidentally scoring off the charts on an academic test, everything changes. There’s a black car following him, his parents don’t seem themselves and strange creatures are after him. So Will goes to the elite, secret school that have been after him since the test and begins to explore what exactly has happened, and what he is capable of.
It should go without saying that this book is unusual. It’s written by a creator of Twin Peaks so reality bends constantly and you’re constantly kept on your toes as unexpected things happen. This means that not everyone will get on with this book, but I really enjoyed it and think if you enjoy something a little more unusual and that defies what you might expect, then the Paladin Prophecy is well worth reading.
I really loved the rules Will West’s dad had given him and how they were referred to throughout the book constantly. Will himself was a very readable hero and I was rooting for him in the whole book. I also thought that the school West attended was really interesting and the advanced technology they used, with the avatars especially was really intriguing. I have to admit I questioned the school’s involvement and whether Will made the right decision going straight to the school from the outset, but I think Frost handled these situations well.
I really liked Frost’s supporting cast. The mystery of the previous tenant in West’s room, which may have been an old trope, but is one that Frost employed successfully in this book, and I really liked Nick, Ajay, Elise and Brooke and how they contributed to the plot and humour.
I liked how the plot developed however did feel the final conflict in the book dragged on a few pages too long – that said, I prefer this to there being a complete anticlimax. Overall this book did have a lot of action and adventure and I think that fans of series like Alex Rider will enjoy the similarities in solving the secrets, however the strange and paranormal twists Frost injects makes this a book that is highly individual as well.
Overall this book was great fun and kept me guessing and glued to the pages as I read it. I received a free review copy from RHCP for (honest) reviewing purposes. The Paladin Prophecy is out now and I definitely recommend it to YA fans who want an adventurous but unusual read!