Wednesday, January 14, 2015

[Review] The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

Rating: 4 Stars 
Series: The Paladin Prophecy #1
Release Date: September 2012

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

Co-creator of the groundbreaking television series Twin Peaks, Mark Frost brings his unique vision to this sophisticated adventure, which combines mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.

In the beginning of the book, I was confused. The first few chapters will throw readers into sudden action with very little explanation other than the fact that Will West is a very special kid - he can run practically as fast as a cheetah, can throw images at people that change their perception, and is a super genius. Which makes him - well, you don't know that until the very end of the book. So for a good part of it, readers, expect to be confused, and just call him that "special" kid. 

He's sent to a school for all other special kids, and by this time, if you've read Harry Potter, you'll be seeing some similarities. There are the bullies, slimy and unpleasant Lyle and the track runner/jock Todd, and their stereotypical bully/antagonist behavior is made up for with Will's new friends. Mostly. Elise has her sarcasm and secrets, Nick has his jokes and silly nature, and Ajay has his technological-savvy charisma, and I found them entertaining and likable. The only one I was put off by (slightly) was Brooke, while she has believable characteristics of being extremely kind and is a stickler for rules, even I could see when she first appeared that she would be the love interest of Will's. Damsel-in-distress syndrome and a kiss for saving her in the end; I make my point. 

On that note, although the romance is more so on the side than the main part of this adventure, Will getting to kiss both the female protagonists? Really? Elise, I could forgive; she does end up "awakening" and unlocking what makes her special later on in the novel. And her secrets make it pretty obvious she's not really into Will. But the whole Will/Brooke romance felt rushed and expected. More development on this in later books would be nice.

Will's guardian angel Dave (and Dave doesn't tell us he's a guardian angel until he's allowed to, so you just think he's some otherworldly being until he does so) does most of the explaining for Will's predicament. Even then, I'm left confused. The Never-Was? Lamia? Monsters? Paladins? It all does not seem believable until the end. But I do like how Frost incorporates history (Charlemagne's Knights aka The Paladins) and monsters. Forget vampires and wizards. Will's an Initiate (I still have no idea what that really is, an unfortunate downside). 

The middle and end picked up from the very confusing beginning. I was able to actually understand what was going on as Dave explained to Will and as Will and the gang slowly uncovered the secrets of their school. And their are many more secrets to uncover, with Will's parentage coming into play. 

Now would I recommend this book? Yes and no. Yes, it was a great, quick read full of unexpected elements that deviate from the norm of witches and vampires and werewolves and incorporating historical facts into it. The characters were mostly diverse and hopefully we see more development from them in future novels. But some cons. Reading through some sections, such as Will's mind projection, were hard to imagine in the modern setting of America. If you're confused by certain aspects of the book, like the angels and the Initiates and the Hierarchy and all the things Dave the guardian angel tried to explain, it may be harder to get into this series. And even if the characterization was a positive, it also was a negative, as I stated with the romance. 

The second book, Alliance, I will be reading, to find out what awaits our heroes, and to clear whatever confusion I retained after finishing The Paladin Prophecy

No comments:

Post a Comment