by Mark Frost
Holy crud! If you like YA roller coaster books with non-stop action, a male protagonist, some magical talents, good vs evil and slowly meted out information, look no further! Will West has a list of rules he lives by, “don’t call attention to yourself”, “there is no such thing as coincidence”. He and his folks move around a lot and he tries to stay in the middle of the pack with his grades, athletically and in general. He has few friends, it is really just him and his folks. Until he blows out the curve on a test…
Black cars start following him and he is invited to a boarding school for brilliant young minds. He has to go to the school to avoid the danger, but is he running straight into more danger?
I enjoyed this book because the action is non-stop and while the answers are provided, they are given out very slowly. You only find out things as Will does, and his parents really didn’t tell him much, except for the many rules he lives by! There is some cosmic good vs evil thing happening, and Will is for some reason caught in the middle. There is some paranormal stuff, holes punched into the Never-Was which allows nasties to come through, as well as varying the “abilities” of certain characters.
The setting – It mostly takes place at a boarding school and while some characters are quite easy to place, it is hard to ultimately tell right away who is good vs bad. However, the story starts in Ojai (the town where I live), so of course I had to like that! I knew exactly where they were running around, it was exciting!
Will makes some great friends. His friends are a little stereotypical but they are funny and interesting, and once they start working together, they are a great team. Since this is a trilogy, I assume we will get to find out even more about those guys and I look forward to it!
The confusing – I didn’t really understand why Will was so highly sought after, you find out but I think I read the whole thing too fast to really “get it”. Some stuff is glossed over. Some things are quite conveniant, like how they are saved from certain situations – but hey, this is YA and fun, so get over yourself.
The love interest – yes, there is a love interest, but it is YA and I am pretty sure the main target readership is young boys, so it is very contained. I think they might kiss, but it is sweet and cute without being too cutesy.
Great start to a new trilogy. I enjoyed it, and I think my friend’s 11-year-old son would love it too. He really enjoyed the Percy Jackson books and Harry Potter so I think he is old enough to get into this one. It has about the same amount of detail to follow as the middle Harry books. 4 stars floating around your head when you are knocked out by a monster scrambling to get at Will.