Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The Paladin Prophecy
This book was very trying for me. There's a lot of elements I loathe to it, but it's almost as if I mustered my way through till the bitter end (539 bitter, bitter pages) because the side characters were enjoyable.
An amazon summary, "Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.
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 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." AMAZON SUMMARY OF MEH
So the book begins with this weird italicized nightmare deal from someone who I presume was not the main character (my assumption was correct; SPOILER LOL). This isn't really a theme, it just happens a handful of times where there's an implied 'other presence' in the story, then it's completely dropped. Almost as if the author grew bored of it and kind of went 'meh' about it.
So the story begins with Will West, son of Jordan West and Belinda West. Jordan West has constructed a list of rules over the course of Will's life for Will to follow. He's never given him a concrete explanation as to why, but Will follows all the rules anyways.
On the surface, Will seems like an ordinary person. A little below the surface, we find that he is simply the almost unfeeling catalyst that survives through situations without bothering to really process them.
Doesn't this story just sound like fun?
So Will goes to school like he would on any other day only to get pulled out of class. He gets a little suspicious but he gets pulled into the principal's office and it's revealed that he answered every single question correctly on a standardized test. Then the real weirdness begins; his mother, Belinda, shows up but she doesn't quite seem to be herself.
Then the story quickly spirals into this weird, CREATURES EVERYWHERE TRYING TO KILL WILL.
There's a huge action upon action upon action sequence where a flurry of characters get introduced rapidly and a lot of concepts bloom into the world that demand acceptance.
Through all of this, Will kinds of pulls of 'whatever I need to do to survive' without really processing all of the weird creatures. He doesn't even stop to question their existence, he just keeps going.
There's even a moment where he's on a plane, this weird dude who finally reveals his name is 'Dave' gives him a pair of sunglasses to he can see all the creatures and then Dave appears out on the wing of the airplane unaffected by anything that would normally constrict such a feat (the airplane was moving) and kills a bunch more creatures.
Will still doesn't really bat an eye at it.
Then he gets to the school and normal school stuff, but then he runs into Lyle. Lyle has some sort of freaky deaky mind power, BUT SO DOES WILL! GASP. So as Lyle tries to do some psychic jujitsu on Will, Will is like LOL I CAN DO IT TOO, psychic jujitsu in return! Will thinks of like a paragraph of explanation, "Oh yeah, I grew up trying to project words or images to my parents, blah". Oh, actually to get on the plane in the first place he willed a bunch of images into other people's heads too so it came up once before, but not psychic battle once before.
....There's a lot of things in this book which were neat concepts, but the flow of the story was atrocious. There were a lot of plot holes that seemed to get a quick cover up by a sentence or two of explanation, and Will basically becomes a combination of Superman/Batman kind of character. He gets a lot of neat abilities that he doesn't know the full extent of yet (presumably as he's unsure if he's 'awake') but he also has a detective brain happening and strings things together without enough clues.
I rage slept on this book quite a lot, but definitely the thing that pulled me through were all the different characters we met at his school. They pulled me more into the story than Will ever had, and they appeared before page 162 (yes, I was paying careful attention to when I would allow myself to quit at the third of the book mark) so I just kept reading.
The end of the book is written much like the beginning of the book as it throws MORE mysteries into the already convoluted plot (which you really don't need if the rest of the book was set up well enough to continue it into a series) without letting anything really make sense.
They need a guide to understanding this book if they want any kind of readership to go with it.
What the heck.