The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost
Doubleday, 2012. ISBN 9780 857 53120 9.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Thriller. Sci-Fi. Will has led a lonely life. His parents have moved often and never encouraged him to mix, in fact they have taught self reliance according to a set of rules for life that his father has written. This isolation comes to an abrupt end when he achieves a perfect score in a standardised test. He comes to the notice of a range of people, exactly the situation his parents wished to avoid. One group is from an exclusive, yet somehow little known school for the elite. The other group is far more sinister.
Almost immediately he is forced to use many of the skills he has been taught by his parents and run for his life. He is followed. His mother is not acting like his mother although she looks the same. He is able to arrive at his school which is funded to an extraordinary degree and has every comfort and facility other than internet and mobile phone connection. There is also a sinister group of students with power in the school community.
Frost has written a suspenseful tale where belief must be suspended to be fully immersed in Will and his cohort's world. The technology and abilities discovered by Will's friends are incredible.The basis of the story follows tried and true territory, think of the many and varied school based fictions such as Harry Potter and even back to Blyton's Secret Seven. Children are thrown on to their own resources to solve a terrible threat. There are the baddies in this case down right evil ones which have coaxed school members to their side. Neither the reader nor the protagonists know who to trust. But you know that right will win the battle but that the war is not yet over.
A read that is sure to appeal to the sci-fi and fantasy readers who have stamina, the book is over 530 pages! and is the first in a series.