Monday, January 28, 2013

REVIEW: The Paladian Prophecy by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophecy (Paladin, #1)
by Mark Frost

Published September 25, 2012 by Random House Books for YA
Hardback and E-Book at Barnes & Noble

3.6 stars

(I would post the trailer, but they stuck a ten year old in there instead of a 15 year old high school student. Ugh. Reviews for the trailer agree is STINKS.) 

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

Mark Frost is well known for creating The tv series Twin Peaks and co writing several screenplays including The Fantastic Four. He provides great sharp smart mouth zingers in The Paladin Prophecy as he did his movies. Unfortunately he provided us with more nap inducing lengthy, rambling, verbose philosophical monologues..oh wait.. was I rambling? The pace was broken by these inserts that put the breaks on, hard..... crickets chirping... oh wait.. my attention was diverted. Snicker.

If Harry Potter and Percy Jackson were able to have a love child, this would be the result. Frost has some unique aspects to the story, but I kept having Potter/Jackson flashbacks. Combine that with choppy transitions, craptastic science theories and weak thrills you feel a bit let down. I mean, come on! This guy wrote the Fantastic Four movie? Did he have a alternate persona?

We have to ride along with kids who do not know they have abilities but are supposedly gifted beyond reason? Are they dense? And The Center doesn't know it either? Fishy. I may sound like I am going to trash the life out of this book but do not despair. I did not rate it 3.6 stars for nothing. So here come the positives:

1) The whiplash smarting humor. When Frost provided us with dialogue that wasn't hashing out the finer points of the philosophies of life (sorry, I digress) it was hysterical. As in side-splitting-snort-inducing-catch-your-breath funny. The banter between the roommates is the best thing about the whole book. That earned the stars in my mind.

2) The general idea of the plot. While it does scream "Jacktter" love child to me, the idea of interdemensional beings mixed with supernatural abilities and advanced technologies gets my geek on. 

3) The emotional connection. Will is relatable and reachable. Ajay and Nik would be the guys I would beg to hang out with in real life. The two girls (Elise and Brooke) are less so, but I feel that in the next installment we will get a great deal more out of them. Elise did have a couple of more connectible moments. 

So there is good. There is bad. But there is enough here for me to say let's bring on book two. If Frost can use a big red edit pen when it comes to his philosophical monologues, we will be in for a huge treat.