cover image The Paladin Prophecy

The Paladin Prophecy

Mark Frost. Random, $17.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-375-87045-3

Frost, adult author and Twin Peaks co-creator, makes his YA debut with this densely plotted thriller, first in a trilogy. After a lifetime of keeping a low profile, 15-year-old Will West is forced to live up to his true potential when strange forces take over his parents’ minds and he seeks refuge at the elite Center for Integrated Learning, a prep school for the gifted. There, he’s confronted by a demanding academic schedule, but encouraged to embrace his abilities as a superhumanly fast runner and a scholastic genius. He befriends his roommates, investigates his parents’ odd behavior, is targeted by a malevolent secret society, and discovers the extent of his superhuman abilities. Disparate elements —super-science, evil conspiracies, genetic engineering, an extensive cosmology featuring a war between good and evil—give this adventure something of a split identity. Despite the feeling that Frost threw in everything but the kitchen sink, his story has serious entertainment value and pulls together satisfyingly by book’s end, while laying the groundwork for the sequels. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Ltd. (Sept.)