The Paladin Prophecy
by Mark Frost
Random House, 2012. 547 pgs. Young Adult
For as long as Will West can remember, his parents have asked him to hold back. Stay in the middle of the pack at school, and keep your physical abilities to yourself. But when Will slips up and scores off the charts on an achievement test, he not only gets an invitation to a tony prep school, but all Hades breaks loose. Guys in black cars start following him around; he arrives home to find a woman who looks like his mother there, but whose mannerisms and dead eyes reveal her to be something quite other. When Will gets a text from his father simply saying "Run, Will," he does--at three times the speed of anyone chasing him. When Will's parents disappear, he makes his way to The Center for Integrated Learning where he finds good friends and frightening enemies. Will's powers, as it turns out, have to do with an ages-old battle between an ancient, monstery race from a place called the Never-Was, who are trying to break out of their confinement to take over the world they claim is theirs. The Paladin Prophecy has lots of interesting characters: a New Zealander Vietnam vet guardian angel, a Snape-like school counselor. Will is a fine young man, and a sympathetic character, though he doesn't seem as concerned about his parents and some others who are helping him as he might be. But, guided by his missing father's rules for living, and aided by his new friends from school, Will boldly takes on some truly creepy and frightening creatures in this first volume of what promises to be an exciting series for teens.