Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Alliance by Mark Frost

Hi all!

Happy weekend!



Author: Mark Frost
Title: Alliance
Release date: 26th of December 2013
Series: The Paladin Prophecy #2
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Fantasy, Adventure
Published by: The Random House Group Limited
Imprint: Corgi Books
Pages: 352 pages in paperback format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Summary:

Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this sophisticated adventure series by the cocreator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.

After exposing the sinister underground society of students known as the Knights of Charlemagne, Will West stays at the Center over the summer to explore his newly developing physical and mental abilities. Meanwhile, his roommates investigate the Knights' shadowy purpose and discover unsettling information about their own backgrounds. Will and his friends must quickly figure out what's going on and separate friend from foe as they prepare for the coming fight.

Review:

I thought the first book was an intriguing start full of mystery, adventure and burning questions I couldn’t wait to have answers for, so here I am back from delving into the second.

Yay! There were some mysteries solved and explanations on what the … was going on (honestly, the first book didn’t really provide any answers at all, just threw out questions), and what’s more, I was satisfied with those answers because they didn’t make me scratch my head in confusion or yell in frustration (what happens when answers only lead to more questions). The big picture is still kind of vague, but I can already see shapes and images forming that make sense. So, overall, I was really satisfied on how the plot was developed and that it decided to unveil some aspects of what puzzled me through the first book.

The whole series till now has certainly been imaginative and different from other such series, not so much regarding the characters and basic plotline, but more on the fantasy and paranormal side. The world building is excellent. The concept isn’t really something I’ve read about before, not even close. 

This book was more heavy on the tension, buildup, action, investigating, close calls and snooping around. I felt that it was less character driven and more concerned with the plot compared with the first, where we were introduced to the major players and what they were about. The plot is on center stage and there was less focus on the people. Also, the school played a clearly more minor role in this than it the first, the gang was constantly chasing the storyline and obviously there was no time for lessons, teachers, studying – they were rarely even mentioned. What felt like a school based series now came across as something totally different. Not that I mind any of the previous because despite the changes in direction, the book remained entertaining and exciting.

The characters were still distinct, made good jokes and I liked reading about them and their group dynamics – everyone had their role and purpose. I was quite unhappy, however, that at the moment it seems like most are involved with the evil side of this war and the good guys are seriously out numbered. I hope the teens get some back up or guidance soon – preferably a big brigade of help forces.

The cliffhanger was a real whopper and had a really unexpected plot twist as well, and I loved it. Also the revelation in the final chapter about one other character was quite surprising. I can’t wait to see how Will gets himself out of this sticky situation, what is the faith of the teens and where the story leads.

Characters:

As mentioned I didn’t see this book as being very character driven, at least regarding the five teens. Yes, there was progress and individual discoveries, but there wasn’t much time for that since the plot was hot on the kids’ heels.

Will kept being the leader, brave and proactive, Ajay was the brain, Nick was the class clown, Elsie the touch chick and Brooke the love interest, who maybe has more to her than originally thought. There was also more insight into the pasts and lives of some of the supporting characters, some stories were quite intriguing yet sad.

Overall:

A great addition to the series, the stakes have got higher and the plot has most definitely picked up. I can’t wait to finally grasp the whole picture and see where everything leads. A fun series for both boys and girls.

4 stars!

LIIS

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