Blurb (from Goodreads):
Will Hunter is used to being the New Kid; Harrisburg High School is his fifth new school in less than three years. By now, he knows not to be fooled by the bright pep rallies, the wholesome jocks, the innocent cheerleaders. He knows the evil lurking underneath. It’s the same evil that took his dad eight years ago: the same evil he battles every day.
Natalie Holand’s life fell apart the night her sister Emily disappeared. No one believes her when she tells them what she saw: yellow and green eyes, glowing beneath the surface of the water in which Emily supposedly drowned. And Emily isn’t the only person to go missing in Harrisburg lately. The town is changing, not for the better, and Natalie doesn’t know why. What she does know is that, whatever’s happening, it’s bad, and the New Kid is right in the middle of it.
Because Will has a secret even bigger than Harrisburg’s, and there’s more to it than even he knows.
This fast-paced, action-packed first novel by veteran Hollywood screenwriter Temple Mathews takes the idea of high school as hell to a whole new level. Will’s story, part wish-fulfillment sci-fi adventure and part iconic hero’s journey with a side of budding romance, will appeal to teen readers of both genders.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to BenBella Books, and Netgalley.)
Will Hunter is starting over at a new school again. He does it all the time, he’s used to being ‘the new kid’, but Will isn’t the average new kid. He’s got weapons, cash, a fast car, and he knows how to fight. Unfortunately he also has people who follow him around looking for a fight.
An incident on his very first day at this new school ends with him in the principle’s office for blowing up a parade float.
Natalie is not your average teen either. Her twin sister has been missing for a long while. Everyone thinks that she died after accidentally drowning in the river one night, but her body was never found, and Natalie knows that she is still alive somewhere. Sometimes she even thinks that she is sharing her dreams with Emily.
Will an Natalie are now about to come up against something evil, something that kidnapped Will’s father, and kidnapped Natalie’s sister.
But what is Will really? And can he really hope to save both his father and Natalie’s sister?
The book starts off with lots of hints that Will is not your average teenager, but no hints as to what he actually is. Is he a secret agent? Is he working for the government? Is he an alien? Is he a spy? We don’t know, what we do know is that he’s got money, weapons, and intelligence, as well as some kick-ass fighting moves, we just don’t know why.
Hints are also dropped as to the fact that he constantly has people following him, and that his family have to move around so much because of him. The principle also comments on how disaster seems to follow Will, as it seems that (like buffy the vampire slayer) he seems to have a habit of burning down school buildings and stuff.
When what Will is is eventually revealed, it turns out that he doesn’t even really have a reason for being special; he just believes that the heavens made him that way so that he can rescue his father?! I found all of this quite unrealistic and unbelievable. I mean we’d all like to be super intelligent, physically superior, and rolling in money, but the odd workout and wishful thinking isn’t going to make that happen for us!
There were also quite a few other ‘as if!’ moments (as I like to call them). I just thought that a lot of the ideas were too far-fetched, and Will was possibly just too good (with no apparent reason for his brilliance).
The big revelation at the end of the book was just really a step too far for me as well. (Highlight to read spoiler - 'Luke... I am your father.' -) Totally cheesy, overdone, and even slightly cringe-worthy (sorry), although younger teens probably wouldn’t feel this way so I’ll give the author the benefit of the doubt here.[ 'Luke... I am your father.' (hide spoiler)]
This book is recommended for boys age 12-16, and I suppose this might appeal to kids that age, there’s action, there’s excitement, and there’s also getting one over on the school bully, but kids aren’t stupid, they’re going to spot these little flaws too.
Overall; action and excitement, but the hero is a little too perfect. Most suited to young teens.
6 out of 10.