Published; January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Children
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.
'The Alliance' is the follow-up to 'The Paladin Prophecy', which I reviewed a while back, here, and I absolutely loved. I'm happy to say that 'The Alliance' did not let me down at all. We are back with Nick, Elise, Brooke, Ajay and Will and we learn more about their characters as we navigate the numerous twists and turns that make up this story about the school and the Knights of Charlemagne, or Paladins.
A new twist for this time around are aliens - well not exactly. More like twisted beings from another dimension really. We learn that terrible experiments are being/have been done on unsuspecting teenagers and what the long term results are of these experiments. I really loved this weirdness quotient in the story. Most of it is totally improbable, but there is plausibility in the way that it is written that just gave me the heeby-jeebies. I personally find stories about gene manipulation to be very disturbing, and this one takes disturbing to a whole new level.
There is a marvellous section in the story where the kids end up underneath the school on their search for answers. What they find there is an archaeologists dream come true, but it offers up more questions than answers really. The kids have to use every one of the abilities that have been given to get themselves out safely.
It is a complex story that is well written and maintains a level of tension throughout that left me buzzing. It is so easy to love the characters and their witty banter. If you love high tension and otherworldly mystery, you're going to love this one, although I do suggest that you read the first book beforehand.