Re­cruits

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Young Adult -

Thomas Locke, Rev­ell Books, Soft­cover $12.99 (320pp), 978-0-8007-2789-5

Twins Sean and Dil­lon Kir­rell, age seven­teen, have an un­usual hobby: draw­ing a strange, oth­er­worldly train sta­tion that came to them in a vi­sion ten years ago. Soon a mys­te­ri­ous man named Carver ap­pears, telling the Kir­rell broth­ers that they are tran­si­tors, or peo­ple who have the abil­ity to travel in­stantly to dif­fer­ent places in the uni­verse. Though nor­mally Carver and his as­so­ciates re­cruit tran­si­tors at a much younger age, he says they’re will­ing to make an ex­cep­tion, given the rar­ity of find­ing tran­si­tor twins. The catch? If the boys don’t prove them­selves within thirty days, their mem­o­ries will be wiped, and they’ll have no rec­ol­lec­tion of the ex­tra­or­di­nary events that be­fall them.

Given that most tropes tend to­wards char­ac­ters who are un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally young for their age and mis­sion, Re­cruits is re­fresh­ing in that it fea­tures two pro­tag­o­nists who have nearly aged out by seven­teen. No longer prodi­gies, their unique­ness comes from their re­la­tion­ship to one another, a re­la­tion­ship that is tested as the broth­ers strug­gle to find their foot­ing in the strange new world that is soon thrust upon them. From there, Locke weaves a rich, com­plex world filled with dif­fer­ent ranks, pol­i­tics, schools, and pow­ers, and the boys must learn how much they can trust those around them—and each other.

Re­cruits is a young-adult ad­ven­ture novel filled with re­lent­less ac­tion. While the ini­tial mo­ti­va­tion of the boys to in­volve them­selves in in­ter­ga­lac­tic con­flict seems weak at first, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the broth­ers adds an un­usual ten­der­ness to their jour­ney. Re­cruits is an ac­ces­si­ble, clean science fic­tion novel ideal for those look­ing for ti­tles with heart, thought­ful­ness, and fam­ily val­ues.

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