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.