Jeremy Austin and the Paladin is young adult sci-fi thriller writing at its best: an exceptionally fast-paced story of mystery and magic revolving around technology’s drive and dangers.
This combination of elements might at first appear better suited to adult audiences, especially given its introductory background details on future biotech promises, citizen watchdog efforts to control it, and secret experiments conducted by corporations determined to turn a profit over either government concerns or citizen objections.
But older teen readers used to the trappings of fantasies and thrillers will find that while Jeremy Austin and the Paladin‘s complexity edges it into adult circles, its young adult characters make it attractive to ages 15 and up, who will find its range of satisfyingly diverse concerns add appeal to its subplots and confrontations.
There’s a Gnome King who cultivates a taste for loyalty and humans; Jeremy’s psychic connection to a stallion friend; his dangerous association with ‘heretics’ in a death camp and Deathwatch soldiers who rule it; Trolls, Knights, and future kings; and a world in chaos.
An ancient being who is an agent of TerraGen, charged with rescuing these wayward teens, is yet another figure in this multifaceted, sweeping epic which demands of its readers an attention to detail and an interest in issues of greed and power.
This interest is rewarded with an astute adventure based on conflicting perceptions of very different cultures both human and alien. What is required from the reader in the form of an ability to follow a multifarious story line is more than rewarded by a fast-paced, involving tale that keeps readers on their toes as they follow young Jeremy Austin’s struggles, confrontations, and growth.
Jeremy Austin and the Paladin deserves a place in the chronicles of epic fantasies that cross both genres and age groups, reaching well into adult readership even as it outlines an engrossing search for parents, place, and destiny.
The cliffhanger ending portends more in the series. Jeremy Austin and the Paladin provides an excellent follow-up to War Worlds and is accessible to newcomers as well as prior fans of Jeremy Austin’s remarkable exploits.