Saturday, July 28, 2012
Provex City (The Lorne Family Vault Series, Book 1) by Michael Pierce
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Title: Provex City (The Lorne Family Vault Series, Book 1)
Author: Michael Pierce
Cover Art: Ashley Stewart
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Length: 312 Pages
Fifteen-year-old Oliver Grain begins his school year fighting off bullies, learning about the boy who committed suicide in his room, and trying to understand why his history teacher, Mr. Gordon, has taken such a personal interest in him.
Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe you can make bullies simply disappear? Do you believe you can walk through walls?
Mr. Gordon tells Oliver: "When you truly believe anything is possible, you will be able to open doors where there were only walls." And one of those doors leads Oliver to Provex City, which puts him in far greater danger than he can possibly fathom.
If you've read any of my previous reviews, you know that I love a good ghost story. Once I saw the offering of ghosts in the summary, I was sold. And Mr. Pierce didn't disappoint. Don't be fooled though - that is only a small part of this story. Provex City is so much more than that. There are so many layers to the story that it does make you stop and think here and there and when it comes to the YA genre, I think that is an excellent thing. Challenging young minds to think outside the box is always a good thing. Heck, it challenged my mind and I am most definitely not a young adult.
I'm not used to male leads. I honestly think I've only read two other books in this genre that had a male lead, so it took me a bit to sort of get in the mind set of how a teenage boy would think rather than a teenage girl. Once there, everything seemed to be exactly on target with how one would think, react, etc.
Oliver is a typical teenage boy. One that is, in my opinion, more realistic than the stereotypical football player that is always Mr. Popularity. Oliver gets bullied, looks up to his older brother while simultaneously always feeling like he's living in his shadow, he is artistic, confused by girls and hates gym class. When he meets Desiree, they just seem to click, much to her boyfriend's chagrin. Having several classes together, Desiree introduces him to some of her friends. Oh, and did I mention that he is living in the room of a boy that killed himself?
I actually love that Oliver is somewhat of an underdog, while his brother is the more likely hero. The converse situation that comes about in the end was unexpected. Mr. Gordon is an interesting character and a little mysterious. You know what he's about but at the same time you don't. It's a mystery hopefully to be solved in upcoming sequels. Throughout the course of the book, however, it is Mr. Gordon who teaches Oliver about the things he is capable of and gives him the confidence he needs to succeed. He explains the science behind Oliver's abilities in one of those "so simple it's confusing" sort of ways. Also, Desiree's boyfriend, Eli, is a mystery. Sometimes he is nice, other times not so nice and at times he seems to have ulterior motives that aren't revealed to us.
The world building was fascinating and makes you wish you could visit. It also raises some questions about things like parallel universes and dimensions.
This is a well written, complex and intriguing first book from Mr. Pierce. I really enjoyed the plot and the characters, the suspense that kept me reading and the threads that were left dangling. I very much look forward to checking out future installments of this series. If you enjoy the YA genre, this is an author to check out, especially if you are looking for an original paranormal.