A high school student discovers his troubling magical powers in this fantasy/young-adult adventure.
Jordan McKee is trying his best to have a normal high school life. After a blinding light awakened him, he’s been experiencing the same things that got his Aunt Karen institutionalized. At first, Jordan tries to hide his new condition, but when he starts wearing sunglasses all day and avoiding invisible shrubbery on the running track, his friends, family and teachers demand to know what’s going on—if only Jordan knew. Walking in the woods, Jordan stumbles upon an old, smelly man peering over what looks like a complex pattern on the forest floor. This pattern turns out to be a sigil, a mode of communication with the shadow worlds that run parallel to our daily existence. Alwyn, the old man from the woods—who insists on being called “Sir” and can deliver a swift backhand if contradicted or interrupted—explains to Jordan that they are both Watchers, a secret society of seers who are sworn to protect the universe from “the one who would come after” the initial prophecy. The Watchers also claim to control the government, law enforcement and other authorities. As Jordan learns about the Watchers under Alwyn's tutelage, he becomes more alienated from his friends Billy and franki (with a lowercase “f”), as well as from his parents. But telling anyone about the Watchers comes with serious, and perhaps even fatal, consequences. Delving deeper into Watcher history, Jordan begins to understand that his position in the shadow worlds will determine the fate of humanity—and the course of his own life. Debut author Haakenson, who has imagined an entire series around the Watchers, has a keen ear for the cadences of teenagers, as well as a grasp of pacing and description that will keep the young-adult reader riveted.
A detailed, imaginative YA fantasy with humor and pathos.