Jeremy Austin and the Paladin

Young Adult - Thriller
477 Pages
Reviewed on 07/20/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Jeremy Austin and the Paladin by Rod C. Spence is the second book in the Jeremy Austin series. Six teenagers are far from home; 2.4 million light years away to be exact. They only wanted to find their scientist parents, but their rescue mission quickly went awry when they found themselves trapped on a hostile planet called Genesis. The teenagers not only have to face the dangers of the planet but also the Meta Universal soldiers that are willing to harm them if the teens go against their plans. When three of the teenagers have been taken by the gnomes, they get a look at the violent plans the gnome king has in store. Each of the teenagers has a role to play and each must rise to their full potential if they stand a chance at surviving.

The world is brutal and gritty, full of violence and with danger around every turn as the characters constantly face being enslaved or held captive. Everything takes place on the planet Genesis which is a world like a high fantasy adventure with elves, gnomes, and wizards, among other beings. But Rod C. Spence also incorporates a science fiction flair running through the story as the events revolve around a failed expedition to find a missing expedition. The science fiction elements focus on the companies TerraGen and Meta Universal, which make use of biotechnology and allow for travel to this hostile planet. The story weaves through various perspectives with each tying back to the expedition or to the theme of survival. Jeremy is the Paladin, but he struggles to believe in himself and in his role through each volatile moment. Throughout, people either want the Paladin dead or have placed all their hopes in him and, as the story progresses, the meaning of the Paladin is explored and what Jeremy is capable of.

Every second these teenagers struggle to survive while everyone seems to work against them. Spence keeps you on the edge of your seat through every moment, leaving you to wonder if these teenagers are going to make it through to the end. Along with the perspectives of the teenagers are a few others seen from TerraGen and the mystery of the missing expedition only grows. Jeremy Austin and the Paladin is an addictive read with a dangerous adventure, six teenagers in a fight for survival, and a planet looking for hope.

K.C. Finn

Jeremy Austin and the Paladin is an exciting work of adventure and thriller fiction for young adults penned by author Rod C. Spence. Continuing the Jeremy Austin series after War World, we return to our intrepid group of classmates led by titular character Jeremy Austin as they find themselves lost and separated on the planet Genesis. Here the youngsters are hunted down by the terrifying soldiers of the Meta Universal, equipped with powerful technology to eviscerate anything that gets in the way of their goals, and it’s time that they each faced up to their destinies in order to survive the onslaught. With Jeremy and the Paladin leading the way, so begins a madcap race for survival against genetically engineered enemies.

Mixing science fiction and fantasy action in a comic book style plot, Jeremy Austin and the Paladin packs a really entertaining punch for young adults and mature middle-grade readers. There are plenty of important issues in teen relationships which are sensitively explored but disguised in a high octane adventure package that rockets from chapter to chapter without a dull moment. Author Rod C. Spence develops his central group of characters well, saving plenty of room for them to continue their unique personality developments as the series progresses and their skills develop with them. I really enjoyed the dialogue too, as well as the powerfully visual descriptions of the super soldier enemies that haunt the pages. Overall, Jeremy Austin and the Paladin marks a fantastic sequel to an already successful and enjoyable series.

Maureen Dangarembizi

Jeremy Austin and the Paladin by Rod C. Spence is a young adult sci-fi story set in an alien world 2.4 million light-years away from Earth. TerraGen Universal has discovered a way to transport humans to other planets. A few months after a group of the world's best scientists disappears into the portal, Meta Universal Genetics - a rival biotech company - launches an assault on the lab that leads to a second group disappearing through the portal. Unfortunately, six teenagers find themselves embroiled in the corporate espionage plot that causes them to be trapped on planet Genesis. While it was originally Alexander Leach Jr. who led them into the portal, it is Jeremy Austin who has a larger role to play in their ultimate survival. Planet Genesis is at war and it seems as if the prophecy is about to be fulfilled.

Rob C. Spence gives a multi-plot story that is sure to keep youngsters and adults alike interested in the fate of the people trapped on planet Genesis. The planet itself is not high tech like we’ve come to expect from this genre but is in no way lacking and delivers on setting and otherworldliness. The teenagers do a lot of growing up as they realize their lives are literally in their own hands. Lovers of high fantasy will also find a lot to enjoy as planet Genesis is not just a new planet but one with a medieval populace with magic and lore to go with it. There is also the question of who will win the TerraGen Universal/Meta Universal Genetics tech war. With a short window for any possible return to Earth, readers are kept on their toes, waiting to see what will happen next.

K.J. Simmill

When six teenagers were escorted at weapon point through a portal to the planet Genesis, 2.4 million light years from Earth, it could only spell trouble for them. It was the type of trouble that hadn't been bargained on. A prophecy had told of a beacon and the coming of a paladin to protect Genesis from the armies of the Gnome King, and if the prophecies are true, then this paladin is the only one who could drive back the armies ready to invade. Everyone has their role to play, and self-discovery is but a part of it.

Rod C. Spence's Jeremy Austin and the Paladin is a harmonious meeting of high fantasy meets science fiction. Packed with action, teenage drama, and a quest for survival, the story will have you holding onto the edge of your seat. For me, I saw a lot of details that reminded me of the RPG games I spent hours playing crossed with some of my favorite action games. I enjoyed watching how each character went from being a victim of circumstance to the shaper of their own destiny. The characters are developed, engaging, and also believable with flaws and personalities that enhance their own journey of discovery as prehistoric monsters meet with magic and futuristic technology. Written in a well-paced and flowing third-person perspective, you can see the plots, schemes, trials, and challenges unfold from almost every angle. Action, chaos, suspense, and drama are just parts of the thrilling plot that will leave fantasy lovers sated, yet wanting more.

Rabia Tanveer

In Jeremy Austin and the Paladin by Rod C. Spence, titular hero Jeremy Austin and his five friends are officially lost on planet Genesis. The teenagers are trying hard not to panic, but when they have to dodge death and scary creatures and soldiers every two steps, no one can blame them if they lose their minds for a second. While the six have their special skills, they have to find a way to work together if they want to survive. Can these teenagers find a way to make it off this hostile planet alive or are they going to perish at the hands of the Shadow Lord’s armies? Jeremy and his friends have to be smart, proactive and at least two steps ahead of the enemy if they want to survive this adventure.

Jeremy Austin and the Paladin by Rod C. Spence is an action-packed, fantasy science fiction novel in which six teenagers are trying to survive while also trying to save as many people as possible. I loved this novel, simply loved it and enjoyed it. The story was paced perfectly, the characters were unique and individual and the overall atmosphere was the novel was brilliant. This is such an entertainer from the start to the finish. I enjoyed how Jeremy and his band of friends took charge of the situation without losing their innocence. Although I have not read the first novel in the series, I had no issues in catching up with the characters and the timeline. I was fully immersed in the story by the second chapter and by the time the novel ended I was exceptionally sad to say goodbye to these characters. The narrative is so powerful that I was transported to Genesis along with Jeremy and his friends. Everything felt real enough to touch and experience and I simply loved that. Absolutely brilliant and so entertaining that I have no more words!