Is it any wonder than I'm a Jill Williamson fan? It's not just because Jill is a good friend and my "agent sibling" (seeing as we're both represented by the awesome Amanda Luedeke). No, I'm a fan because of her writing. She's done it once again with The New Recruit.
Spencer Garmond is just an ordinary teenager. He loves playing basketball and yeah, he gets in trouble from time to time. But one of those times leads him to a difficult choice: he can either go to a private military school or he can join the Mission League, some sort of special service organization run by Christians (or "churchers," as Spencer refers to them). If he goes to the military school, that would mean the end of his budding basketball career. So he decides to check out the churcher's mission whatever.
That's when he learns that this is no ordinary mission trip. The Mission League is so much more. Soon Spencer finds himself heading to Russia, where he'll find himself caught up in the middle of an adventure that could completely destroy the Mission League from within. Will Spencer finally start to accept his calling? Or will the League's enemies finally bring it down?
I really enjoyed this book. It's not just because I received a free copy to review (which I did, but I bought a copy anyway. More on this in a bit). And it's not just because Jill is my friend. It's because once again, Jill created a rich world with some memorable characters. Spencer is a deep character with some very obvious flaws, and that's good. He's by no means perfect. I particularly like his discomfort at the churchers' behavior. That rang very true to me. I also appreciated the shorter chapters, which kept me reading the entire time and didn't let me off the hook.
My one complaint, and it's a minor one, is the sheer number of characters. A few of them blended together after a while and I couldn't keep them straight. But they were minor players in the overall story, so it wasn't an issue all that often.
At any rate, this is a great new book and you should definitely check it out. And I can help you there.
As I mentioned earlier, I received a free copy of this a few weeks back. Well, that was after I bought a copy at the ACFW National Conference. I'm not big on having doubles on my bookshelf, so let's give away one of them. If you comment below with your e-mail address disguised (such as email (at) domain (dot) com, y'know?), I'll pick a random reader out of a hat a week from now (that's right, on Halloween).