Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Reluctant Teen Spy, Spencer Garmon

High schooler Spencer Garmond makes an unlikely hero for Jill Williamson’s Christian suspense novel The New Recruit. In the first place, his one true love is basketball, and he certainly doesn’t view himself as any sort of hero. At least, not off the court. The second reason Garmond is unlikely for the starring role of a Christian novel is that he isn’t even a Christian.

Spencer is surrounded by Christians. His deceased parents were believers. The grandma he lives with is, too. It turns out that even some of the people in his high school are Christians. But Spencer? He’s not so sure about God. For now, all he wants is a chance to play b-ball. However, Spencer has gotten into trouble off the court, so he has a choice: finish high school in a private military school or join a bunch of Bible geeks pretending to be some sort of spies in a hush-hush group called the Mission League. Spencer is no goody-goody, but he wants no part of a military academy. He signs aboard with the Christian spy network and their mission trip to Moscow.

However, inside Russia, the plot thickens. Yes, the Christian teens and their sponsors help with the needs of the poor and needy, but something weird is going on. A beautiful woman named Anya Vseveloda seems to have an almost spooky influence over people. She’s also tied in with some Russians who want to infiltrate the Mission League. Weirdest of all to Spencer, he sometimes sees flashes of scenes that haven’t yet happened. But how?

Mystery piles onto mystery until Spencer Garmond is dangling somewhere he really doesn’t want to be. Can he figure out what is really happening? Will he find faith along the way? The one thing the reader knows for sure is that, now that Spencer is in the Mission League, his life is certainly taking a bizarre turn. He might have come reluctantly, but he's determined to see this mission through!

The New Recruit. 422 pages. Marcher Lord Press, 2012

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