Customer Reviews for

The New Recruit

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    I am fast becoming a fan of Jill Williamson┬┐s writing. In The Ne

    I am fast becoming a fan of Jill Williamson’s writing. In The New Recruit, the first book in her Mission League series, young Spencer Garmond is given a choice by his grandmother: Stay at Pilot Point Christian School and do what he loves, play basketball, or get shipped off to Carlsbad Military Academy. It would seem an easy choice, but there’s a catch. In order to stay, he must join the Mission League, “an international intelligence organization that does the Lord’s work.”

    Not being a believer, Spencer has no desire to join this group of “churcher teens.” But given his options, he reluctantly signs on with the Mission League. The group heads off to Russia as agents-in-training. Spencer is a teen who tends to get into trouble at home, and it is no different in Russia. He soon learns that there is more mystery and intrigue to this Mission League than he could have imagined. Spencer discovers he has been given a special gift. He seeks to use this gift, landing him in dangerous situations. At the same time, he attempts to learn more about the secrets of his own family history.

    The New Recruit is well written. The author has created a group of interesting and likeable characters. The story flows along and is interwoven with adventure and suspense which kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed following Spencer’s personal journey and look forward to the next book in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    Award-winning author Jill Williamson delivers a contemporary boo

    Award-winning author Jill Williamson delivers a contemporary book filled with spies and adventure, just the type of book to appeal to teens.

    In The New Recruit, teenager Spencer Garmond was in too many fights. His grandma gives him a choice: attend a military school where he would give up basketball or go on a summer trip with the Mission League. What Spencer doesn’t know is that the Mission League is more of a Christian spy organization than a Bible club. Spencer is not a Christian, so neither choice appeals to him.

    Once he decides to go, he begins training in espionage for his trip to Moscow. One of his new friends explains, “The Mission League takes on the forces of darkness to expose the truth” (p.43). He is bullied by one League member, and even faces a few near-death experiences.

    Williamson does a good job of capturing the teen boy persona. He was “real” in his struggles with faith issues. He doesn’t become a Christian by the end of the book, nor does everything work out. The book is filled with good and bad examples of teens, and it is usually clear which one is which.

    The New Recruit is a good start to a new series with possibilities for more adventures. A cast of characters, a glossary of Russian terms, an author’s note, and acknowledgements are included. I dislike having the author’s note in the beginning of a book, especially one encouraging the reader to study Bible references about spiritual gifts. I think it would have been better placed at the end of the book.
    Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    Splendid Voice

    What I Loved

    The voice.

    I could pretty much sum up the entirety of what I loved about this book with those two words.

    Yes, the plot was amazing. Yes, the fact that Spencer was iffy about what all was going on helped me really believe in what was going on (with a Christian spy organization, there has to be a teensy-weensy ounce of doubt in the beginning, right? Aesthetic distance, maybe?).

    Yes, this book totally made me laugh and come home from a long day of school, school, and more school, excited about seeing what Spencer's next adventure was.

    But, really, what kept me reading to discover that the plot twisted and turned was the way Spencer looked at the world.

    I remember saying something along a similar vein about Martyr in Replication, but Jill Williamson definitely has her male main characters pegged. She's awesome at them. And take it from someone who is very much a girl: when an author can get me excited about what's happening in the life of a fifteen-year-old basketball rebel (with me only wanting to throw something at him once during the whole novel), that's a sign of true talent.

    What I Didn't Like As Much

    So you're dying to know about that one moment I wanted to throw something at Spencer, aren't you? Well, you see, Spencer isn't a Christian, but he's part of this spy organization (unwillingly, anyway).

    He makes a great spy and I really like how his not-yet-faith-but-totally-now-spy-work is handled. Completely believable.

    {And on the subject of believable, I did mention Spencer's skepticism of the whole spy gig at first. That was played extremely well, so that when he finally believed in the existence of the whole thing, so did I.}

    Anyway, Spencer looks at life in an interesting manner as an unbeliever and there was one line where he basically calls a girl unattractive and I was ready to wring his neck. But it passed and he ended up respecting that same girl, which elevated him again in my book.

    Why I Recommend This Book

    For those looking for an adventure read, here's your answer. For those looking for a great birthday or Christmas gift for a guy or little brother, New Recruit would be an excellent choice. The ending, especially, is handled with great tact. I love it, but I won't give anything away.

    You'll just have to find out for yourself.

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