Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls by Raymond Arroyo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I, for whatever reason, didn't care much for Percy Jackson. As an adult, I get why I didn't like it, but I also understand why the kids are so excited about the series. A lot of people have tried to do something similar and it hasn't always work, but Will Wilder is the closest I've seen anything come in terms making it happen, and it ends up being an interesting read with some curious choices.
In the story, Will is a kid in a small town with a history. Will is also a little irresponsible, breaking someone's shoulder during some horseplay. There's a relic of St. Paul in the local church, and a local man approaches him to get it for him, as it has healing properties and could help his hurt friend, but it ends up reawakening a multigenerational war in the process as he pursues the relic.
It's kind of a crazy story, and perhaps most noteworthy is the use of the Christian imagery to get the plot going. It's not crazy overt, it's not a stealth religious book proselytizing, but there are some bible stories mixed in along the way and I can see how that can turn off some readers. Beyond that point, though, it turns out that the book balances humor, action, and adventure in a really interesting and accessible way. This could end up being a pretty great series, especially if it tones down the religiousness a bit.
Overall, a good read! One to be wary of, perhaps, depending on your sensitivity to religious material, but I surprisingly enjoyed it.
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