Review: THE NEW RECRUIT / by Jill Williamson

The New Recruit (Mission 1: Moscow) / by Jill Williamson

Marcher Lord Press (September 1, 2012), ISBN 978-1935929703

HS (MS) Grades 8-12 Rating: 4

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.

Carol R. Gehringer

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