‘A Parallel Trust’ is a thrilling mystery novel by master of suspense, James Stoddah.
What I liked most about this story were the characters. Although the plot was intricate and original, the characters served to flesh it out and really bring it to life. Villains were perfectly crafted. Side characters were given wicked one-liners. Even the classic parent figures were free from the confines of stereotype and caricature that usually clutter YA literature.
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Aril, our teenage protagonist. Armed with his motorcycle, intelligence and charm, Aril drove the story forwards at a break-neck pace. Stoddah has created a hero who is wonderfully realistic. Every single one of Aril’s actions and thought processes sounded genuine, which helped to ground some of the more fantastical elements of the plot in reality. This basis in the real world also helped readers to connect with the various romantic sub-plots, adding another layer of emotional depth to an already complex and detailed tale.
Aside from the characters, the novel is also constructed in an interesting manner. The story follows a traditional treasure-hunt premise, complete with several alarming twists and turns. The reader is invited in to decipher the clues with Aril but, of course, there are still moments when we readers realise we aren’t quite as clever as we thought. Prepare for exciting plot developments and some character crossovers from earlier Stoddah novels!
All in all, I would definitely recommend this book. Written in accessible, though riveting prose, I am sure that it will be a favourite with teenagers everywhere.