Trouble is brewing in Baker,
Washington. Three popular athletes have been stricken with a mysterious
ailment--or phenomenon--that leaves them ranting incoherently, paranoid, and
eventually comatose. Ever ready to seek truth and justice, teen twins Elisha
and Elijah and their parents hop in their van, the Holy Roller, and head to Washington.
As members of a top-secret
presidential investigative team, the Veritas Project, the family must be
prepared to go undercover at any moment. Soon they are deeply embroiled in a
deadly mystery that involves witchcraft, bullying, the ghost of a boy who
hanged himself long ago, and a most diabolical weapon.
The twins and their parents
occasionally turn to their faith for guidance, but the crux of the story lies
in the danger that comes from treating less cool kids like second-class
citizens. References to the tragedy at Columbine remind readers just how
painfully real the problem is.
From Publishers Weekly
Peretti, long praised for his
popular Christian fiction for adults and his strong storytelling style, here
turns his talent to young adult fiction with a quick-paced thriller about the
evils brought by bullying and intolerance. When the star athletes of a
Washington state high school are struck down by debilitating hallucinations,
the Springfield family (Nate; his wife, Sarah; and teen twins Elisha and
Elijah) go undercover to investigate the mystery.
The Springfields operate
independently, as the Veritas Project, guided by their Judeo-Christian faith to
seek the truth behind strange occurrences. They even have a mobile home
nicknamed the Holy Roller. But this setup never seems overly corny in Peretti's
hands. As the slightly chilling story unfolds, readers learn about the ghost of
Baker High a boy named Abel Frye, who supposedly hung himself in one of the old
hallways in the 1930s.
Throughout, Peretti paints a
realistic picture of the clique-y world of high school that will be familiar to
just about anyone. His comfortably paced, compelling performance consistently
draws readers along. Peretti has an obvious knack sure to appeal to his
intended tween and teen audience for emphasizing his beliefs without preaching.