Terrien populates the hidden headquarters with a fantastical, believable cast of cryptid characters.
Secrets and subterfuge lie at the center of The League of Governors, the fast-paced, imaginative second installment in Wendy Terrien’s Adventures of Jason Lex series. This is a strong story of self-discovery for the young, powerful protagonist.
The book’s early chapters give glimpses of preceding events, including a tragic turn for Jason’s mother and his discovery of inherited powers that allow him to summon and control electrical currents through his fingertips. Jason is learning to harness this power as he trains as a new Rampart Guard, part of the force that maintains the balance between humans and cryptids—creatures of folklore including Yeti and Bigfoot. But his little sister, Della, is traumatized by the family’s recent past, earning a summons from the League of Governors, the group that oversees the tenuous treaty between cryptids and humans.
The novel takes the teen and his family to the League of Governors’ London headquarters. Like the creatures it houses, the headquarters exists unseen by most humans populating the city. But Jason loses contact with his father and sister, who had traveled ahead of him. Soon, both he and his Uncle Alexander are gravely injured.
As Jason slowly recovers, he finds himself largely alone to ferret out the difference between fact and fiction, friend and foe. Meanwhile, Alexander lies at death’s door, and Jason’s father and sister remain disturbingly distant in more ways than one. Even worse, he begins to uncover a plot that could compromise the freedom and future of humans and cryptids alike.
Terrien populates the hidden headquarters with a fantastical cast of cryptid characters that will be very believable to anyone who has seen a shadowy figure deep in the woods, or water that seemed almost human. Less credible is the notion that a group as secretive and all-powerful as the League of Governors would leave loopholes—like unmonitored bathrooms—that allow some to operate without immediate notice.
Still, the suspense over whether Jason will be caught serves to move the story forward at a satisfying pace. Jason struggles to understand his own family history and the strange new world that his unusual inheritance has made him an integral part of. His difficulties, driven by authentic emotions, will be identifiable to any teen who has ever questioned their place in the world. New characters are well developed, while the endearing, complex existing cast continues to evolve.
The League of Governors is an appealing, authentic coming-of-age story about understanding and embracing the blessings and the baggage of one’s inheritance.
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