Review: Spell Robbers by Matthew J. Kirby

spellrobbersSPELL ROBBERS (The Quantum League Book #1)
Matthew J. Kirby
Scholastic Press
Publication Date: January 28, 2014

From the back cover:

After Ben Warner is recruited to join a “science camp” led by the eccentric quantum physicist Dr. Madeleine Hughes, he quickly realizes it’s no regular science camp. Along with his new friend, Peter, Ben discovers the secret, powerful art of Actuation—the ability to change reality by simply imagining it differently.

When a mysterious group of men invade Dr. Hughes’s laboratory, abducting her and stealing her precious equipment, Ben and Peter are suddenly caught up in a turf war between dangerous actuators desperate for Dr. Hughes’s innovative technology. And as Ben and Peter are pulled into a perilous, hidden world full of impossibilities now made possible, will their combined powers be enough to save Dr. Hughes and vanquish their enemies before it’s too late?

From Edgar Award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby comes a fast-paced, boldly imagined tale of friendship, deadly adventure, and the infinite power of imagination.

My sons and I highly enjoyed the intricate plot and fantastic writing of Matthew J. Kirby’s historical fantasy, THE LOST KINGDOM, which prompted us to check out SPELL ROBBERS. SPELL ROBBERS is the first book in a new series entitled The Quantum League, and as such, a good portion of the book is taken up with world building and technology building. While I didn’t have a problem with this, my two sons at first commented that the book was starting to sound a whole lot like science class.

But we kept reading and once the action really got going, SPELL ROBBERS becomes a fascinating and explosive middle grade read filled with interesting characters and twists and turns. Think you know who to trust? Think again! Matthew J. Kirby keeps you guessing throughout and leaves readers on a bit of a cliffhanger, eagerly awaiting the next installment.

The paranormal super powers are cool and kids will love dreaming up exactly what they would actuate if they could. Evil villains abound that are slightly mysterious and big time odious. The Quantum League is well drawn and a bit elusive, which only adds to the intrigue and the need to read future books.

All in all, SPELL ROBBERS is a great start to a new series, one that will appeal to kids with a taste for adventure.

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