Title: Spell Robbers
Author: Matthew J. Kirby
Series: The Quantum League #1
Ben is dealing with being the new kid at school, again. His mom’s scattered life has dragged him all over. When an invitation comes to join a science club, he’s not sure he wants to participate—until he finds out that the “science” is actually doing things like creating fireballs and rainstorms. Dr. Hughes is a quantum physicist working to build machines that allow Ben and others to manipulate reality. But when an attack on her lab leaves Dr. Hughes kidnapped and her most dangerous machine in the hands of criminals, Ben is recruited by quite a different group to help get her back.
This is a fun, fast little story that merrily blends some high-level physics with effects that most of us will call magic. The plot wastes no time introducing Ben to the oddities that are about to take over his life, and after a briefly calm start, he’s thrown into the middle of a war of conflicting loyalties. Like any origin story, it lays the groundwork for what looks to be a lot of adventures to come.
I liked the double-crosses, and double-double-crosses. There’s so many switches and betrayals that sometimes the game ends up being more true than Ben would imagine. I like that it’s not as simple as Quantum League = Good, Dread Cloaks = Bad. And I like Ronin. In an odd way, the dishonest loner is almost the most honest of the lot.
The story starts a little TOO fast; the first scene is a bit of a mess. And the book as a whole could’ve used a bit more depth on Ben’s mom, or Peter, or exactly why Marshall is such bad news. Some of this might get cleared up in later books (and if Marshall is Richter I will laugh my head off).
All in all, I enjoyed the book, and will be on the lookout for a sequel. I rate this book Recommended.