Bobby Ether and the Academy by R. Scott Boyer

On a day that started like any other, Bobby Ether’s entire world is turned upside down. Kidnappings, murder schemes, and special abilities that border on magic are suddenly a part of his life. His adventures take him to an Academy in another country where other children with similar abilities learn how to control their (non-magical!) power. Bobby must deal with bullies of all sorts and unravel the truth about his family, his abilities, and the Academy itself, before it is too late.

For me this was a sweet book. I have no specific complaint, no moment that felt particularly off. The real problem is that there was no stand out moment either. There were a few surprise twists that were greatly appreciated, but overall it felt like a shadow of some other books. As this is only Book 1, there is obviously more mystery to come and what I hope for most for the rest of the series is that it goes further. I want to see Bobby and the others’ abilities more clearly defined. I also want to be more wowed by their skills overall (maybe not necessary in what they can technically do but in the ways they apply those skills). Most of all, I want to see what makes this story unique.

Some interesting groundwork is laid in Book 1 and there is certainly potential, but I want the story to really delve into the characters’ emotions and motivations. The best books for me are the ones that make me want to be a part of their world. This one isn’t there yet, but with more development, maybe it could be.