A boy loses his parents, discovers he has unexplained powers and is whisked off to a mysterious academy where he'll be taught how to use his gift. Sounds familiar? Thankfully despite the obvious initial similarities Bobby Ether isn't another Harry Potter and the Academy is most definitely not Hogwarts.
Bobby isn't magic, we quickly learn at the start of the book that there is no such thing as magic. Instead a few people are able to control energy and use it to work for them - or against others. Bobby discovers by accident that he has this rare gift and what follows is a thrilling and well-crafted adventure.
There are the ubiquitous friends and enemies at the Academy of course, the most likeable and engaging being the eight year old genius Jinx, brother to Ashley, who swiftly becomes Bobby's nemesis, and son of the Headmistress of the Academy. The children in the story are for the most part pretty simplistic in this first novel of the series and it's obvious as to which side they're on but I imagine there will be further character developments as the series progresses. The adults I found to be more interesting with some ambiguity around their morals and motives. I did guess some of the plot twists although not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book. The mix of Eastern mysticism with scientific advancements and some pleasingly dark and sinister moments plus a superb cliffhanger made for a book I would recommend, particularly to older children and young adults but even as a not so young adult I am looking forward to the sequel to Bobby Ether and the Academy.
Thanks to the author for my free copy received through Netgalley in return for my honest review.