3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
After an assassin kills Bobby Ether's parents in a car accident, a strange woman tries to convince him to go with her for his own safety. He has his suspicions, especially when two well-dressed men try to convince him that the woman is dangerous. He ends up at the Jade Academy where he begins training in the use of anima, a sort of magic. However, things are not as they seem at this academy—he not only has to deal with a strict headmistress but also bullies and the assassin responsible for his parents' deaths.
R. Scott Boyer's Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy is an adolescent/young adult novel similar to series focused on Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. Similar to the previously mentioned heroes, Bobby goes to a secret location because of his special abilities. While the concept is far from original, the novel has its own charm. Instead of witchcraft or mythology, Boyer's novel focuses on the life force present in all things. The setting is also unique—rather than the protagonist staying close to home, school officials take Bobby from his home in the United States to a school across the world in Tibet.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It is an easy and engaging read with some plot twists. Bobby does not know who to trust in the beginning, and the question of why the assassin saves his life early in the book remains throughout without being too obvious. I also appreciated the diverse cast and how Bobby deals with his current situation.
As far as negative comments are concerned, I must make it clear that I read an early copy of this novel, so the author might fix any errors prior to the actual publication date in April 2019. The biggest complaint I have is the lack of word choice in the dialogue. Almost every character is described as having “said” something. It would be far more engrossing if characters “exclaimed” or “mumbled” their comments instead of simply “saying” them.
I rate this novel 3 out of 4 stars. I counted more than ten grammatical/punctuation errors, and the lack of diversity in describing dialogue counts against the score. This rating reflects an early version and could have a perfect score if the author or editor addresses the errors prior to publication.Even though the novel has some predictability and the premise itself is unoriginal, the target audience will enjoy the story and the action. There is only a hint of romance and the end of the novel circles back to the beginning suspense. I would recommend this book to fans of Rick Riordan and those looking for a change of the typical “teen learns to harness his powers” story.
Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Vscholz's review? Post a comment saying so!