The Quantum League: Spell Robbers | Written by Matthew J. Kirby
I posted my obligatory review over at granitemedia.org. I gave it 4/5 stars, which is maybe a little generous, but I feel it has young reader appeal and it is a necessary addition to all of our libraries. Kirby is a local author and his prior books have been popular in our schools, and this book will perhaps be even more accessible to a wider range of young readers than his previous books because of its contemporary setting.
I didn’t like Spell Robbers quite as much as Icefall and The Lost Kingdom. I was thrilled to read both of those titles recently; both are strong but subtle stand-alone titles without easy comparisons in recent middle grade literature. (If you know of easy comparisons to those books, do please share them with me in the comments because I want to know!) Spell Robbers still hints at the unique atmospheres and coming-of-age psychological struggles that Kirby excels at (I don’t think you forget those skills once you’ve learned them) but it is just a far more conventional-feeling contemporary action/adventure, and that just isn’t as exciting to me. I think Kirby was going for a streamlined, action-centered approach here, and I think he mostly succeeds in doing it. I just prefer the idiosyncrasies of his earlier books. I’m not quite the target audience, though, so…
I still think I’ll be following everything that Kirby puts out in the future. I like his style, and I have an affinity for the way he crafts books. He writes the kinds of books I wish I would write, hope to write someday.