SPELL ROBBERS by Matthew J. Kirby


From the "Quantum League" series, volume 1
Age Range: 8 - 12
Email this review


When 12-year-old Ben joins an after-school science club, he has no idea that the price of membership will be the loss of everyone he loves.

Ben has always been a science nerd, but when his abilities in quantum mechanics prove to be more than just academic, it is only a matter of time before his proficiency makes him a target for some very dangerous people. Ben and his new friend Peter are recruited into the Quantum League, a group of special agents with the ability to bend matter to their will or to “actuate.” Actuators can create fire from the air, manipulate another’s emotions, or “detach” a child from his or her family, severing all connections and even memories. When a rival group kidnaps Ben’s mentor and steals a dangerous device, he agrees to help the League if they will reattach him to his mother. This high-energy spy story is enhanced by the addition of scientific theory (if rather unsteadily grounded) and authentic characters. Ben’s integrity, bravery and desire to forgo his special-agent status for his mother differentiate him from other familiar genre heroes. Unfortunately, uneven pacing, loose threads and a meandering plot are ultimately the story’s undoing. An open ending promises a sequel.

Refreshingly different in some ways but ultimately unsatisfying. (Adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-50226-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2013


ChildrenA TASTE FOR MONSTERS by Matthew J. Kirby
by Matthew J. Kirby
ChildrenLAST DESCENDANTS by Matthew J. Kirby
by Matthew J. Kirby
ChildrenISLAND OF THE SUN by Matthew J. Kirby
by Matthew J. Kirby


ChildrenTHE CITY OF EMBER by Jeanne DuPrau
by Jeanne DuPrau
ChildrenTHE EAR, THE EYE AND THE ARM by Nancy Farmer
by Nancy Farmer
ChildrenWHAT CAME FROM THE STARS by Gary D. Schmidt
by Gary D. Schmidt