Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, 12+
Publisher: HarperTeen (February 10, 2009)
Hardcover: 432 pages
Read an Excerpt
This year at the Wandless Academy feels all wrong to Thea. Her best friend, Magpie, will barely give her the time of day. Ben's been moody and dismissive. Since when did Tess have a boyfriend? And why is Humphrey May, agent for the Federal Bureau of Magic, lurking around the Academy?
Thea is out of sorts—in all ways, magical and otherwise—and that's before she discovers she's an elemental mage, a category of magician so rare that only four others are known to exist.
Now the Federal Bureau of Magic needs Thea's help to unlock the mysterious white cube—the same cube found over the summer in the professor's house, the same cube the dangerous Alphiri are still after. To stay ahead of the Alphiri and the wiles of the FBM, Thea needs her friends—all of them.
Finally! A concluding book in a series that did not let me down. If anything, this book is the strongest of the three. Why you ask? Well I am going to tell you!
Thea has had an interesting life up to this point but while she has had to deal with some serious and life altering issues, she has had the protection of the world at large believing she has no magic. This is about to change in a big way. Once again, Thea is put into a position where she has no idea who to trust. Even her loyal circle of friends appears to have their own agendas, leaving Thea feeling pretty hurt and abandoned. Boy did this strike a cord with me. How well do I remember my friends wandering off as they discovered boys and gravitated to new friends in the process. However, this is just a temporary setback. I only insert it here to show you how real even the minor issues in this story truly are. Before it is all said and done, Thea will be tested in ways that would make even an adult cringe, and does some serious growing up in the process.
To say that I have connected with Thea is an understatement. I may be 49 years old but I still remember what it felt like to be a teenager and I have raised two of my own through that nightmare. Of course in a world where magic trumps technology the issues are different and yet, surprisingly the same. This installment in the series is much more serious then the last. Book 2 still dealt with some serious issues mind you, but the often hilarious spellspam emails lightened the load a bit. Still there is adventure, challenge, and with all three books, a mystery (or three) to solve. More then enough going on to keep you reading (and thinking) until 4am.
A side note: Make sure that if you read this book you check out the author's note at the end. One of the main characters is based on a real person that I personally had never heard of and found to be someone I very much want to learn more about. Added bonus to an already great book!
I am very surprised that this book, and the series, has appeared to pass completely under the internet radar. Not even Amazon has any reviews on Cybermage and very few on the other two. Only thing I can come up with is what Jeff said here: Today in Fantasy: May 10, 2009 about the cover art. My apologies to the cover artist, but I have to agree. I do not care for it either and frankly, if I were book browsing the shelves at my local bookstore, I would pass right by these books. Only other reason I can think of would be the YA designation. Possibly, it is being lost on the YA shelf and not coming to the notice of adults like me (you know, the ones who normally write these reviews.) In either case, it is a shame. This series deserves more attention then it has gotten. Well, in my opinion anyway.
I highly recommend this book (and series) to both YA and adult lovers of Fantasy. The issues are real, often tragic, and always complicated. There are never any easy answers, as is often the case where magic is involved. Thea makes for a great teen heroine, strong yet insecure at times, scared but able to work through her fear, independent yet knows when to ask for help. This story makes you think, makes you feel, and entertains all at the same time. So ignore the cover art (if it bothers you) go browse the YA section of your bookstore and buy this series!
One last observation. The book ends with a satisfactory conclusion to the main storyline while leaving you with the impression that this story is far from over. Does this mean that we will be treated to more adventures with Thea and her friends? All I can say is that I truly hope so!
Other books in the series
Shelfari Rating 0/5
Librarything Rating 2/5
Amazon Rating 0 out of 5 stars
What Should I Read Next?
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