Kyle By Fire by Mark Minson
(Summary taken from amazon.com) "Everybody has some magic. Kyle has a lot of it. But all he wants is to fit in as a junior in high school. Dating a pretty girl would be nice too. One out of two isn't bad. An organization hundreds of years old that wants to lower everyone's magic level finds out that Kyle is an Extraordinary Talent in Metal-working. He has the most magic in his talent anyone can have. This makes him a threat to their plans so he must be eliminated. With his best friend, James, and the Council of Magic, he has to battle an enemy mingled among the low magic holders while trying to protect those he cares about."
Full disclosure: I have known Mark since high school. Hahaha....We even took creative writing together. However, I did not go easy on him, I promise. I told him I was nervous that I wouldn't like it and then what would I do? Luckily for me, I really enjoyed it. There were some editing issues, but he promised me he fixed them, so I'm excited to introduce you to a new author and my friend Mark.
I actually did enjoy this book (and not just because the author is my friend). The characters are believable and well developed, especially Kyle, James, and Jessica. They are in high school, and I like that they aren't perfect. They make mistakes and don't always do perfectly in school. They have problems with friends and family members, and yet, they are able to rise above their trials and do some great things. I like that Kyle looks for, and sees, the best in everyone. He doesn't put boundaries on what people can achieve, even when everyone else around him does. I also like that Kyle is a problem-solver. He doesn't wait around for someone else to solve his problems; he works hard, practices, and searches for answers. I also like that he doesn't let his power go to his head. James and Jessica also have a lot of those same qualities, but they have their own talents and abilities as well. The story is creative and imaginative, with lots of action and surprises. There was a part that I thought was quite predictable, but he changed it, so that shouldn't be an issue either. There is a little bit for everyone in this book: action, adventure, magic, romance, and suspense. I also love that this book is clean! Okay, there is a little bit of kissing, but that is it. There is no language or intimacy. There is some violence, and a few bad guys get really hurt, but it is not over-the-top or gory. I haven't handed it over to my boys yet, but will shortly. I think they will really enjoy it. I liked it a lot and definitely recommend it, the middle graders will especially enjoy this book.
Rated: PG+ (Violence, including fighting and people getting hurt.)
Recommendation: 5th Grade and up (About 10 years-old), if they're okay with an occasional kiss. :)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I have also known the author since high school....don't worry, it is still an honest review.