A boy discovering his destiny. An ancient object of unspeakable power. An impenetrable web of deception.
Three months ago Thomas and his friends faced off against the enigmatic Arius Strong in a fight to determine the future of humanity. When they defeated the billionaire-magician and his two most powerful allies, they thought the war was over. It was only just beginning.
Now, with a mysterious message from an unknown hacker, the action starts again. This time the stakes are higher, the enemies stronger, and the future more uncertain. Will Thomas and his friends see through the lies in time to stop the forces of evil and prevent a global catastrophe?
Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria takes place three months after the events of the first book, in which Thomas and his friends defeated the powerful dark wizard Arius Strong, thus preventing an apocalypse.
Now, Thomas’s group receives an enigmatic message from an unknown hacker and, subsequently, discovers that they are once again facing a formidable foe, one who’s searching for a magical artifact that’s perhaps even more powerful than the Crystals from the first book. Thomas and his group are convinced that it’s once again the work of Arius, but this time, he’s not alone. He’s apparently gathered all manner of dark and powerful creatures include shapeshifters that are nearly impossible to injure, evil warlocks, and other powerful beings.
What’s interesting is how this evasive new foe can defect all of their magical attacks and possess technology far superior to theirs, rendering their quest even more difficult. In this way, their enemy seems to be always several steps ahead of them.
The magic is really leveled up in this book as Thomas and Enrique engage in private training with Scott Alpheus to augment their magical abilities and prepare them for the imminent encounter with their evil nemesis. I enjoyed the training scenes with the boys who worked with multiple instructors. It’s worth mentioning that success doesn’t come easily for our characters, though, and through it, we see themes of tenacity, resolve, friendship, and the necessity of working together.
This is one of those novels that sucks you in and doesn’t let go for a moment. There’s a delightful, pervasive feeling of menace that lingers over the story, and this really added to the book’s intrigue. As is befitting a middle-grade fantasy, the action never lets up, and the characters never lose their endearing humanity. What I enjoyed is how the thrill never wanes, the dread never diminishes, and the pulse rarely slows down. Smart and original, this edge-of-your-seat gripping fantasy has irresistible characters and startling twists around every corner (the huge one at the end I did not see coming!). There was also an element of “nobody is as they seem” which I enjoyed.
What I found especially endearing about the novel was the relationship between Thomas and his friends, Akhil and Enrique. I loved the powerful bond of friendship that existed between them as well as the fun banter they shared. In fact, all of the characters are vividly and wonderfully rendered. This fun series pulled me in early, on the strength of the world-building, but the vividly drawn characters drew me in further for enjoyment .. . and anticipation of the next volume. The writing also is excellent — it flows smoothly, seamlessly with no unnecessary fillers.
All in all, I found Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria to be a delightful, fast-paced, rollicking fantasy adventure set in a fascinating world and populated with lovable, memorable characters. I adore what the author has created here, and I find their vision and their voice beyond exciting. What we end up with here, then, is a sympathetic and enterprising group of heroes and an evil stop-at-nothing villain with the fate of the world, once again in their hands.
So did it deliver, I hear you ask? YES!!!!!
A huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book.