Friday, July 22, 2011

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain

Title: Guardians Inc.: The Cypher
Author: Julian Rosado-Machain
Series: Guardians Incorporated
Published: Feb. 26th, 2011
Publisher: Julian Rosado-Machain
I received this book from the author in exchange for an exchange for an honest review.

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe are only mythology and fairy tales.

The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.

The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future. --

A dash of science fiction, a dash of fantasy…Guardians Inc.: The Cypher was a story that was oh so familiar and oh so original at the same time. It’s like Julian Rosado-Machain took everything that I love about middle grade children’s fiction and slammed it into one awesome, well-paced fantasy. It had a mysterious society, good guys, bad guys, in between guys, gargoyles, elves, principals that are skilled at every form of martial arts (and then some), and a mysterious book of prophecies that could determine the fate of the world, among other things.

The story focuses on fifteen year old Thomas and his grandfather, Morgan. After responding to an ad in the paper, he and his grandfather are hired to work for Guardians Incorporated, a business that Thomas quickly discovers is much more than it seems. Guardians Inc. not only has their hand in economics, marketing, medical research, historical restoration and international relations, but they’re also responsible for maintaining the balance between technology and magic. When it’s discovered that Thomas and Morgan are Cyphers, people with the power to translate any written language, Thomas’ grandfather is kidnapped by an opposing society. An interesting and practical power to have, all things considered, and we get to see Thomas put his skills to good use as he explores the underground magical culture and discovers that with his newfound gift, the fate of the world rests in his hands.

While Thomas was most definitely the main character, the relationship with his grandfather was one that felt genuine and loving. Morgan was very much a conscious presence throughout the book, even when he wasn’t even there. Julian Rosado-Machain definitely has a talent for writing characters, and even alone, Thomas was very likable. For a fifteen-year-old, he was surprisingly flexible, and eager to do what needed to be done in order to save the world. He had a good heart and a passion for learning and reading classics such as 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The supporting characters were just as strong, and colorful. There’s Henri, a gigantic stone gargoyle and the muscle of the group, Bolswaithe the robotic butler, Tony, a former leader of Guardian Watchman team, Vice Princepal “Killjoy”, who is far from what she appears to be, and Tasha, a beautiful elf who may or may not have a thing for Thomas. Together, they provided an even balance of skills and dialogue needed to move the story along at a fun and interesting pace.

So when it comes down to it…Do you like Percy Jackson? Fablehaven? Harry Potter? Guardians Inc.: The Cypher shares a little from each of these middle-grade favorites, but spins them into a brand new and exciting adventure. Check it out, if you like what you see! You won’t be disappointed. Oh, and I also recommend that you check out the website. It’s just as entertaining to browse through as reading the book! You can find more information at the Guardians Incorporated homepage.