Any book about a young boy going off to a special school with a bit of magic will inevitably be compared to Harry Potter. I've not read the HP books but have seen the films and this is nothing like them.
The young main character, Michael wins a rare scholarship along with a friend from school. Michael is 12 and I was picturing my nephew who is clever and just turned 13, but Michael seemed older, especially as he has to learn things such as his special powers and also quite serious fighting. There are two enemies that want to get rid of each other, but which side is good and which side is evil?
Even though I'm not the target audience, I enjoyed this story. It kept me gripped and interested and entertained. More importantly, it left me wondering who really was the "hero" of the story. Although titled as Part 1, this is definitely a stand alone with a satisfying conclusion, whilst setting things up for further stories.