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. – Goodreads
The Cypher Review
The Cypher, book one in the Guardians Inc series, is a well-written story for tween and teen readers. The main character, Thomas, is an almost sixteen-year-old boy whose parents mysteriously disappeared several months back. Obviously, things are not calm in his life, but they’re about to get shaken up even more as the book opens. And from there it just gets fun.
Julian Rosado-Machain knows how to write a book that appeals to the teenage need to feel or be special. He avoids making Thomas into a super-hero by engaging some very realistic limits. Thomas has one special power in The Cypher and that’s it. He can’t read minds, can’t bend steel, anything like that. So it’s easy to imagine that, theoretically, something like that might really happen to the reader. There’s definitely a certain appeal to that even I could recognize.
I loved the pieces of The Cypher that focused on Thomas and his grandfather. I think that the bond between grandchildren and grandparents is a special thing that we don’t see portrayed nearly often enough. You could sense that Thomas really loved and respected his grandfather. And also that the grandfather felt the same way about him. I hope in future books we can see more of the two of them together. (At least once Grandpa is back to being Grandpa again.) I’m tempted to keep reading the series just to see if that happens.
The Cypher is one of those books that definitely fall firmly into the “science fiction fantasy” category. Technology, robots, elves, magic, and quantum physics all merge seamlessly within it. There’s even a bit of H.P. Lovecraft’s sandbox mentioned within it. With a bit of classic good-versus-evil, plus a side bit of Thomas learning about the problems with hormones, and some loveable characters, it’s a book that’s easy to like. There are also some scenes where the sheer ridiculousness painted (like the Grotesque waving an energy drink banner) will make you snicker.
The dialogue is believable, the action is good, and the plot moves along fairly quickly. The few issues I had with it were fairly minor. (Ex: Thomas ends up in some situation no adult in their right mind would put him in.) Everything was fairly obvious to me as an adult reader, but even then I still enjoyed it.
In conclusion, The Cypher is a fun, quick read that grabs your attention but doesn’t need brain power to enjoy. It’s one I would definitely recommend for teen boys you’re trying to get hooked on reading. Truthfully, just pick it up for yourself anyways, it’s a nice palate cleanser.