Ossus Library Index
Fantasy Index


A novel by Morgan Rice
(2018, Morgan Rice)

Oliver Blue and the School for Seers, book 1

When a boy escapes bullies to hide in the factory of his idol, he discovers his heritage as a seer, and is sent back in time to develop his skills at a special school, where he makes friends and enemies, and discovers a plot to destroy the world.


-- First reading (ebook)
March 26th to April 9th, 2021


I enjoyed the time at the School of Seers more than any other part of this book, showing off skills and magic-type abilities. Unfortunately, even that barely engaged me, as I found the book slow, the writing stilted, and I didn’t identify at all with the character or his friends. My first impression was that this was a knock-off of Harry Potter, because there are a lot of similarities, from the family he is living with, being the chosen one, and so much more. This world is more about technology, though, and Oliver is obsessed with inventions. The way he spoke about them, I thought he was living in the 1920s, until I realized it takes place in the current timeframe. Unfortunately, I found the rivalry with Lucas in the present and in the past seemed unlikely, and Edmund was too much of a sneering villain, and he has no motivation to be a bully to Oliver. Now that Esther is hanging around with Oliver, what happened to the friends she used to have -did she abandon them? The affection angle seemed more appropriate to a boy and girl a few years older. I didn’t enjoy the time in Germany at all. This might be appropriate to younger readers, but I found it lacking to give it wider appeal.

Spoiler review:

From the beginning, this book was familiar, though of a much lower quality than the material it rips off. Oliver is bullied, lives with a family which hates him, and gets the opportunity to go to a magical school. Hmm. Cheap knock-off is right. There are way too many similarities to be a coincidence, and the style and quality is overall much lower. While with the Harry Potter books I was zipping through the pages because it was so interesting and fun, here I was dragging myself through the chapters in this book. It was a feeling similar to what I felt when reading the Sword of Shannara.

I couldn’t figure out the time period for this book. With the focus on inventions, it seems like Oliver must be living in the early 1900s, but there were other things that were way too modern for that to be true. Do places like Armando’s invention factory even still exist anywhere in the world? After being bullied at school, not just by the students but the teachers as well (except one science teacher), Oliver runs away to the factory, and encounters Armando, who gushes over him, seeing him as someone who will save the world. But Armando also employs Lucas, an old man who haunts Oliver in his time there. Based on events that happen later in the book, I don’t see how Armando can trust Lucas, or how Lucas can really know about Oliver. There is time travel involved where the older Lucas talks with the younger one, but it doesn’t make sense in the context of this world, especially given how much the younger Armando learns about Lucas in both timelines

Oliver goes back in time after being chased by Lucas, who also kills Armando. He’s met in a time nexus by a student at the school of magic, and they find their way into the school. It was at this point that the story finally started to pick up, but just barely enough to become interesting. The dynamics between Oliver and the other students was pretty well documented, and the characters had unique personalities, which I appreciated. Edith is cagey, but then becomes a romantic interest for these very young kids -the author seems to forget how young they are. There is the usual bully, and friends who help him get around this timeless place.

I have questions about how a timeless place can exist. Being timeless means that they should be able to return to the school when they are older, at any time. So shouldn’t they see many versions of themselves, for example -when Oliver entered the first time, and then when he came back -but time continued passing there, seeming to keep up with the world outside?

It’s here that Oliver learns that his parents were powerful wizards- or the equivalent in this universe, after a conversation with the headmaster. He and Edith fend off an attack from the evil sorcerers, probably let in by the bullies.

I liked the sleeping quarters, though the entrance seems very inconvenient. Oliver fools the system and climbs down from the multi-bunks. Edith hears him and follows, and helps him get out of the magical school. This is where the story turns strange and I think the author dropped the ball on credibility. Oliver goes back to the Magic Factory where he tries to find Armando, but is almost caught by Lucas. Oliver hides in a truck that boards a plane and is taken to Germany. He’s somehow not discovered until they land, and he tries to use his powers to figure out how to disarm the bomb that Lucas has delivered to Hitler. Oliver has a face-to-face with Hitler, and manages to disable the bomb, saving the world -because it would have literally destroyed everything.

Armando shows up in his spaceship-like craft, and his friends show up like in an after-school cartoon, helping save him from the Germans and presumably ending the war. Huh?

By the end of the book, I’d completely lost what little interest I had. I won’t be continuing the series.


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