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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Recruited by an evil entity to spend a hundred days at an academy for hand-picked students, a teenage boy faces odd and life-threatening circumstances that affect his future in the young adult fantasy novel Wisdom of the Ages by Robert Bernardo. Bombarding unsuspecting people with water balloons, Johnny Bishop causes a boy riding past on his bicycle to crash and suffer a head injury. A few days later, Johnny receives a summons to appear in court. When Johnny and his parents approach the decaying judge, an intoxicating green fog escapes from his mouth, encasing and holding the family captive. Johnny is sentenced to one hundred days at Kilborne Academy, effective immediately. Under the influence of the green fog, Johnny is unwillingly transported to the academy. On his first day at Kilborne, Johnny dies from over-eating. However, the unique power of the green fog gives him eight more lives. With sharks in the lake, crazy nymphomaniacs, and many other bizarre creatures, events, and people coveting his demise, can Johnny survive long enough to make it back home?
Containing a hint of the supernatural, Wisdom of the Ages by Robert Bernardo is an eerie YA fantasy. It is an intriguing novel complete with action-filled scenes, interesting characters, and a chilling plot. Although the beginning of the story is enigmatic, the heart of the story is fascinating. The imagery of the story world is outstanding, and the storyline flows flawlessly once the plot commences. It is a unique and gripping story with a fantastic backdrop, bizarre elements, and outrageous characters. Together they create an enthralling and extraordinary novel that will delight young adults who enjoy horrifying fantasy novels with a twisted antagonist and a supernatural flavor. It is an entertaining story that unfortunately stops on a cliff hanger, leaving the reader anxiously waiting for the sequel.