From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-It's an amazingly familiar premise: a boy with absent parents and unusual abilities finds himself in a school that teaches arcane knowledge, where he makes friends and enemies, experiences all kinds of eerie and dangerous goings-on, discovers secrets he isn't supposed to know, and fights the most dangerous and evil villain in the world. Angus McFangus, 11, has been living with his Uncle Max while his parents supposedly do something for an unnamed government office. After he receives a strange letter from his mother, he is whisked off to the Perilous Exploratorium for Weather and Vicious Storms on the mysterious Isle of Imbur. There, he is told by Principal Dark-Angel that he must lie about his identity, and he meets Ron and Hermione-oops, I mean Dougal and Indigo. He's thrown into training to become one of the "lightning catchers," special agents who "protect mankind from the ravages of weather at its most cruel and extreme." Storms of newts, killer fogs, and wacky weather attacks of all sorts are the norm. The Isle of Imbur and all the weather-weirdness are interesting, but the rest feels tired and overdone.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Imagine being pulled from your regular life and sequestered in a special school where your heretofore undiscovered talents are shaped and polished, all in the interest of saving the world for good. In a new treatment of a familiar trope, Angus McFangus is taken in the middle of the night to the Isle of Imbur (not found on any map), where he will study as a lightning catcher at the Perilous Exploratorium for Violent Weather and Vicious Storms. There he makes friends and enemies, encounters adults who may or may not be trustworthy, discovers startling truths about his family history, and faces his own mysterious destiny. In this first of a planned four-book series, Cameron establishes a fascinating, albeit narrowly focused, mythology around weather, mixing serious science with full-on fantasy, and readers will do well to have a dictionary (or keyboard) at hand to learn the truth about such strange-sounding phenomena as custard winds and graupel. With a motley collection of instructors, dangerous lightning dragons, a cinematic setting, and all manner of malevolent treachery, this fantastical adventure will find a wide audience. Grades 4-7. --Thom Barthelmess