Cyber Sprite by J.S. Frankel

Cyber Sprite by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (252 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Jake Cullen, a disabled teen novelist, is contacted from the great cyber beyond by a person who calls herself Miranda.

It turns out that Miranda isn’t a hacker, but an AI program, a free-roaming, independent program that can go anywhere and do anything it likes within the confines of cyberspace. Jake finds her creator, Doctor Helena Schreiber, and receives the greatest gift—a way to link up to her creation, Miranda.

Jake enters the internet and finds a cyber world that’s much like our own, but more so. He and Miranda go exploring together, and also find out they’re more into each other than they thought possible.
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While all is fun and games at first, trouble looms in the form of Marvin Throckmorton, Schreiber’s former employer. He’s aware that Doctor Schreiber has created a sentient program, and he wants it.

To that end, he sends his enforcers to coerce the information out of Jake, and they attack him and threaten his life and the life of his mother.

What he does not know is Doctor Schreiber’s ultimate goal—to make her creation more human. Jake also has a goal—to survive. With Miranda’s help, he finds a way to fight back and discovers just where he truly belongs.

Nothing is impossible online.

One of the things I appreciate the most about Mr. Frankel’s writing is how his tales discuss characters who have physical or mental health problems that impact what they’re able to do. He has always written those scenes with a strong sense of compassion, and this book continued that trend. The best parts of it to me were the ones that showed how Jake dealt with his disabilities. He had more than one diagnosis, and all of his diagnoses affected him every day in ways that I couldn’t have guessed ahead of time. This is one of the many reasons why I enjoy this author’s work so much and why I continue recommending it to everyone I know who reads the young adult genre.

Not only was there a great deal of character development for Jake, the ways he changed as a person made perfect sense. No one can roam the Internet without learning and growing in some way, especially when all of their senses are telling them that everything they’re seeing, touching, and hearing is as real as our world. The only slight adjustment I would have made to this part of the plot would be to do a little bit more with Miranda’s character development as well. She did change, too, but I would have loved to see a few more scenes showing how her relationship with Jake had an influence on this. With that being said, this was something I barely noticed. I still had a fantastic time following their adventures.

The world building was spectacular. I especially enjoyed seeing what happened to Jake after he entered the Internet. How the human mind might adapt to such an experience is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, and I was fascinated by the way Jake’s mind adapted to a digital world. There were a few plot twists concerning this that made me grin. They couldn’t have been written better, although I’ll leave it up to all of you to figure out what they were for yourselves.

Cyber Sprite was a wonderful tale I’d recommend to anyone who has ever had a problem that they know will be permanent.