Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Series: Standalone
Genre: Sci-Fi/Romance
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With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance? consistently out talks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship and romance begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .

Aerin popped up then rapidly down as if trying to disappear, and Dane, who could not help but garner attention, stood and sat while holding his gaze locked on the wall, as though he hoped his curious audience might lose interest if he ignored then. Dr. Livinski severely doubted the offspring of Gregory Madousin and Antony Renning had any chance of blending in.

To be fair, sci-fi isn't my genre. I want it to be desperately, but I usually wind up not caring for the books I pick to read. This one though... It had me right from the start, when the opening pages depict a teenage girl fleeing a planet in the same ship her father died in.

This is the story of Aerin and Dane, two new students at the best school in the universe and they have a connection.

Don't roll your eyes at me. Keep reading, it's not that type of connection.

Aerin and Dane don't fall madly in love at first sight. In fact, when they first meet, neither gives the other much consideration. But, slowly, things start to change. They compete against each other. Then, competition slowly turns to friendship and friendship to love.

First of all, Aerin and Dane are so excellent to read about. Aerin has been hurt - physically and emotionally - and she's prickly. She's got walls and mistrusts people and is so difficult to get to know. Dane has a horrible home life with a absolute bastard of a father and horrid brother - but he tries to soldier on. He doesn't brood or wallow. He makes jokes and tried to make Aerin feel better.

In fact, both character are quite a breath of fresh air over the usual useless girl/jerk-ass boy fare of YA.

As to their connection...I'm not telling! (Now, where's that smiley that sticks out its tongue?) In seriousness though, their connection is because of their fathers and could change both their lives.

The world building is serviceable. I know a lot of people are bored with the 'Alliance' and the 'Federation' type of totalitarian government, but I like it. I've always had such a weakness for this huge organization that isn't inherently evil, but that has a severely skewed way of looking at things. About all that could have made the world building better is if we'd actually gotten more information about it. (What was there was lovely though.)

All in all, I love this book.

Except for one huge, glaring problem.

There is no plot.

There is no outside force to overcome.

There is no final climax.

This book meanders through a year plus of time at school, following Aerin and Dane. Yes, they are more stable and happier and all around healthier people than when the story started. Yes, I like them both enough to feel an emotional tug to them and be happy that things turned out so well for them.


It feels like the book just ended.

Like this is the first book of a series.

You know, then it would be awesome. I can easily picture this as the first book of a four book epic series. That would be beyond amazing.

But as it is, what started off with a bang whimpered halfway through and ended to the sound of crickets.