Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publication Date: 5.14.2009
Secrets stand in their way, danger lurks in their hearts
Aerin Renning is a scarred fugitive, Dane Madousin a rebellious son of privilege. On the surface, they have nothing in common. But the two most competitive freshment at Academy 7 share an undiscovered bond. Both harbor a dangerous secret that threatens their own destruction. And while their safety depends on their staying apart, the two are inexplicably drawn to each other. Even as unknown forces conspire to separate them, their competition turns to friendship, and their friendship to romance. Now not only their lives—but their hearts—are at stake. To survive, the two must unite all their knowledge, skills, and gifts to uncover a secret bigger than either could have imagined. A secret as big as the entire universe...
Sweet, thought-provoking, and adventurous; that's how I would describe Academy 7. Recommended to me by Megan from Posey Sessions (thank you!), Academy 7 has been one of the best books I have read this year. I was mislead by the cover, into thinking this would be a novel with romance as the basic plot point...but it's not. It goes so much deeper, by dealing with social issues of the future, and presenting multi-layered characters. In fact, there is very little romance in this book, just a few short and sweet moments, that both tantalize and satisfy.
The character development is good. Really good. It's what drives the story, allowing the reader to see deeper and deeper into each character as it goes along. Both main characters (Aerin and Dane) have their own share of troubles, and it is very interesting to see how they react to each situation. They seem like real people, acting in ways that are consistent with what knowledge the reader has been given about them.
The world Osterlund built is similar to other science fiction stories set in the future; there is space travel, unrest between planets, and a government that is trying to keep the peace between other planets by bringing them all under their power. There are good guys and bad guys. What is unique, is that we find out about the politics of the government by listening to the students arguing in Debate class at the Academy. This is the class that is mentioned the most in the book, and through their arguments, the reader is able to learn more about the book's current events, than in any other way. It also shows a lot about the characters, if you pay attention to the way each of them argues.
I could not put this book down. I loved it. The only thing that makes me sad, is that it is a stand alone novel. I am now extremely interested in the world and characters, and am dying for a sequel!
...you want science fiction that doesn't feel like science fiction, you like deep characters, and you want something that's about more than just a love story.
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
A clean read!