Review: Academy 7 - Anne Osterlund

Academy 7Aerin 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 freshmen 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..

First off, I will start the book by pointing out to confused readers that despite the absolutely gorgeous cover suggests, this book is not a contemporary/historical novel. On the contrary, it is set very far into the future, though the exact date is never stated. The book also suggests that romance plays a massive part in the novel, an idea I disagree on.

I have a thing about books with spaceships and planets and space and stuff. I really do, I actually originally ordered this book thinking it was historical and didn't realise my mistake until it arrived. Well, not mistake... I loved it! As I neglected reading the blurb when it arrived and just dived right into it, I read a few pages and though- hey... this isn't right! But I carried on reading and after an uncomfortable first chapter, I settled right into this book. One thing I will say is that the first few chapters are a little boring... but after that the story got fantastic.

The characters are one thing I have to comment on. Our two main characters are Aerin and Dane. Aerin is a brilliant fugitive who just tries to stay unnoticed and Dane is the equally rich boy who won't let her do that. Aerin is lovely, she is shy but opinionated, stubborn. She makes the wrong decisions sometimes but not in a stupid way. We all make mistakes, don't we, and it makes her a little more believable. Dane is believable as a bit of a snob to start with, but we see him change and I enjoyed his transition. Sounds like a fuzzy romance story? I think not. There is of course, some romance, but it is very subtle in the way that you know it's there but it is soft and develops slowly and doesn't really fully develop until the last chapter or so. I like that as I have been reading so many books with a fast developing romance I needed this! The romance was written absolutely perfectly, as were the characters.

The plot is great as well, though the book is set far into the future, when humans inhabit faraway planets and skip from one to the next so easily, you can relate the political problems to todays world in a way that makes the reader almost uncomfortable. We see X grade planets being ignored because they aren't important enough, despite the slavery going on in them, and we hear of the brutality first hand from Aerin. I loved the development of the stories, the plot turns and twists until you don't know what will happen, and while there really is no *big* climax, because the novel is soft all the way through (and by soft I don't in any way mean it is an easy read, just the tone and pacing), the fact that no massive event happens doesn't really matter. 
And what can I say for the ending without spoiling it? One of the best endings ever.

My only flaw with this book is the cover. It's misleading! (sadness!)

I adored this book, its quick and paced so well! The characters are perfect, the plot is perfect!

Overall rating: A

Stand alone/series: Stand alone
Released: May 14th 2009 (Paperback)
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 272
Book obtained via: Borrowed

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