Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund is another book that I found randomly browsing my local library's Overdrive site. If you can't tell, that is how I find many of my books. I hadn't really planned on reviewing it, I have a dozen books to write reviews for and I am currently a bit backlogged. But, after adding it to my Goodreads account yesterday I got an email from the author saying hi and it mentioned we have 117 books in common on our lists. Not surprising, her profile does say that she is influenced by Tamora Pierce, my all time favorite author. I thought it would be good to write up a post about Academy 7 and include the link in my response to her email. Cause I am a shameless self promoter like that. And if you couldn't tell by my last post, I am a sucker for getting to interact with authors. They are these mythical beings to me and getting to actually interact with them blows my mind. After all, why would someone so important want anything to do with me, they must have huge amounts of people writing to them or talking to them all the time as is.

And on to the review:
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund is a futuristic novel that leans heavily on the scifi genre. Which of course I love.  In the beginning of the book we are introduced to Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin, two teens who have recently taken their placement exams and were selected for the best school in the Alliance, Academy 7.

Dane is the son of a top general who is also a member of the Council. Most of his early actions are spawned from a desire to go against his father's wishes, from being a firefighter in the beginning of the book to attending Academy 7, his father's Alma Mater, a place his father hates.
Aerin comes from another world entirely. Aerin's father was a non-Alliance trader who died several years before the beginning of the book and when we meet her she is an escaped slave who was rescued by a space ship that heard her distress call. When she is given the entrance exam she places well, but when she gets to school she is amazed and overwhelmed by everything she doesn't know. Before her rescue she had never even heard of the Alliance.

Dane and Aerin are seemingly opposites who complete in every class. Aerin comes in first with everything except debate, the only place Dane can beat her. Much of the book is  based on this competitiveness and how it affects their interactions.

I thought it was a well developed book though I would have enjoyed a bit more of a back story for both main characters. We see what they are doing in the weeks leading up to the school year, but not much of their lives before then. The only other thing that bugged me a bit, and it wasn't even a big deal, was that the author skipped from a week after Christmas break to the day before the end of the school year, several months later. It would have been nice to see what happened after the fight between the characters but before the final few chapters. I can understand why the author did it, but it still would have been nice to read about those months. If the book is set during a school year, I like to see the full school year.

Overall I would rate this book a 3.75/5. I am very much hoping this book will be the first in a trilogy, since there are three years of schooling for Academy 7.

Aurelia series by Anne Osterlund - If Academy 7 in Osterlund's futuristic novel, Aurelia is her historical novel. OK, really I am just guessing that based on the cover and short description. But, if you liked Academy 7 and Osterlund's writing style, you should check out Aurelia.

Salvation by Anne Osterlund - Osterlund's most recent novel is Salvation, it just came out January 10th.  I haven't read it, but it looks interesting. This one appears to be a modern fiction.

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