IN STORES MAY 14, 2009!
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 freshmen at Academy 7 share an undiscovered bond. Both harbor a dangerous secret that threatens their own destruction. And while their safety depends upon 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 ig as the entire universe...
Character Development: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Total Score 64/70
Alcohol, Drugs, etc? None
Cussing? Some, very mild.
Sexual Content? No
Disturbing Images/Violence: Some child abuse (not too much or too bad), one short scene of hanging.
For ages 13+.
If there's one thing I know, it's this: Anne Osterlund knows how to keep an audience entertained. I was hooked from the very beginning. She very smoothly alternated between Dane's, Aerin's, and even Dr. Livinski's perspectives. The book was easy to follow and satisfying. The emotion--especially Aerin's--was true and heartfelt.
Unlike some other futuristic books I've reviewed here, Academy 7 definitely relies on the political and physical make-up of the setting for many important plot points, but I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. Osterlund has put so much detail and thought into this world, and it is obvious from the very beginning. I am not usually enthused by spaceships and interplanetary travel, but I found myself seriously enjoying Osterlund's rendition of the future, and I thought it perfectly suited the characters.
The romance in this book is not as prevalent as the cover claims. That does not mean it isn't beautifully realistic and touching, while at the same time being reserved and passionate. Osterlund manages to make a simple scene of talking or hand-holding into something as intimate and tender as the best of kissing scenes in other books.
Academy 7 could, in my opinion, appeal to readers of many genres. It isn't exclusively sci-fi or fantasy or political adventure or romance. It's a generous conglomeration of everything that Anne Osterlund very successfully turned into a deep and touching novel about loosing and finding people you love.