Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
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 outtalks 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. . . .
First Impressions: I saw this book first on someone's blog (can't remember exactly who's now :/) and have been excited ever since. Sci-fi + romance = :D.
I'm not too sure why, but Academy 7 wasn't what I expected. Some good surprises, some bad. Academy 7 is a light science fiction, which you don't really get from the summary or the cover. But opening up the book, it becomes obvious from the first page.
Aerin and Dane both have a tangled past. Aerin is a fugitive, picked up by the Alliance, the ruling government of much of the universe, and deemed bright enough to attend the highest school possible, Academy 7. Dane is a rich and prominent boy in society- his dad, is after all, a general of some sort for the Alliance. He's grown up with wealth, luxury, and a gaping hole in his heart. They meet at Academy 7- the top school for training kids. Aerin hates Dane almost at first glance, Dane is astounded by the strange Aerin who knows so much and so little at the same time.
The romance is predictable, but very cute. The relationship between Dane and Aerin is very delicate and tender, as they both have dark secrets. It's a bit of give and take, but they quickly start spending all their time together. Both characters are well fleshed out and interesting, their actions explained well by their pasts.
The writing however, threw me off completely at first. When I think science fiction, I think dystopian. Dystopian with clipped, utilitarian prose. Academy 7 has anything but that. The writing is very flowery. It seems like the author took her lessons to heart and put in as many adjectives, strong verbs, and adverbs as possible. It's a little much in the beginning, but the prose soon smooths out, as the plot thickens and the excitement builds.
Academy 7, while science fiction, doesn't delve much into how their present happens. I don't believe time is ever mentioned, but there are suddenly many, many planets, some hugely amazing technology, and hovercrafts that don't exist now. How those all came to be, is not explained. Instead, all the new inventions and planets serve as background, and while important, they play second to Aerin and Dane's discovery of themselves and each other. Values are pushed, stretched, and defined, as Aerin and Dane connect their pasts together.
Final Impressions: Academy 7 doesn't exactly pack the punch I was expecting, but it's a great novel nonetheless. At turns exciting, at turns sweet and endearing, it's sure to put a smile on your face in the end.
Add to Shelf: Maybe... I took this one out from the library, and think that's enough for me. But it's a paperback, so it isn't too expensive. :)
Note This: Aerin and Dane are often defined by their parents. Aerin's mysterious and dead dad and unknown mom. Dane's deceased mother and overpowering father. It's very enjoyable and heartwarming for the two to break out of their parents holds and to learn more about their parents connections to each other.
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