Dane and Aerin are both very screwed up people, broken and closed off. Academy 7 is science fictions, deals with wars, ethics and family, but, ultimately, I think the most important aspect of the story is the way that Dane and Aerin are slowly managing to recover from the wounds of their childhoods together. There relationship evolves slowly and believably.
Although I never got very close to any of the characters, I did like Dane and Aerin, drawn naturally to their intelligence. The first sections at the school reminded me heavily of the manga Special A, as the boy and girl have a serious rivalry for the first slot in the school, although here the girl is winning everything but debate.
The other story elements, some of which I listed in the first section of this review are well done too, although I think the story could have been better had it been longer. A number of points could have been more fully fleshed out, as could the characters. At the conclusion of the novel, I still have a lot of questions, such as what happened to the General. Perhaps a sequel will come someday when Osterlund has finished up her work on Aurelia's series.
Overall, this was a sweet, touching story of two scarred people coming together to mend against an awesome sci-fi backdrop.