Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Academy (The Central, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Academy (The Central, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Academy (The Central #1)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,105 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Alex Warner’s life hasn’t been a great success – so maybe its better that he can’t remember any of it, even the fire that killed his family, the one he was blamed for setting. Still, a horrifying attack by werewolves in a city park is a new and violent low, until Mitsuru, a woman with odd red eyes and tremendous powers intervenes, turning Alex’s world upside down.

Waking to
Kindle Edition, 397 pages
Published September 5th 2011 by ROUS Industries
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Academy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Academy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
3.5 stars
I don't like being the first person to review a book at all! But here it is:
For a debut, self-published author, Zachary Rawlins is pretty damn good. In fact, he’s better than a lot of experienced authors with big publishing houses behind their backs. With just a little more work and a good editor, this book could turn into pure gold.

Rawlins’s world is very complicated. Here’s my attempt at explaining some of it:
The secret supernatural community known as the Central is divided into carte
Zelda Wendy
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
The main character of this book is very different to what I thought he would be. I thought, mainly because of growing up with so many things going wrong in his life, that he would be a tough person, always pushing just to survive. He is not like that at all, it is almost like he does not want to live. He has no ambition and he almost gives up on life at least twice. He has faced many hardships, I would expect him to be the type of person to go down swinging, but most of the time he does not even ...more
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
The Academy had a lot of set pieces which, while being mildly interesting in themselves, lacked any sort of momentum or coherence to make it a satisfying read. Most of the characters seemed exciting on introduction but author's refusal to elaborate on their background and motivation, made it harder to relate with them. There was scarcely any character or plot development.

This book started with a lot of promise but unfortunately it missed the mark.
Shane Gilliam
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ok, I picked up this book because of an internet review comparing it to the Zero Sight series by B. Justin Shier. Which is one of my favorite series of all time. Holy crap I was disappointed. There are very few books that I start and do not finish and this was one of them. I tried my hardest to invest in the characters as they were presented to me but I found the protagonist to be one of the most weasel like boys I've ever read about. I know that a character is supposed to be inexperienced and t ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a reasonably quick read, but I can't say I really liked the characters that much. For a series set in an Academy the instructors seemed very slow in actually training the talent that drew the main character Alex to them in the first place. They seem much more interested in teaching him to "defend himself" by getting him bashed. I'm not sure I'll be picking up book two in the series. For a similar sort of book I thought Zero Sightdid a better job with more likeable characters.
M Hamed
Oct 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2016
mysteries for the the sake of mysteries
vagueness for the sake of vagueness
weird magic system for the sake of horribly gone wrong uniqueness
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing indie least in terms of world building (but really, really superb world building).

The characterization is flat, for the first half of the book. The main character, Alex (insofar as there is a main character), and one of the other mains, Mitzi, are both flat, broken characters by design. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. They don't have much of a past, they don't have much in the way of goals and agency, and they aren't fully fledged enough to have much in t
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! And the best part is it actually had original ideas. Take one part Cyberpunk, one part Urban Fantasy, and one part the crime/cartel version of Hogwarts. Self-published and sold for 99 cents as a Kindle e-Book this was really, really fun.

You can tell that the author has read extensively, but he also manages to convey plot devices and especially characters that are completely unconventional. Wonderful, original, and trippy like a late night acid dream I can't wait for the next boo
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
it was the most jumbled up plot i have ever read. setting-wise the book had a lot of potential. but everything is ruined because of poor editing and lame main lead. instead of a fantasy book, it felt like an typical harem anime plot. boring male lead with no character development, no impactful female lead, no background information on characters, very poor plot sequencing, no description of surrounding. actually i will try to explain my review. first is the lead. a fantasy book of this type is v ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Lots of potential, very little delivery. Let's just start off by saying that I quite liked the premise of this book even if it wasnt that terribly original. Boy finds out he has powers, gets thrown into new magical world and has to adjust to life there. All of that is pretty standard thoroughfare for these kind of books but that's not something to be held against it, the author does make very interesting characters and there's quite an exciting worldbuilding going on so as I said before there is ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
It is hard to write a negative review on a book, Most of the time i don't even bother.. Click the one star button and move along. This book though had me shaking my head at more then one point. The story itself is great.. That is if you can wade through all the jumping around and complete lack of follow through. For instance.. Boy does something big and dangerous, suddenly the chapter ends and poof we are headed along an entire different part of the story. No follow through on what happened not ...more
Eugene Gorodinsky
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
While the setting is very interesting: psychic abilities and nanotechnology vs evil witches and werewolfs, the way the story is told is very frustrating. It feels as if the author is hopping from one character to another, from one unrelated event to another. Oftentimes it's hard to tell wether any time passed between the two events or if they have occured simultaneously. There are multiple perspectives here, although the story is told from a 3rd person POV, and the constant switching of these pe ...more
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Young Alexander Warner was found in front of his parent's burning house with a gasoline tank and a box of matches, with his parents in the house. Since then he has been jumped from institution to institution all around northern California, talking to all sorts of psychiatrists and psychologists and dealing with the worst kinds of kids. From then to now at 17 years old he has developed a sociopath like manner with no friends or family after his grandmother he vaguely remembers, left him. Then he ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
A decent read. There are some rarely dark elements seemingly randomly interspersed in the plot, and the Alex, the lead, comes off as decidedly 2-dimensional. I'll be following this one to see here the story goes but It's my hope that the author can improve in a few things in his next go-round, particularly Alex's complexity as a lead character, the forced society-wide amorality prevalent throughout the story, and the "dark for the sake of dark" simplicity of some of the scenes throughout the sto ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I DNF this one. It did that thing where books try to be vague and mysterious but came off annoying. The whole thing was convoluted for no purpose.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book for a new author!!!!

I liked the book a lot. There was a great plot. Although the characters didn't have a strong foundation. This book was really good.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
it was alright, but clustered in parts to the point where you had to ask what's going on? Why should i care? And, didn't the person one character is begging for help kill or capture the person he's asking help to save?
Sep 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm torn on the rating for The Academy. You see it has, what appears to be, an interesting magic system, a well designed world, and an interesting cast but it also has inconsistent writing and plot development. The second to last chapter of the book seemed almost non sequitur as all of the allusions to that plot point were underplayed when mentioned and no mentioned with any semblance frequency. The main plot didn't have any real conclusion and the point on the timeline it ended seemed arbitrary ...more
Gareth Otton
Do you know what a Black Protocol is? How about what are the differences and political variances between different magical cartels? Maybe you could tell me what a Black Door inside someone's mind might mean? How is it that the magical Ether is somehow a computer network? Perhaps you could answer some of the thousand other questions I have about the world, the magic and the story in this book. Even if you don't know any of the answers now, I can tell you that you still won't know them half way th ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People how can follow story lines without explanations.
Shelves: blog-reviewed
This is a very interesting concept for a book. The easiest way to explain the plot would be this; The Justice League (or any superhero group) is run like the Mob. I know that doesn't tell you much, but neither does the book.

Alex is a confusing character for more than one reason but mainly for the fact that his decisions and actions have no basis. And by basis I mean that the Author gives us no sense of his morals. Yeah he doesn't want to shoot the class bully in the head, but why doesn't he? Ye
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: signal, indie
The author cites the X-Men comic as a primary influence on his work. He liked the idea, he said, but he wanted to know more about what they did when not saving the world. In particular, when your friend has mind control powers, can you -- can you ever be sure that he's not using them to make you like him?

The main viewpoint character, Alex, falls a bit flat. He's clearly got some serious mental issues; most of his memories seem to be fabricated, and he's disappointingly passive for someone with t
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Alex Warner is an orphan that is being targeted for death while walking down the street. Luckily Mitsuru arrives to protect him until backup can arrive. He wakes up to find himself drawn into a nearly magical world with Faery, vampires and nano machines. He has two years of school before he can decide which (of the vary vary many) factions he wants to join because he turns out to be a catalyst. He can help power someone else and he will have nearly unending (but not unlimited) power when he can ...more
Mats Berglund
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Someone said this book and Zero Sight books were similar, and as I liked the Zero Sight books I thought I would give this a try.

Honestly I don't really agree that they are very similar, they have some rough similarities but... I don't know.

This book is kinda messy, the cast of characters are too big for the amount of actual backstory they get amongst other things.

The biggest problem of the entire book in my opinion is the main character, he's way too willing to be led around by his nose for i
Tim Hart
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I read, I want to get lost in the story, lost in the characters. This book spins a nice tale of a complex world where magic and violence go hand in hand. The characters are fairly complex, the pace is steady and the editing sucks.

Alex Warner is a lost soul in the middle of vast conspiracy. He is clueless, helpless and is being pursued by every person of power in Central. His history is murky and even he doesn't understand his past.

Forget the editing, and focus on the story and the world tha
Jim Kratzok
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly good story. I didn't know what to expect from descriptions of this book. Too many times I've read something based on a blurb and been disappointed. Not in this case.

True, this is another case of a teenage boy, an outsider in his own town, discovering that he has magical powers. And like in so many other stories, there's a school that can not be located using conventional means, where the boy, Alex, is to learn how to wield his powers. But this is not Hogwarts, Alex is not Harry, an
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Its an interesting idea and a good story that starts out and a good pace and keeps rolling. The characters are interesting and each one of them have something going on behind the scenes making them more than they appear to be.

However on that note there's not a lot of inconsistency there's a lot of things that are never given an official explanation but continues to read on as if we should know, events happen in the characters lives that we never see but are referenced back too. Truth be told I t
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
First of all, there were a lot of characters. That is ok, when they are described in detail with background but here they thrown into the p(l)ot. I particularly didnt like Alex but his behaviour may be not what it seems to be, by design.

The plot was at times difficult to follow because there many POVs with vague agendas, but it strangely it held my attention.

The writing was clear and descriptive. While the ideas for the world were quite refreshing, many aspects of the world were not described o
Nayan Patel
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Stumbled across this book primarily due to Amazon recommendation. Read the blurb and decided to give it a go.

Have got completely mixed feelings about this book. Twice during the course of the book, I felt like stopping right there and then and all of a sudden, I would get hooked in the plot. I somehow feel that the author got the pacing of this book completely wrong or maybe the editors did not do their job properly. The "protocol" is something that is definitely new to me. The co-existence of h
May 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Young adult fantasy, werewolves and vampires.

On the face of it I would have immediately dismissed it, but I didn't actually know it was YA when I started. It has all the obligatory teenage 'stuff' in it that I personally don't like but luckily it's not page after page of kids trying to make sense of the their 'feelings'. I can't really say it is an amazing story but some concepts, or combinations or concepts, were fairly original and interesting, even though I feel that too much is not explaine
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Zero Sum (Zero Sight, #2)
  • At the Gates (Demon Squad, #3)
  • Dread Nemesis of Mine (Overworld Chronicles, #4)
  • Shift (The Protector, #2)
  • The Awakening (Hasea Chronicles #1)
  • The Chosen (Blood and Brotherhood, #2)
  • Psion Delta (Psion, #3)
  • Red Moon Demon  (Demon Lord, #1)
Zachary Rawlins lives in Oakland, California, with his amazing wife Chloe and his genius Corgi, Ein. During the day, he works in the Environmental industry. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, comic books, urban exploring, and writing. To date, much of his work has been in two novel series, as well as a variety of other side projects.

The Central Series spans five volumes, concerning the remarkable
More about Zachary Rawlins...

Other Books in the Series

The Central (5 books)
  • The Anathema (The Central, #2)
  • The Far Shores (The Central, #3)
  • The Outer Dark (Central, #4)
  • The Church of Sleep (Central, #5)
“Its complicated, on one level. On another, its the same old stupid story - we aren't enlightened. We disagree, fall in love, and hate eachother, the whole spectrum of human experience. We have differences of opinion, and sometimes, we can't resolve those differences peacefully. If a disagreement goes for long enough, and is important enough, people start to take sides. Once people start to take sides, conflict is inevitable.” 5 likes
More quotes…