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The Covert Academy

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In the late 21st Century, the world’s governments have collapsed and mob rule sweeps the planet.

A group of so-called experts, known as the Confederacy, assume control. When they unleash thousands of unmanned killing machines on the rioters, the conflict ends, yet the majority of the populace remain destitute under the watchful eye of the drones.
Twenty years pass and Joshua has grown up on the now ruined streets of Chicago, in the shadow of the Confederacy’s symbol of authority, the Tower, situated within their impenetrable base, the Colonnade.

With his sister taken by the Confederacy for some unknown purpose, Joshua drifts for years around the border of the Colonnade, until one day he makes an incredible discovery that leads him to a secret resistance called the Academy, a school for training in the art of invisibility.
But Joshua has his own agenda, and he is hell-bent on a quest for the truth, no matter the cost...

296 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 31, 2013

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About the author

Peter Laurent

6 books35 followers
Author Peter Laurent was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied 3D animation in Auckland, then worked full-time in Mount Maunganui. Peter then formed his own company, Indiana Games Limited, and has been freelancing art and animation back in Auckland ever since. “The Covert Academy” is his first novel, borne of a passion for creative storytelling.

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5 stars
17 (22%)
4 stars
25 (32%)
3 stars
20 (25%)
2 stars
9 (11%)
1 star
6 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Yvonne Boag.
1,153 reviews10 followers
February 22, 2013
In the 21st century there was a third world war which left nations in total anarchy. The populations turned on themselves and rebelled against their governments. Eight years later a group of powerful people made up of the rich, the military and scientists met in secret and decided to usher in a new world order. They abolished...(Click here to read the complete review).
Profile Image for Angie.
1,214 reviews131 followers
March 14, 2013
Although I truly enjoy dystopian fiction, I always feel rather sceptical that it would be yet another Hunger Games carbon copy. Not so in the case of The Covert Academy. This utterly unique book had me riveted to my chair for a read-in-one-go session! While skilfully dodging drones - the all-seeing, highly destructive mechanical police of The Confederacy - Joshua is noticed by Sarah, an agent from the Academy. He is taken from his homeless existence on the streets of Chicago and whisked away to the Academy which most believe to be just another myth. In an unhappy, oppressed society ruled by a few brilliant people, there will always be those who oppose them and intrigue in their own ranks is the order of the day. Not only is Joshua signed up to train as a fighter against the Confederacy, but he uncovers numerous subplots and surprising truths during his time in the Academy.

The author created a believable and very realistic back story concerning the events leading up to the circumstances in which this book is set. He uses very advanced technology to achieve his goals rather than resorting to magic and other paranormal solutions.

The characters are highly realistic and are given room to develop and grow throughout the story. Joshua, the rat-eating street boy, has to become a leader in the span of six months; and Sarah, the female protagonist, changes from a ruthless killing machine to a person who thinks twice before simply killing her antagonist. The other characters are all brilliantly crafted; from the truly psychotic Simeon Warner who tries to mind control his pawns, to the leader of the Academy who is a brilliant strategist. Then there are those who are not what they appear to be - something which the author manages to successfully hide from the reader until he is ready to reveal the truth.

For a fast-paced story with absolutely never a dull moment and so much realism it is scary, I highly recommend The Covert Academy. As the book ends in somewhat of a cliff-hanger, I hope we'll soon see the next instalment in what promises to be a five-stars-all-the-way series. (Ellen Fritz)
Profile Image for Andrew Morgan.
Author 5 books79 followers
February 17, 2013
I have just finished The Covert Academy and here are my thoughts. I will preface this with the understanding that YA is not really my thing - I thought the highly regarded Ender's Game was trite, but it gives me a good benchmark for the style and depth a YA book should have. Taking Ender's Game as a five star rating in YA adult world, I have considered The Covert Academy accordingly.

The Review:

The Covert Academy is an immediately aspirational young adult sci-fi packed with action and lightening fast pace. Recounting the story of twenty year-old Joshua and his life in the slums of a militia-controlled Chicago, The Covert Academy combines everything a boy in his teens enjoys; technology, violence and of course, girls.

Whilst the characters may lack a little depth in a straight-swap compromise for outright pace, Joshua is immediately endearing, his plight for survival and his honourable quest to find his sister - kidnapped by the military rulers, the Confederates - creating a strong sympathetic connection.

The writing itself is age-appropriate and easy to read, quickly bouncing from one butt-kicking to the next, although it can skip a little too quickly passed moments of detail that could have been more enjoyable with some additional description. The arrival of a decision or the reaction to an event can feel a tad forced, as if the character is rushed into his next line by an impatient director, but the mind fills in the gaps easily enough before moving along with the story.

If you're looking for an action-packed read that doesn't require a dictionary and a philosopher on standby, then The Covert Academy is a great choice. Leave your brain at the door, kick back and prepare to whoop ass!
Profile Image for John.
766 reviews45 followers
April 17, 2013
This was overall a fun read. Dystopian, totalitarian regime, embedded computers and a valiant resistance. So far so good. There is a brief mention of the idea of trading privacy for security, though not investigated in any depth. Really, I saw this as an action book, and it succeeded on that level.

The characters were a little flat, for instance I had a very hard time remembering that Sarah and Joshua were supposed to be in there early twenties. They gave a vibe of quite a bit younger, I would say 15-17.

The chapters were quite short, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I think it helped keep a feeling of forward momentum going. On the other hand, there were a few which seemed to end fairly arbitrarily, with the next chapter picking up at same spot and same POV.

As I said, I viewed this as an action book, and the plot moved along and kept me interested, so four stars.
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,946 reviews
February 13, 2013
The Covert Academy (The Covert Academy #1) Peter Laurent

Set in the late 21st century , the government has been eliminated and the Confederacy has taken over. They have made drones that destroy people and are under the rule of the Confederates. The Colonnade is the main base for these confederates.

Joshua has been living on the ruins of what used to be Chicago and he learns his sister has been taken by the Confederates and he sets out to find her. He finds a secret resistance called the Academy, a school for training in the art of invisibility.

There he teams up with Sarah, and some new friend on a quest to rescue his sister. As they fight for their lives nothing will stop Joshua from finding the truth.

Fast Paced exciting futuristic adventure. I feel Y/A and adults as well will enjoy this read. I look forward to the next two books in this soon to be trilogy.
1 review
February 27, 2013
What a great first book. Looking forward to the next installment. Not normally my type of book but could not put it down. Keep up the great work Peter.
13 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2013
The Covert Academy vs The Confederacy, Part One - ..., 12. Februar 2013
Von miki101. Michaela (Italy + Southeast Asia)
...and the winner is: Obviously the reader!

This is a most astonishing debut novel that's absolutely new in the broad field of the blooming Dystopian visions. Why that, You may ask?
Simple: It covers a vision of the world that may be not too far from our own, together with most amazing New Technology absolutely understandable also for the less technically gifted of us. And often based on devices that are yet covering not only the skies but also the streets of our always more and more controlled planet. But it also contains the personal stories of children forced to grow too fast in a world more and more hostile to her human inhabitants, each one of them coping in their own special way with the very diffentent environment they're living in. And adds three of the most foul of human flaws: Personal greed and the craving of omnipotence paired with the pure lust of killing. Which leads our heroines and heroes to acting almost permanently in a high speed modus.

Place: Planet Earth
Time: Late 21st Century, Third Millenium A.D.

After the savage times that was the 20th Century, the population boomed as never before. People craved for cheap quality goods and China became the global economy leader. Only the western governments, always more in debt, defaulted to pay back their loans. Without any money and benefits left, people revolted against their rulers. That was World War Three, governments slaughtering the people who gave them their power. After 8 years some Generals, top scientific minds and a few clever billionaires held a public conference and announced the abolishment of national identities forming a planetary government and called it The Confederacy.
Initially promised as a temporary measure only, it now endures for far over twenty years. Human beings, their basic needs neglected, are without hope and controlled 24/7 by the Mighty with devices called iPC and are oppressed by mechanic soldiers called "Drones".
During World War Three a revolutionary cell called "The Covert Academy" was secretly founded in Japan, then forced out to a well hidden place in the Pacific Ocean. Their goal? Having a well trained and equipped force to combat and bring down the Confederacy. But how can they get into The Tower and its ironclad surroundings called The Colonnade?

At this point enters Joshua, a Chicago street urching who's sister Lucia has been taken to the Colonnade about six years ago. He makes a miserable living day after day and dreams of rescuing Lucia - a task with his only weapon being a sharp knife, that seems to be impossible. But fate has other things in mind for him.
The day General Withers in The Tower announces the end of the oppressions because of a Super device able to read human minds and not only, Joshua's luck is turning. By stealing the precious new Super iPC under the noses of the Confederates, he meets Sarah - an elite member of the Covert Academy...

Will Joshua by joining the Covert Academy reach his personal goal?
Or will the Confederacy with its secret forces finally wipe out the hated adversary?
Will Simeon Warner, now head of the Confederacy gain the possession of the new bio-ID with all its powerful possibilities?
Or are there other, even MORE powerful forces ready to intervene?
Read and learn more!

This book is a real tour-de-force through all genres of thrilling literature You can imagine (or not :)...
As I said above - an astonishing debut novel by the young New Zealand author Peter Laurent, and an absolute pager-turner. With all the ideas, action and New Technologies in this one an other writer would have covered two or three books!
And yet - I have heard - there have to come two follow-ups! I only hope Mr Laurent is yet busy to finish at least the first one soon! Because on MY personal wish-list it is ranking very, but very very high!
A must-read for all those readers that also love their Sci-Fi heroines tough, beautiful, unforgiving and lethal - like Sarah... And their heroes merciful, handsome and charismatic like Joshua!
Profile Image for Jenn Swanson.
1,280 reviews6 followers
October 9, 2014
For someone that LOVES sci-fi, they will enjoy this story. It had moments of action and suspense. For me however, it was drawn out and long.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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