Ann's Reviews > Academy 7

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
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's review
Sep 03, 2009

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bookshelves: science-fiction, 2009
Read in September, 2009

Aerin Renning has escaped years of abuse and imprisonment on a slave planet. Dane Madousin, son of the Alliance Council's General, has just committed a crime. The two have just been accepted into the most elite school in the universe: Academy 7. Aerin, believing her status as an Alliance citizen is a sham, is terrified that she will be discovered and expelled. Dane knows that his harsh father will never allow him to remain at the school. As the two most talented students in the entering class, they become almost immediate rivals. When Dane breaks the rules, Aerin is implicated in his transgression. The two are forced to share in the punishment, where Aerin realizes she may have been wrong about Dane all along. It's clear that the two characters are connected by more than just their academic talent, and the unfurling of their past, while enjoyable, is not a surprise.

The back cover of Academy 7 would have you believe that the story is Romeo and Juliet in space. However, romance plays a minor role. The strife between the Alliance planets and Trade Union becomes an allegory for the current conflict in the Middle East, but that isn't the focus either. What could be a tight interpersonal drama falters with its stiff, formal writing style and incomplete world-building. Still, with the majority of YA science fiction trending toward dystopian lit, it's refreshing to read a bonafide space adventure, even if this story doesn't live up to its potential. If the ending is any indication, a sequel (or two) is sure to follow.
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