Jan 18, 2012

The Academy: The Central #1 Review

Back of the Book:

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 find himself in a hospital bed in a very different place – the Academy, a school in a hidden, fog-shrouded city named Central, where teenagers with remarkable abilities train to become Operators like Mitsuru, soldiers who use their amazing and frightening powers to fight Witches, Weir, and each other. And Alex is the Academy’s newest student.

In a class of students who can read minds, turn to stone, and sort through possible futures – and staff who can control emotions, set fires with thought, and level mountain sides on a whim - Alex is quickly in over his head. Worse, he has caught the interest of both the cartels vying for control of Central – the fragmented and aristocratic Hegemony, and the ruthless and dictatorial Black Sun. Alex is forced to make his way through a school populated by telepaths, vampires, and most puzzling of all, a number of girls who seem interested in him: Emily, lovely and almost powerless, with orders to make Alex fall in love with her; Anastasia, a Machiavellian heiress trapped in the body of a adolescent; and Eerie, only half human and not entirely sane, but strangely captivating.

All the while, an elite cadre of Operators drawn from the staff of the Academy, the Auditors, fight brutal battles against the Witches and rebellious cartels, as Alex attempts to navigate the Byzantine politics of Central in the hopes of survival, passing grades, and possibly even a girlfriend.

My Thoughts:

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? Yeah he is nervous about touching a girl, but is it nerves because he is new at it, or does it run deeper. Alex just jumps right into a completely new world and doesn't really bat an eye. He just accepts it and runs with it.

The Good:

This is a great story that uses all our favorite monsters, (werewolves, vampires, elves, witches, etc.) and incorporates "super" people all working together and against each other.

The Bad:

This book explains almost nothing. The author introduces you to an entire new world that has its own set of rules and regulations. Each person uses different protocols but you are never really explained what they are until way after you have probably deduced an answer. Their are a number of different things that I could point out that are just left unexplained in the book. Now I am sure the author will explain the unexplained in the next book, but it makes for a confusing and frustrating read. Out of the three people I know that started read the book, I was the only one that finished it.

Final Thoughts:

Expect to be lost on a lot of what is going on in the book. If you don't understand what is going on, then just keep reading until it starts making sense again. This is a very interesting book, and I am excited to read the next book, but I am just worried it will leave a lot of unanswered questions. The book is worth the read.

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