The quick description: Academy 7 is a space drama with a bit of mystery and a dash of romance. I could easily see how this would transfer, quite well actually, to the screen: while its pacing is slightly off (too much too quickly at the end, with a whole chunk of time just skipped over), it’s a thoroughly enjoyable jaunt into a fascinating universe of Osterlund’s imagining.
Aerin’s on the run — escaped from the slave planet where she’d been living for the past six years since her father’s death — when she’s intercepted/rescued by a trade ship. The captain runs some tests, and it turns out that Aerin’s smart enough to be accepted into the Alliance’s (the central governing body of the group of planets) top school, Academy 7. There, she finds her top competition is Dane Madousin: son of the top general in the Alliance’s military, he’s never really been challenged in much of anything before. They both rise to the competition, and building upon a tentative friendship, slowly discover much about their parents’ pasts, which, invariably, affects their shared future.
Much of the mystery is related to the pasts of Dane’s and Aerin’s parents and unasked questions gone unanswered for most of their individual lives. Yet, those unasked questions shaped their views of the present. This sounds much hokier than it comes off in the book. Readers are privy to both Aerin’s and Dane’s thoughts, and their individual insecurities and determination help make the book quite compelling. However, in retrospect, much of the book isn’t really about Dane and Aerin; it’s about the consequences of their parents’ actions. It makes me hope for a sequel: I want to know more about Dane and Aerin, and how they choose to move forward after the revelations at the end of this book. It also helps that the universe is really quite cool.
Rated: None (there is some implied violence, but nothing direct.)