At the most elite school in the universe, two very different people meet: Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin. Loner Aerin's tumultuous past and her unconventional upbringing make it hard for her to fit in at Academy 7. Rich Dane's dark secret concerning his family life makes it hard for him to open up to anyone, but his father's legacy makes him a celebrity. The two are at the top of their class, and are highly competitive. But when they are unexpectedly thrown together, they slowly become friends. And as they learn more and more about each other, it becomes apparent that there are many secrets surrounding their past—and with Aerin and Dane's special talents, it won't be long before they are uncovered.
Anne Osterlund delivers a unique and breathtaking book that will sweep away both fantasy and science-fiction lovers alike. Her futuristic universe, reminiscent of Star Wars, is vivid and varied, and quite intriguing. Osterlund does an excellent job presenting her characters, and giving little hints about their past, which succeeds in hooking readers right from the start. Both Aerin and Dane are dynamic characters who are fallible, but they recognize their problems and faults and grow as individuals throughout the course of the book. As readers delve more deeply into the novel, they'll be happy to find that Academy 7 is not just about romance, competition, and dark secrets; there are many political, social, and even ethical issues that the characters must grapple with. These more serious elements make Academy 7 more believable and realistic and, at times, more serious. Overall, Osterlund has created a highly imaginative, wonderfully entertaining, and nicely complicated read that is at once romantic, witty, and quite intelligent.
Cover Comments: Though this cover didn't really indicate the true nature of the book (it made me think it would be another medieval fantasy novel like Aurelia), I have to say that they romantic embrace and pose really does catch my eye--even though there isn't tons of romance in the book! The verdict: it's a really good cover, even if it is a little misleading!
Academy 7 will be available from Speak on May 14th, 2009!