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First of all, I enjoyed the writing style in Academy 7 It didn t feel like the typical young adult book the writing and vocabulary seemed mature I also appreciated the subtle building of characters through their actions and dialogue.The futuristic setting at an elite school and the two well constructed characters, each with different histories, caught my attention immediately Unfortunately, what goes on between the two of them takes up most of the story I would have liked to understand about their world, and to see further development interaction with secondary characters On the other hand, this book left me with a clear picture of the characters in mind They felt very real, each with their own internal struggles As I was reading the last couple pages, I couldn t help but imagine a sequel It seems like the perfect start to a new adventure, now that so much has been discovered I would definitely not pass that up I enjoyed this book a lot The way the characters interacted and developed their relationship VERY slowly It was well done and realistic for people so abused and damaged emotionally As many other people have said, the ending seemed to be left open for a sequel While in itself it was a good story about the two characters realizing what they what from their life, which is a future All the talk of politics and all the revelations at the end of the book seemed like this was just the start of their destinies The cover and synopsis of Academy 7 is misleading Yes, the characters Dane and Aerin do fall in love eventually It takes pretty much until the very end of the book for there to be any romance and then it s not really romance so much as affection Even the scifi elements are subtle What I found the book to really be about was friendship and learning to trust in people.Both Dane and Aerin show up at Academy 7 for all the wrong reasons Dane attends the school to piss his father off, Aerin simply has nowhere left in the universe to go Dane doesn t take anything seriously if he doesn t really like or want anything he wont be disappointed when he looses it and Aerin can t take anything lightly terrified to enjoy anything in her life because it all could so easily be taken away They both lived locked behind self made walls in solitude terrified that someone might see the secrets and pains hiding there.When these two people who don t seem to appreciate their opportunity to be one of the select students of the greatest school in the universe meet, a spark between them ignites an unexplainable and passionate competition for the top rank in the class A shared punishment for Dane s childish crime starts to turn their rivalry into something neither of them have experienced before Friendship But their mutual desire to not share anything about themselves with anyone puts many walls in their growing friendship The vulnerability and emotional exposure keeps shifting out of balance as secrets are accidentally revealed or deduced by the other With both of them so scared, every wall that comes down is replaced by another as they struggle to not let themselves trust Their friendship has started to change them both whether they realize it or not Dane starts to care, about school, about Aerin, about his future, about anything And Aerin starts to enjoy her life, laugh, smile, and look forward to the future.However, when a Christmas vacation to Dane s home planet gives Aerin front row seats to his darkest secrets, the balance of their fragile relationship is so drastically disturbed, it s ruined Dane shuts down and Aerin realizes the only way to get back in is to do the one thing she can never do, make them even by revealing her deepest scars as well As they start to fill the void between them they realize there are secrets in their past that are being kept from them as well Secrets that tie their fates together So, they set out together to uncover the startling secrets of their fathers, the tragic fates of the mothers they never knew, and the answers that will unburden them once and for all. Every young citizen of the Alliance between the ages of sixteen and seventeen is given the Academy Entrance Exam The results of the test determines which Academy the student will attend Academy 7 is the most prestigious school in all of the Alliance and only the students with the top 50 scores are invited to attend each year.Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin both receive invitations to Academy 7 and both decide to accept for their own, very different, reasons Aerin has some deep, dark secrets that could ruin her chances at the Academy and guards herself against exposure by isolating herself from others She spends her time studying about the politics and history of the Alliance in order to excel in her classes so she can secure a return invitation the next year.Dane is the son of a very powerful man Not only is his father a successful General, but he is also on the Council, the small group of people who governs the Alliance Attending Academy 7 isn t Dane s dream, but in order to spite his father, he decides to make the most of his time there Dane soon excels in his studies and holds the number one position in every class except one Personal Combat There is one person that bests him in Combat on a daily basis Aerin.After a disciplinary action forces Aerin and Dane to work together, he tries to break through the wall that she has created Slowly, as they learn about each other, their secrets come out and, together, they come to terms with their problems Anne Osterlund has created an interesting science fiction world for ACADEMY 7 Both Aerin and Dane change and grow throughout the course of the story and witnessing their failures and triumphs is interesting The story has a satisfying ending and could easily be a stand alone novel, but on the other hand, there are story lines that could definitely continue We ll have to wait and see what the author has in mind Click here to visit her website. Originally reviewed on The Book SmugglersSince the age of eleven, all Aerin has known is pain and brutality After their ship crashes on the x factor planet of Vizhan, Aerin s father the only family and other person she knows in the entire universe dies, and Aerin is sold into slavery Six years have passed since that terrible day, and Aerin has learned to fight, to fend for herself, and, most importantly, how to break free Making a desperate last gambit for her freedom, Aerin is able to salvage her father s crashed spaceship and escape Vizhan But escape is only the beginning and Academy 7 is not about Aerin s daring escape It is the story of what happens after she is intercepted by an Alliance ship, and she tests into the most prestigious school in the civilized universe.Like Aerin, Dane Madousin is brilliant and resourceful unlike Aerin, Dane has grown up with privilege and power albeit with a controlling, hateful, and abusive family The son of a powerful Alliance General and Council Member, the roguish Dane has also made the tough academic cut to get into Academy 7 and it is here Dane and Aerin will meet, where the unlikely pair will become friends, and where they will learn that their pasts intersect in unexpected and tangled ways Academy 7 is the first book I ve had the pleasure of reading from Anne Osterlund, and holy freaking crap, Han Solo, I loved it The first thing that needs to be said and I know every review has pointed this out, but it NEEDS to be emphasized Academy 7 is a science fiction book I know, the cover makes it look like a YA boarding school paranormal romance, possibly set in the past not that there s anything wrong with historical or PNR , and I get that the publisher wanted to capitalize on Osterlund s brand and made this book look very much like Aurelia and Exile However, this packaging is incredibly misleading, because I repeat this is a science fiction novel It s not a half hearted science fiction novel, it s not a fantasy novel with loose SF elements, it is an honest to goodness science fiction novel With spaceships And different planets And souped up technology ok, mostly science fantasy technology, but don t let that put you off.Now that we ve got genre classification out of the way, on to the good stuff the story proper, and the wonderful dual protagonists I love the actual writing style and plot of Academy 7 yes, this is a book set in a boarding school think Hogwarts than Vampire Academy , but it is an incredibly competitive and selective academy that has nothing to do with one s birthright or money and everything to do with one s scholastic aptitude And, as luck would have it, the two top students in the school are our main characters, Aerin and Dane, who vie for the top marks in all of their classes I love that the two are not thrown into insta love super magnetic attraction mode when they first lay eyes on each other, and they become gradual confidants and friends with romance only coming much, much later as a slow simmering build up Even better than that, Aerin and Dane are separate people, that exist and breathe and come to life outside of a relationship with each other I love the fire of Aerin s convictions and her opinions about intergalactic politics and her need to make the most of the chance she s fought so hard for, just as I love Dane s warring desires to do well and defy his family, tempered with timidity of actually breaking away from his family once and for all We sympathize with Aerin as she grapples with the trauma of her past, the lessons she has taken to heart to survive and finally live as a free woman we ache with Dane as we learn the truth of his family, and the cruelty of his father and brother And we are so, so happy when Aerin and Dane find and confide in each other, two lonely souls that are able to find some peace together And then there s the actual story and world, too The plot is surprisingly insular, about two students trying to find their place in the world than about big action or explosions or conflict which suits me just fine The underlying mystery and driving force of the book is Aerin and Dane s relationship, and the secrets that lie in their pasts and their uniquely intertwined family heritages From a worldbuilding perspective, there is plenty going on to satiate the keen SFF fan The universe of the Alliance is one fraught with internal tensions and political complications The Alliance relies on an idyllic Manifesto that is great in spirit but often conveniently ignored when it comes to tricky situations or economic motivations turning a blind eye to x planets like Vizhan and its validation of slavery There s a cutthroat Trade Union that is amassing power and opposing the Alliance at every turn, and much at stake for the future of intergalactic peace and travel In the middle of all this turmoil, Aerin, Dane and their fellow cohorts at Academy 7 are being challenged and educated to grapple with these incredible challenges, which is really, really cool In terms of shortcomings, I only have a few, very small nitpicks when it comes to Academy 7 Aerin s father s story and the reason for his exile from the Alliance feels a little underdeveloped, and the answers all come very conveniently via magical hologram simulator technology, no less The writing leans a little towards the overwrought end of the spectrum Finally, so much of the action happens off screen, related in class lessons or simulations and that s all fine and good, I do wish that there was going on in realtime with Aerin and Dane.All things said, I truly loved this book Academy 7 is a great choice for readers who might be a little tentative to dip their toes into the science fiction genre but it s also a great book for longstanding fans of SF, too All in all, I loved this book and absolutely recommend it as a notable read of 2013 SoI m guessing Aurelia is worth the time and money I m excited to read of Anne Osterlund s work if you ve read her books, please let me know Academy 7 was a step outside of my usual reading tastes, but one I m glad I took I am all about expanding my book horizons, these days.The story revolves around two central characters, Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin, who initially manifest with distinct polarity Aerin is an orphaned fugitive, making a desperate escape from years of slavery on a despotic planet that has cast off technology and progress in favour of cruelty and culling Dane is the son of a decorated military general, a gifted and stubborn young man dogged by family discord and public notoriety Both become students at the illustrious Academy 7, the educational pride of the Alliance, to discover that their lives are inexplicably linked, and may harbour a secret with universal tee hee ramifications Before I began reading, I ll admit that I was expecting heavy science fiction with the kind of world building and technological detail that tends to go flying over my head I was uncertain whether this would be the type of book I could connect with, or derive enjoyment from reading Happily, I did both In Aerin and Dane, Osterlund has created two strong and complex characters, who carry the story admirably It would have been easy for them to slip into clich or archetypical territory the strong female and her cocky male counterpart However, the attention to detail and the carefully constructed back stories of both Aerin and Dane render them nuanced, giving their personalities and actions a believable context In an early scene where Aerin formidable in physical combat, reticent in social situations faces off in a debate with one of her instructors, her intensity of character really shines As a young woman who has fought for survival, is concealing her true identity, and is driven by strongly entrenched personal principles, she is an interesting and compelling character Likewise, while Dane initially appears to be self indulgent and arrogant by means of his position, Osterlund doesn t play to the stereotype, and gradually deconstructs his facade to reveal a troubled history and complicated situation in life Despite the differences in their lives, there is a certain affinity between the convictions they hold and the sense of personal alienation that surrounds them In terms of the relationship between the characters, there is a hint of romance as opposed to a deluge of it While the connection Dane and Aerin form is central to the story and takes up a large part of the plot, it is based around the development of mutual trust and understanding Academy 7 raises some interesting questions about war, abuse and freedom, the misuse of power and words vs action as a force for change There are no answers in the text the issues are put to the reader in a manner mirroring the academy s debate classes, in that Osterlund poses some thought provoking points through the set up of her universe and leaves these open to discussion, to be argued by the reader In this sense, the story had a topical relevance I was not expecting, and I felt it strengthened the story I did feel the absence of some action during the climax of the novel much of the intensity is internal and the actual conflict takes place a little off page It s not a major complaint, but I suppose I just wanted of everything, wanted the culmination of the story to be amplified, wanted to be present in the moment, wanted to see of the universe However, the tension is well done, and the novel sustains a brisk pace, suspenseful and tight as Aerin and Dane come closer and closer to uncovering the truth The writing is quite descriptive and dense in parts, but I feel that this gives the book a vivid feel that suits the style and genre of the story It s an interesting book to visualise, given the scope of the world and the variation in the planets and their social systems As mentioned previously, I would definitely have liked to see this explored further Although granted, there is limited space for that within one book Overall, while not wowed, I was entertained by Academy 7 It s a solid story with interesting characters and a setting that s both imaginative and familiar Also, there are lasers the book was really good though i noticed that i change the rating on this book a lot of times i read it in one sitting that s how much it captivated my interest there wasn t much action or suspense though but that was ok there are some really interesting debate scenes though, which gives the reader food for thought.i was a little disappointed that the main characters were the only ones who were fleshed out i would have liked to read pages dedicated to dane s dad for example while it is explained why he did what he did no spoilers, right , because his wife died, it wasn t enough for me but that s probably only me the main characters were fully developed unfortunately, i had a hard time imagining some things, like how does this planet look like like a plain, cold laboratory look with some plants here and there and yes, i agree with those who think the book cover doesn t completely fit with the story itself i liked the fact that although the focus lies on romance, it didn t overwhelm the story at all they didn t fall in love at first sight not at second or third sight either, for that matter many authors tend to write about characters which instantly fall in love, especially in the ya genre first it was suspicion and curiosity between those two then respect and care at last came affection and with that the love they felt for each other it was like watching a pumpkin grow from equilibrium, minority report, the golden compass .FREE E-PUB ♶ Academy 7 ♨ With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance consistently outtalks her Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship and romance begins to form But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined There is only one thing I hate about this book it s too damn short I could have kept on reading Academy 7 for another 500 pages it was just that good.Don t be fooled by the cover Academy 7 is Science Fiction YA But like all good Science Fiction it is about so much than space, it s about character And even while it is all about character, it s also about politics, and intelligence, and standing up and thinking for yourself Academy 7 managed to weave a complex world behind the main narrative a world both believable and intriguing that would have kept me hooked even if I hadn t liked the main story It s part what makes any book great, but in Academy 7 it is what made it brilliant.While there was a romance between the two main characters Aerin and Dane Academy 7 wasn t about them getting together it was about them getting over the misery that had been their lives Both Aerin and Dane reminded me, in a way, of Katniss from The Hunger Games Neither one of them wanted to open up to each other, but life brought them together to do just that I love it when characters need to overcome real emotional obstacles when their bond with another character develops out of the mistrust that everyone feels for strangers Aerin and Dane were complex individuals, and watching them grow together was just beautifulI also loved how intellectual this book was Academy 7 is an institute that brings together the brightest minds in the galaxy, and it shows Aerin and Dane are there because of their extraordinary intelligence, and Anne Osterlund lets it shine through the pages In case you hadn t gathered, I just loved this book There were a few flaws, mainly due to the short length of the novel I think Anne Osterlund had enough plot to fill at least 100 pages and it was a shame to see some pretty key scenes rushed into a few pages But the somewhat uneven pacing is not enough to distract from the sheer brilliance of this novel.Bottom line Academy 7 is a stunning, emotional, and realistic novel I adored the characters, the verse, and hell even the villains When I say YA fiction can be astounding, this is the type of novel I m talking about WOW Is the cover misleading or what LOL It s definitely a sort of science fiction romance book but it is definitely not how the cover portrays the book I think this might the only science fiction book that didn t confuse me with a bunch of terms 1 I love Aerin and Dane s relationship They don t fall in love right away like most teens in young adult books They both have special abilities that the other doesn t have which is nice They sort of complete each other like a puzzle piece D2 I like how the author interchanges between the perspectives of both characters but does it in such a subtle way You can definitely tell who s talking but it s not like blatantly announcing as the title that Aerin is talking or Dane is talking.3 The terms were not too hard to follow In a lot of sci fi books, I just get bored because all of the terms just confuse me But this one didn t 4 I like how for most of the book, it s very mysterious You don t get a lot of info on the characters but slowly, the details unfurl and in the end, you re left going ohhhhhhhh so that s what happened 5 Aerin is definitely a strong female lead which I love She s not a damsel in distress She can KICK BUTT literally LOL 6 I also love the depth behind the characters They both have secrets that they re unwilling to tell and they re f awed, like real people.7 Computer hacking and combat fighting I want to go to Academy 7 Overall, an amazing unexpected read that I flew through Absolutely loved it GO GO GO GO check it out. I m not usually a science fiction literature fan, but Academy 7 has become an exception Contrary to their futuristic setting the characters are easily relatable to today s teen They have many of the same struggles, dreams and desires Aerin and Dane were well developed and captivating characters to read about From the synopsis I was expecting sinister plot twist than what the story ultimately revealed, but I still really enjoyed the seamlessly intertwined plot that Osterlund surprised me with The subtle releases of the Aerin and Dane s backgrounds had me frantically flipping the pages to find out the connection I was absolutely intrigued by the world Osterlund created I might just have to change my outlook on Sci fi This was just a fantastic novel all around I ll be on the look out for novels by Osterlund.