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Akarnae by Lynette Noni
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A quick, enjoyable read, with a very engaging main character. ( )
  Elizabeth_Foster | Nov 3, 2017 |
This book is described as Narnia meets Harry Potter meets Xmen.

I can't wait for book two.

The only reason why I had to put this book down was because of work. ( )
  DaffiMere | Jul 24, 2015 |
Alex is starting her first day at boarding school, her first day of school ever, and it’s already not going well. Dripping wet from a trip into the fountain, she opens the door to the headmaster’s office to find herself in the middle of a forest in Medora, a fantasy world parallel to her own. She’s stranded until Professor Marselle returns to the Akarnae Academy to help her. While she waits, she is invited to attend the Academy and learn about the world. Along with new friends Jordan and Bear, she discovers things about herself she didn’t know before and learns about her strange new world. But there is something dangerous brimming in Medora and it may be up to Alex to save an entire race, while risking her chances of returning home.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Jordan said, his amusement clear. “There’s no such thing as magic.”

I enjoyed this from the first page. I found myself lured into the story and I really loved the journey from beginning to end. Alex was likeable but flawed and as readers we watch her grow and adapt as she settles into life in Medora. There is so much to learn, so much that is new to her and while overwhelming at times, she handles it all fairly well under all the pressure, although she does spend a fair bit of time falling and convinced she is facing certain death. And while she doesn’t die, she does sustain a lot of injuries. She learns though, and I like that. One of the best part of this story is Alex’s growth as a person and as a student of the Akarnae Academy. I particularly love when she decides she is sick of ‘being manhandled by bullies’ and learns to stand up for herself.

Alex’s friends Jordan and Bear are the ones who find her wandering the forest and bring her to the Academy to wait for the elusive Professor – only where has he been and why? This only gets more confusing as he reveals himself at the end of the book. But I was talking about Jordan and Bear – such sweet guys, protective of Alex (but not too much!), fun and up for a laugh, coming out with gems like this:

“Hey now,” Bear said, feigning hurt. “We prefer the term ‘library folk’. It’s much less derogatory.”

And:

“I have too many virtues already. I don’t think my personality could handle anymore.”

Both Jordan and Bear develop as characters as well over the course of the novel and you won’t believe but there is no romance here! Between anyone! It’s fantastic and has been way too long since I read a book that didn’t revolve around a romance. There is a hint of one towards the end, but it’s not much and may not even be anything yet, plus it’s not the usual suspect. It’s just like FINALLY. I was so pleased! That is another aspect that puts Akarnae above other YA books I’ve read in the last year.

So was there anything I didn’t like? Well Jordan and Bear drop the ball a couple of times, especially when Alex visits Bear’s family over the Medoran equivalent of Christmas break she is woefully unprepared and uneducated about Medoran life to fit in where they don’t know she’s from Earth (oh yeah, they know about us but we don’t know about them). What has she been doing at that Academy if not learning about Medora? That’s the other thing – I want more Equestrian Skills class! We saw heaps of Combat but hardly any of Equestrian Skills, would love to see more than that. There is also a very similar relationship between Alex and Professor Marselle as there was between Harry and Dumbledore, but Professor Marselle is a lot less present than Dumbledore so it may be nothing. Speaking of which, are there any similarities between Harry Potter and Akarnae, you may be wondering – and look there are a few, but Akarnae stands easily on its own merits, not least their ‘magic’ being only an advanced form of technology.

There is a lot of promise in this novel and however it goes, I can’t wait to see where this story heads next.

“…your adventures here in Medora are not yet near finished.”

And I’m very glad about that!

( )
  crashmyparty | Jun 20, 2015 |
What a fascinating story!

Stepping into different worlds - check
Discovering gifts - check
Awesome friends - check
Wonderfully stable MC - check
Intriguing plot - check, check, check


At first, my mind decided to do a Harry Potter comparison, but I was pleased when it turned out to be something more. It is a mix of everything I enjoy, and I really had a wonderful time reading it.

Alex, Jordan, and Bear's friendship and adventures were great. I didn't want to stop reading, nor did I want the book to end. Lynette Noni built a fantastic world and combined it with a kick-ass plot. She also gave every character a distinct "voice", which is something I really liked.

I recommend reading this book.. A definite must read.

Now, can we please get book #2? :D




*This arc was kindly provided by Pantera Press & Smith Publicity via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ( )
  xKhuloodx | Mar 9, 2015 |
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With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings' world changes--literally. Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities. Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her... but he's missing. While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora's boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can't ignore her fear that something unexpected... something sinister... is looming. An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex's shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race's survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home? Will Alex risk her entire world--and maybe even her life--to save Medora?… (more)

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