Monday, July 21, 2014

The Academy by Zachary Rawlins

Stories written around the idea of a bunch of teenagers at a school for the supernaturally gifted have been around a long time. From the original X-Men to the Jedi Academy and onward toward Harry Potter, it has been a repeated theme and that is even discounting the number of times that the idea has been used in anime. Since Harry Potter, we've seen a large number of these come out, some with unique twists on the scenario and others being somewhat formulaic.

This certainly falls into the former category. It is clear that Mr. Rawlins takes a number of queues from anime and manga in his story telling, but the setting itself is a very dark work filled with grim, frightening people (many of the most frightening being the "good guys") and punctuated by occasional relaxing rays of normality.

The first novel takes you through two simultaneously developing and closely related storylines, focusing the majority of the time on the life of one Alex Warner while the subplot storyline occasionally gives peeks at the more brutal world surrounding where he finds himself.

The metaphysics and mythos of the piece are intriguing and seem well thought out. Definitely an engaging read.

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