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This was my daughter's favorite book, she is 13 and would not shut up about it... so I listened to it, and not only was it voiced well, but the emotional depth of the story was beautiful, and sad, and redemptive. it's rare a book moves me, and unheard of in a teen book, but well done here. Truly, thank you.
I enjoyed the Last Academy as a light read that managed to keep my interest.
I didn’t exactly get lost in the characters or plot and I think that’s partially because the author had to keep her cards very close in order to maintain the central mystery. This also meant the climax was a touch slow because of the all the exposition required for the final reveals.
The best moments could only happen after the mystery was revealed so I have to wonder why the author worked so hard to maintain it for both the protagonist AND the reader (who could take a pretty reasonable guess before even cracking the first page). The central themes and dramas were interesting and Last Academy could have been a more profound and thought-provoking read if it had the freedom of a more straight-forward narrative.
Still, I enjoyed what I got and that’s pretty high praise given some of the clunkers I’ve be disappointed with recently.
I’d classify Last Academy as a light piece of fiction and though I usually look for stories more intense or grander in scale there is often a need for quieter, palate cleansing fiction. Last Academy doesn’t seem to be the start of a new series, which makes it even more refreshing in the age of the trilogy.
Overall Last Academy was a fairly simple and inoffensive story. It was elevated by a few powerful character moments and themes but let down by the reliance on the thin mystery plot. I’m hesitant to all-out recommend it to any particular audience because I think expectation would be pretty toxic to anyone’s enjoyment.
All I can say is, at the end, I was happy to have read it and as a very demanding reader I don’t often say that!