With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings’s 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?
Source: Simon and Schuster Australia
I couldn’t help going along with Lyn’s excitement. Every post of her’s, I read and her commentary of her publishing journey gripped me. And finally, it’s here! And I’ve read it!
The most prominent thing that struck me while reading this book was how similar it was to Harry Potter. There were so many aspects which flashed me back to my Harry Potter era and I wasn’t sure (I’m still not sure) if this was a good thing or a bad thing. But it did make me uncomfortable. The school, Akarnae has the same sort of atmosphere as Hogwarts with it’s tight knit students, prominent teachers and unique classes such as Combat and Species Distinction. Alex also hangs out with two boys which is similar to Hermione with Ron and Harry. But their relationship was bit more different. More playful and no romantic attachments involved.
Yet still, I enjoyed the book. In my opinion this book is less Young Adult and more Middle Grade. The writing is descriptive and understandable and the characters are hilarious.The banter between Bear and Jordan, Alex’s two best friends was extremely funny, there were times where I couldn’t stop laughing. I enjoyed their easy going friendship and how laid-back yet protective they were of each other. Each characters had a lot of depth. Jordan came from filthy rich parents who paid almost no attention to him except to show him off to various socialites. This added to his exterior easy-going, joking character who only wanted to be seen as a normal kid rather than a spoilt brat. Bear on the other hand came from a large, loving family (similar to the Weasley family but with less kids and no ginger). Together they created this fun-loving pair you could still take seriously but also absolutely love.
So Alex comes from our world, called Freya in Medora which is the world she has stepped into. Ends up that this is because she has been “called” and “chosen” by a very, strangely powerful library that can talk which I found very cool! The school she had landed into, Akarnae is one for the gifted, a school for the few humans in Medora with powers. Somehow, Akarnae’s travelling headmaster is sure that Alex has a power but it isn’t till the end of the book where her gift is revealing. Not spoiling. The plot is very uneventful till the second half of the book when other dangers are revealed and things gets exciting. Before this though, you many find yourself slightly bored.
This book was very entertaining, though can sometimes be very bland in parts and repetitive. There were a lot of scenes where I thought it could do without because of their repetitiveness. Another think I noted is that this book would be intimidatingly thick for younger readers. Don’t let that do that!
But this book is an excellent read for those who are probably younger and are huge fans of Harry Potter. If you are, you will not be disappointed with this read!