Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Academy 7Academy 7 is a futuristic science fiction novel centering on the interconnected lives of Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin.  Aerin opens up the novel by surviving an escape from a planet where she has been enslaved for the past 7 years.  Dane first appears by diving in to save a life from a forest fire in an unauthorized spacecraft, ending up in jail for a few hours until a good old friend of the family comes to bail him out.  As the story moves forward, the two find themselves in a school for the most gifted called Academy 7.  They maintain the top two marks: one a general’s son, the other an illegal immigrant to the Alliance.

The Alliance was formed to protect the peace among the planets following the rapid expansion of intergalactic travel and colonization.  There is another organization called the Trade Union.  The Trade Union is negotiating with the Alliance, fighting this large organized body of government; similar to labor unions formed in most occupations to fight for equal rights for the workers.  They view the rights of each planet as being neglected.

This novel does not center so much on the developing romance between the two characters, which is refreshing in itself.  It is more focused on uncovering the mysteries between Aerin and Dane, relating to their parents and their government’s secrets.  The novel is directed at young adult readers, but anyone who enjoys a peek into intergalactic development may find this interesting.  It is a short but interesting read that may lack in some areas, but packs a punch with the plot itself.

Lift off, readers!

(Amanda Sanson, Central Library)

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Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

flawedYou may be familiar with Cecelia Ahern as a fiction and romance author with novels such as P.S. I Love You and The Time of My Life.  This is Ahern’s first swing at writing Young Adult novels.  In Flawed, Celestine North has a perfect life.  She is in love with the perfect boy who has a powerful father in a society where perfection is mandatory.  For those who have not been perfect, they are branded with a red F for Flawed for everyone to see.

When Celestine takes a risk and helps an older gentleman who is Flawed, she is suddenly in court facing her boyfriend’s father to see if she will be a Flawed citizen.  However, Mr. Craven has different plans when Celestine will not apologize for helping a Flawed man when he was dying.  Celestine’s world is turned upside down when she suddenly becomes a Flawed, has to have a handler, cannot eat any lavish food, and her loving boyfriend suddenly wants no part of her.  But Celestine has a secret that only few know. Can one Flawed change the whole system?

If you are a fan of The Hunger Games or Divergent, this might be the perfect read for you.  The second book in the duology, Perfect, is also available.

(Michelle Colbert, McGirt-Horton Branch Library)

Troika by Alastair Reynolds

I was reading an article about hard science fiction and found a reference toTroika the author Alastair Reynolds, and a list of his books.  This particular title caught my eye because it was a novella.  As I am not usually a big fan of science fiction, but like brevity, I figured it would be a quick read.  It was, and was surprisingly accessible.

Troika brings us to a future second Soviet Union, in which Mother Russia has topped, technologically, anything else in the world, especially in the field of space travel.

Dimitri Ivanov is one of three cosmonauts charged with discovering the mystery of what is known as the Matryoshka, an immense space object that reappears in orbit once every twelve years.  There have been other attempts, some disastrous, to fathom the purpose behind this machine or entity.  Apart from its massive presence and imperviousness, though, the Matryoshka doesn’t appear to be a threat to Earth.

Dimitri and one of his co-workers actually gain entry into the Matryoshka, although it’s very touch and go.  And what they find is — well, you’ll have to read it.

The book begins with an escapee from an institution, somewhere in the dead cold of a Russian winter, and goes from this, presumably the present in the book, to the retelling of what actually went on with the exploration of the Matryoshka.

At least, we can presume this.

(William Hicks, Information Services)