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on 3 July 2009
I honestly cannot believe there are not a million more reviews of this book on Amazon - the book is brilliant! I'm used to reading YA romances and YA paranormal books; this book is sci-fi, action, romance all rolled into one (pretty unusual!) and it was great. The book's main narrator is Aerin, although in turns the book is narrated by other characters (most notably Dane). By the end of this book you know the characters so well, and you just want MORE! Sequel please! :-)

Aerin's trader father travelled with Aerin outside of a ring of central planets (representing the core of civilization in the galaxy), when he dies she is stranded as a slave on an outer planet. The book opens when Aerin has escaped, and she is brought to Academy 7, the most advance school in the galaxy where she meets Dane Madousin. Son of a legendary general. The bitter relationship between father and son means that the larger plot of the book (thriller/mystery) doesn't emerge until later on although there is plenty of action throughout the book.

The romance is slow to evolve (Aerin is trying too hard to go unnoticed, afraid that she is not a 'citizen' and so in the school illegally) - but perfect - and elements of the situation remind me of Hogworts, or the House of Night books (2 totally different genres) in a very good way.

Dane is a very worthwhile hero, and the voices of both characters are what makes this story so special. Aerin, is a compassionate young genius, used to fighting through life, and Dane is a tortured young man trying to find his place in society, amid the interested eyes of the rest of the world (due to his father's fame). I shall definitely be purchasing Anne Osterlund''s earlier novel Aurelia now and I hope it will be just as great a read!

I highly recommend this book to all YA readers, not just fans of science fiction, as the universality of the characters Anne has written helps this book to transcend such boundaries. This book will also be highly enjoyed by adults fans of romance who enjoy YA literature.
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Every young citizen of the Alliance between the ages of sixteen and seventeen is given the Academy Entrance Exam. The results of the test determines which Academy the student will attend. Academy 7 is the most prestigious school in all of the Alliance, and only the students with the top 50 scores are invited to attend each year.

Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin both receive invitations to Academy 7, and both decide to accept for their own, very different, reasons. Aerin has some deep, dark secrets that could ruin her chances at the Academy and guards herself against exposure by isolating herself from others. She spends her time studying about the politics and history of the Alliance in order to excel in her classes so she can secure a return invitation the next year.

Dane is the son of a very powerful man. Not only is his father a successful General, but he is also on the Council, the small group of people who governs the Alliance. Attending Academy 7 isn't Dane's dream, but in order to spite his father, he decides to make the most of his time there. Dane soon excels in his studies and holds the number one position in every class except one - Personal Combat. There is one person that bests him in Combat on a daily basis - Aerin.

After disciplinary action forces Aerin and Dane to work together, he tries to break through the wall that she has created. Slowly, as they learn more about each other, their secrets come out and, together, they come to terms with their problems.

Anne Osterlund has created an interesting science fiction world for ACADEMY 7. Both Aerin and Dane change and grow throughout the course of the story and witnessing their failures and triumphs is interesting.

The story has a satisfying ending and could easily be a stand-alone novel, but on the other hand, there are story lines that could definitely continue. We'll have to wait and see what the author has in mind.

Reviewed by: Karin Librarian
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on 13 January 2010
Authors always stun me with their imagination! While I normally shy away from sci-fi books the romance in this one caught my attention so I took a chance, I didn't regret it!
Although as a lover of romance books I wouldn't call this a romance, more a growing friendship, the romance really doesn't come into it until the end and even then there isn't much. This book didn't need any more romance in it though, the story was great.
I was completely taken in by the book and the worlds in it and didn't want it to end. I learnt so much about the characters, it felt like their story was only just beginning. I can't wait for a sequel!
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on 23 January 2014
Im not in my teens so I'm probably not the right target audience, but I have to say I really enjoyed this! I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did.
Basically its about a boy(Dane) and girl(Aerin) who have very seperate and different lives, being brought together by being enrolled in the same school. Theres no magic or vampires, but they have spacecrafts. I loved the setting, and the way Dane and Aerin interacted with each other and it was lovely the way you saw them slowly become friends and trust each other. Anne Osterlund had me laughing out loud while I read this book, especially during class scenes. I thought the dual narrative from both charactors worked really well.
To all the people who look at the cover and think this book is full of romance, it really isn't.
Really hope Anne Osterlund does a sequel to this, would love to be back in Dane and Aerins world, with their 2nd and 3rd years in the academy.
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on 15 June 2010
This book is truly a different, amazing story. It's setting is a bit different for me, I am used to fantasy adeventure storys but this book was a complete investment in my book collection. This book's setting was in outer space and revolved around an elite academy called Academy 7. The story intrigues the reader through strong charactors and plot twists. I would reccomend that anyone reading this book, no matter the age. This is also the first book that the author planned in a trilogy. Osterlund needs a strong reception to this book in order for the charators to continue their stories so we need to get poeple to get and review this book!
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on 10 January 2010
I thought this was a really good book, and the only reason for the 4 stars is it was good, but it didn't blow me away.

The story follows fugitive Aerin and rebel Dane, switching between the two for their 3rd person POV. It follows the two throughout their school year at the infamous Academy 7 and while they are both polar opposites, they find refuge with each other.

It was a charming read, and while I'm not really a fan of sci-fi, I enjoyed this book.
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on 13 April 2011
A story about a girl who appears to have nothing, including a nationality, but who gains entrance to a prestigeous academy, and a boy who seems to have everything. I found the unravelling of the appearances interesting, and hope that there will be a sequel showing how they get on in the future. I think this book is mainly aimed at the teenage market but I enjoyed it and its a long time since I was a teenager!!
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