Akarnae by Lynette Noni

6:48 PM

Title: Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1)
Author: Lynette Noni
Release Date: February 1, 2015
Publisher: Pantera Press
Pages: 397
Source: Copy provided by publisher

Overall: 4 Stars

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? 

My Thoughts: 
When her parents's latest archaelogical project sends them off to the Siberian wilderness, Alexandra Jennings is sent off to boarding school in Oregon instead of joining them. Dreading the upcoming months with no friends or parents to contact, Alex is shocked when she walks through the doorway of her new headmaster's office and literally finds herself in a completely different world. With no hope of returning to Earth, or Freya as the Medorans call it, until the mysterious Professor Marselle returns to Akarnae Academy, Alex has no choice but to accept the new reality of her life.

Keeping her otherworldly origins a secret, Alex soon finds herself pretending to be Akarnae Academy's latest transfer student, a transition pulled off with the help of her new friends Bear and Jordan. The easy-going, comedic pair were quick to befriend Alex at her most vulnerable momentwhen she was still in shock and denial about Medoraand tucked her under their protective wing. Their immediate bond to each other makes it feel as though they've been the best of friends for ages, and I could totally believe it. Bear and Jordan were both just so sweet and good-natured, and their tendency to pull pranks on Alex was absolutely hilarious.

At Akarnae Academy, a school for Medora's most gifted and brightest students, they teach everything from combat to equestrian skills, which definitely puts Alex at a disadvantage. Despite her frustrations and self-doubt though, Alex is more tenacious than she gives herself credit; she's determined to rise to the challenges she faces at Akarnae and enjoy her time in Medora. But when Alex can't help overhearing hushed, whispered conversations amongst her professors, she becomes convinced something dark and sinister is casting a shadow over the school...

I'll be honest, it wasn't until halfway through the book that I found myself truly invested in the storyline. While Akarnae does set a fantastic foundation for the plot and characters to grow and develop later on in the series, it can't help reading like an introduction novel. At times, I was overwhelmed by the information overload while Alex adjusted to her new circumstances, especially in the first few chapters. Once the pacing began to pick up, and I didn't have to read about Alex describing everything as "strange", the writing gets stronger and Akarnae really hits its stride.

Entertaining, magical, and positively delightful, Lynette Noni's Akarnae is a very promising introduction to the Medoran Chronicles. The possibilities are endless for Akarnae, and fantasy fans will surely not want to miss reading this YA debut. Alex's adventures in Medora are just beginning and I can't wait to follow her journey in the sequel! 

Thanks so much to Pantera Press for providing this review copy!

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  1. Sounds good! and lets face it, I'm a sucker for school stories like this!! :D
    Thanks for the lovely review.