International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:
Academy - Secret Lives
by Gabriella Poole
ISBN: 13: 978-0-340-98924-1
Hodderchildrens Teen (August 2009)
moveable feasts and then theres moveable schools that are
also a feast in progress. The Darke Academy is a school with a terrible
secret. Smart rich kids study here and all are very good looking
and every term someone new arrives to sink or swim in its heady
Its the school
that Cassie Bell gains a scholarship to when it is ensconced in Paris.
She is excited. Its a chance to escape being bullied. She is no
pushover however and is pretty with green eyes and pretty good at Math.
She hopes she can hold her own in this hothouse biosphere. But when
the thrill of arriving in such a special place wears off, Cassie begins
to suspect that this gift horse has fangs.
Yes we are in Twilight territory, or to be more exact, one of
those typical boarding school stories that used to exist where everyone
was jolly good at sports but you usually picked on the fat girl and
there was always a midnight feast up on the roof that someone was bound
to sneak on. Add vampires to the mix and midnight snacks take on a new
twist and hey-ho the school drama is reborn. This time as a mixed school
with all the sexual tensions to raise the temperature.
There are mysterious silent students who creep about at night and a
select sub-group who seem to run the school called The Few
we have seen before in many teen high-school movies. Even the title
lacks subtlety and I know it is aimed at teens, but perhaps they might
read this and graduate to better material. One hopes so.
To be honest Id like to say I liked this, that it made me laugh
or scared or something, but this is neither fresh nor a patch on Stephanie
Meyer who is the goddess of all things vampiric. Darke Academy
tries to reinvigorate a dead genre by adding blood rituals and invoking
dead vampire spirits to take up life inside the fresh young ones. It
is all about pretty and shallow teens who pretend they are in an episode
of Gossip all the time but have nothing of any substance to say;
its tiresome and never feels remotely real. Deadly stuff.
© Marcel DAgneau September 2009
Marcel is a writer and teacher.
Better to try this series also from Hodder
NIGHT WORLDS by
Lisa J Smith
Hodder Children's Books; (Jun 2009);
The quest to become popular, the struggles of growing up, the hatred
of the actions of those you love, and the difficulty in getting used
to your new found magical powers.
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