Akarnae by Lynette Noni
Series: The Medoran Chronicles
Publisher: Pantera Press
A cup of Harry Potter, 100 ml of Narnia, a dash of Lord of the Rings, complemented with some fantasy clichés. That is the recipe of Lynette Noni’s debut Akarnae. This first book of the (planned) five book series The Medoran Chronicles tells the story of 16-year-old Alexandra (Alex) Jennings, who happens to walk through a door into some sort of parallel world called Medora. At first desperate to get back home asap, she soon learn that the only person who can help her with that will only be back in who knows how long. In the mean time she decides to attend Akarnae Academy, a school for gifted children. And you guessed it, the school and even the whole of Medora are in danger and Alex is the only one who can save them.
By this synopsis you could probably guess why it reminded me so much of the previously mentioned fantasy series. As a matter of fact, it reminded me so much, that I a) wondered how the author is not being sued for plagiarism and b) I absolutely could not help myself of being super annoyed all the time. This took away almost all of the pleasure I still had reading the story.
The book is very easily written, almost like a children’s book. I have read my fair share of young adult books, but this one is definitely hanging at the bottom with respect to the reader’s expected level. I almost felt a bit patronized or something.
Anyway, the story didn’t bother me to much either. The courses are weird (how can a society claim to be super advanced and yet not teach maths in school?) and Harry Potter’s sorting hat has been exchanged for a lollipop (seriously?). All the ‘magic’ that we see in this book is claimed to be just super advanced technology. I do like the fact that the author emphasizes the fact that the things that we don’t understand, can most often be explained by science. She takes it really far though, with book shops only visible to certain people and the ‘gifts’ that the students at the Akarnae Academy have being claimed to be genetic. Now am I an evolutionary biologist, and I can tell you, it doesn’t work like that. Not that I mind inexplicable events in fantasy books, but then just don’t claim those event to be biology. Maybe I could teach Lynette Noni some Biology/Genetics 101.
But I have to admit that despite (all) my critiques on the book, I actually finished it. And that is an achievement for a book that I claim not to like. At some point, when I decided just to stop being bothered by everything and to just go with the flow, the story itself kept me captivated long enough to finish. But to say that I’m waiting for the sequel now.. Not really, I don’t think I will
By no means do I want to discourage anyone from trying this book. If you are very much into young adult and you want to have an easy fantasy read after a though day at work or school, then I would say give it a shot. I’ve seen many reviews of people that were very happy with Lynette Noni’s work and it might work out perfectly for you.
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
PS. But I absolutely love the cover!!
***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***