Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blogmas Day 5: Darke Academy Secret Lives Book Review

Title: Darke Academy Secret Lives
Author: Gabrielle Poole
Genre: YA/Paranormal
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Publication Date: August 6, 2009
Sources:  Easons  Amazon

The Darke Academy is a school like no other. An élite establishment that moves to an exotic new city every term, its students are impossibly beautiful, sophisticated and rich. And the more new scholarship girl Cassie Bell learns about the Academy, the more curious she becomes.

What sinister secrets are guarded by the Few - the select group of student who keep outsiders away? Who is the dark stranger prowling the corridors at night? And what really happened a year earlier, when the last scholarship girl died in mysterious circumstances?

One thing Cassie will discover is that a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but knowing too much can be deadly

This was one of the first books I took out, when I first became a member of my local library, and back then I had all the time in the world to read, so I finished it in, roughly, two days. Now I know that's nothing for some of you crazy readers out there, but I was eleven, and it was a pretty big deal for me! Haha

The actual reason I picked the novel up, was because of its brilliant cover! The colours, the girl's eyes, how could it not catch your attention! Thank God I did, because I loved the book!

Starting off with the 'incident' that happened a year earlier, I can imagine the book slightly confused a lot of people, myself inclusive, because after the prologue, it skips a year, without telling the readers, or at least I don't recall it doing so, and I spent the entire chapter wondering where Jessie was and what happened to her! Haha. I did cop on eventually and realised the time skip.

Straight away, by only reading a few pages, you know that some of the students at this prestigious academy, are supernatural. Sure you can see that from the book cover! But the thing that I really enjoyed, is the new, refreshing concept of life essence-feeders, but not vampires. I'm sure a lot of people dismiss it as a vampire knock-off, but I was glad to read something different for once! I also loved the fact that the academy changed location every term. Doesn't that sound so cool??

Writing-wise I thought the story moved along at a satisfying pace, fast-paced to suit the exciting parts of the story, and not so fast at other times. I do agree that some of the chapters weren't too exciting to read, to say the least, but the writing style made up for that. It's easy to read and has a good flow, you know? 

Characterisation in Darke Academy, I thought, was really well done, especially for the main character Cassie, and the spirit, Estelle, she hosts later on in the story. She's one of the few female protagonists that I actually like, and even though she falls hopelessly in love with Ranjit Singh, she doesn't completely lose her mind. She can control herself!

All in all, I thought the first book in the Darke Academy series was a really good read! I was entertained for most, if not all, of the book, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys vampire fiction, or paranormal romance!

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