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  • By Tony Newton
    Oct 21, 2012
    Although it seems to be another addition to the burgeoning youth fantasy genre, “Nocturnal Academy” is a pleasant surprise in that it is a refreshing mesh of fantasy and science fiction with strong characters and an interesting new angle on familiar supernatural creatures. The story itself is set in the fictional town of Appleton and follows young Alice Dibble as she finds herself victimized and misunderstood trying to prepare for her first year of high school, dodging bullies and thugs at Primary School as she does so. She finds herself approached and accepted into the prestigious local high school - the titular Nocturnal Academy. Within its walls she discovers that she is a night-dweller and a whole world of adventure suddenly opens up to her. The plot is well paced and never has a dull moment. However even before she settles into her new school, Alice finds herself caught in a demonic plot that involves a mysterious book and summoned spirits. Since she seems to be right at the... More > centre of these events, Alice finds herself in terrible danger with the Nocturnal Academy her only sanctuary. This is the first part of a series set in the Academy and detailing its bizarre, ancient staff members and an excellent beginning. The series is aimed at younger teenagers, however it is well written enough that it will likewise appeal to adults as well. The story is certainly no Shakespeare; however it is a marvellous page-turner and a great read. The reasons for this are primarily because of the depth of character that Somerville pours into Alice who is both sensible and sympathetic. The story swings between her broken family (her mother during the week and her father plus new girlfriend on weekends) and the action at the Academy. Despite the Academies’ characters being all essentially creatures of the night, the stories’ themes focus on their humanity and the familiar idea that with great power must come great responsibility. The other theme that Sommerville advocates is that someone’s god-given abilities should never be used to subjugate or gain power over other incredibly refreshing angle in this genre’s more modern stories that often glamorize the supernatural individual’s ability to use their powers for personal gain. This is an excellent story and, provided Alice survives a few more novels, I am quite looking forward the continuing adventures of Alice Dibble and the Nocturnal Academy.< Less
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Product Details

Storm Publishing
January 19, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.7 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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