Book Review: Akarnae by Lynette Noni

akarnaeBook Title: AKARNAE, the first book in Medoran Chronicles
Author: Lynette Noni
Publisher: Pantera Press
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: February 1st 2015
Book Synopsis: 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?

~*~

The world of Alex Jennings and Medora beckoned to me from the first page. I wanted to know more about her, and her family and why her parents were sending her away, my questions of her family and why her parents were sending her away answered in a nice, efficient way, but also kept me intrigued about her life whilst her parents moved her around the world following their archaeological digs. The effortless switch from Alex’s world, Freya, into Medora, a place that mirrors our world is beautifully done, as her escape from the bullying of the children at the International Exchange Academy heralds her arrival into Medora.
Her first encounter with Aven made me sit up and pay attention: though he came across as kind and helpful, a part of me thought he was questionable, and with each encounter my suspicion grew. I read on, wanting to know who this mysterious and suspicious person was and what he wanted with Alex.
Her new friends, Jordan and Bear, guide her through her new world, claiming friendship as soon as they meet her, bringing a smile to my face, and helping her through classes, but she soon gains respect of other classmates at the academy, but taking a much longer time to connect with her room-mate, D.C., so the development of their friendship by the climax and conclusion of the novel is heart-warming.
Alex’s relationships with the teachers develop over the novel too, perhaps more so with Karter, her Combat instructor, who is seen as crazy by the students and the image I had in my mind was one of a raging drill instructor barking at army recruits on their first day, only Alex’s first day seemed endless. I felt her pain as she struggled through classes, and was ignored by students at first until she fell into a rhythm at Akarnae. The climax in the Library kept my heart pumping and I hated leaving Alex and D.C. to Aven’s evil desires towards the end. Yet I knew that it would not be easy for him to succeed, and I hope it only gets harder for him. The history of Medora is interspersed in a wonderful and suspenseful way throughout the novel, to keep one reading to find out why the Meyarin metal is so significant, and to discover just how well Lynette Noni has integrated all the elements into her novel. I loved her relationship with Fletch, he is definitely a great doctor, perhaps one that we all wish we could have. Tayla, the Equestrian instructor, was also a favourite of mine – I look forward to meeting her again. I felt my journey in Medora too short. I wanted to see what happened and didn’t want to stop reading at times, but at the same time, I didn’t want the book to end. As a debut novel, I think it is a job well done by Lynette Noni, and I am anticipating the subsequent books in the series to find out what happens to Alex and her friends at Akarnae and in Medora.

I received an early copy from the publisher to review for my blog

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