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Release Date
February 20, 2024
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Percy Jackson meets The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy in this fantastical adventure about Ava, who attends a boarding school for the descendants of Greek monsters and uncovers a terrible secret that could change the world forever.
Ava Baldwin has always tried to keep her anger in check, just like her mom taught her. But when know-it-all classmate Owen King tries to speak over her yet again, Ava explodes . . . and Owen freezes, becoming totally unresponsive.

Although Owen recovers, Ava's parents whisk her off to her mother’s alma mater, the Accademia del Forte, a mysterious international boarding school in Venice. There, Ava and her brother, Jax, discover that the Olympian gods founded the Accademia to teach the descendants of mythological monsters how to control their emotions and their powers and become functioning, well-adjusted members of society.

But not everything at the Accademia is as it seems. After her friend Fia is almost expelled for challenging a teacher, Ava realizes the school is hiding a dangerous secret. To uncover the truth, Ava and her new friends embark on an adventure that could change the way they view history, mythology—and themselves—forever…or end their lives. 

Editor review

1 review
Ancestry is not destiny
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What worked:
Obviously, this book should appeal to lovers of mythology. The title of the book and Ava’s anger freezing a classmate at school strongly suggest she’s a distant relation to the mythical monster Medusa. A ceiling painting at the Accademia depicts the battle between Zeus and other gods fighting and defeating Cronos and the Titans. Ava’s always had a special interest in mythology so she’s the lone new student who knows the history of the scene. An interesting angle is introduced when Fia notes the image doesn’t demonstrate the significance of females in mythology. Her observation presents the modern-day issue of gender bias in the history of gods and goddesses. History is created by those telling the stories.
The students at the Accademia are descended from mythological monsters although they don’t know which ones. Readers may play a mental game of trying to match clues about the students to the identities of their monster genealogy. However, this may be more challenging than expected. For example, Ava’s new roommate, not Fia, is related to a type of vampire. The girl inherited the ability to morph her appearance without an insatiable need to drink blood. Ava’s brother is also accepted into the Accademia but he hasn’t displayed any discernable, talents like his sister. A second-year boy named Arnold still hasn’t manifested any powers, most students show them by the end of their first year, so readers will want to know what makes him different.
For me, Fia is the most intriguing character as she’s a relentless, rebellious type of girl. She ALWAYS questions the stories told by teachers and challenges the history of the gods. She doesn’t show any signs of regretting her outspokenness which creates its own level of tension and mystery. The school has a three-strike policy before expelling students but she’s unconcerned each time she’s sent to the headmaster’s office. Readers will scratch their heads in wonder as they try to understand her indifference in the face of being kicked out of the Accademia.
What didn’t work as well:
The plot jumps into conspiracy mode quicker than expected. The Accademia doesn’t want students questioning the mythological stories being taught but that doesn’t come across as an immediate sign of a secret cover-up. Maybe something’s going on, maybe not, but the story feels like it jumps the gun in reaching the conclusion of collusion. However, it gets into the plot quicker so young readers will like that.
The Final Verdict:
This story empowers women to take control of their lives and not let themselves become oppressed in a male-controlled world. Those who control the narrative control the “truth” so maybe it’s time to change the narrative. I recommend you give this book a shot!
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