The Last Academy
Camden Fisher arrives at boarding school haunted by a falling-out with her best friend back home. But the manicured grounds of Lethe Academy are like nothing Cam has ever known. There are gorgeous, preppy boys wielding tennis rackets, and circles of girls with secrets to spare. Only . . . something is not quite right. One of Cam's new friends mysteriously disappears, but the teachers don't seem too concerned. Cam wakes up to strangers in her room, who then melt into the night. She is suddenly plagued by odd memories, and senses there might be something dark and terrible brewing. But what? The answer will leave Cam--and readers--stunned and breathless, in this thrilling debut novel.
The premise of THE LAST ACADEMY and the plot twists that keep the reader guessing are fascinating. The reader is constantly off-balance, constantly trying to figure out what is going on beneath the surface of the academy.
There is a pervasive sense of wrongness and tension that work well with the overall mystery. Every character begins to feel a little off. Every thing that happens seems to be hiding something worse. Readers who love psychological mysteries that ooze tension without requiring much from the reader in terms of unraveling clues and sifting through character motives will enjoy this book.
The climax and the answer to the mystery are utterly gripping. Even if the reader has guessed at the answer, the reveal scene still holds tremendous power. The book ends on a very strong note, and is a quick, easy read overall, so this is a great book for readers who love mysteries and want something fast.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The main issue I had with the book is that I found the main character very difficult to connect with. Her narrative voice alternates between heavy exposition and shallow observations, and there isn't anything in her thoughts/voice that helps her stand out to the reader. She felt more like a part of the plot than the protagonist of the plot, which made it difficult to care what happened to her.
A tense, fast-moving thriller perfect for readers who want an intriguing premise with interesting plot twists.
None of the characters impressed me much. They all had this sense of mystery about them that was more annoying than intriguing. Brynn was way too wishy-washy, so I couldn't figure out what her deal was really. Nora was a little off as well. I never could connect, not even with the main character. The one character that does stand out is Mark, but in a really creepy way. I am not sure if he was supposed to cross into that weird creeper territory or not, but he sure made me feel that way. That scene with his mom... and the bed... bah! Way creepy. I did not recover from that.
I probably would have bumped this down a notch or two, but I did appreciate the mythology element. I thought I knew what was up with the one character haunting everyone, and it turns out I was correct. Of course, I had to make it through the whole book to find that validation. I did not get a sense of closure after finishing The Last Academy, which is a little disappointing. I (sometimes) appreciate open ended endings, but I want to feel complete when I get to those. I do not like wondering, "Well, what now?" Unfortunately, that's how I feel. I can assume what happens with Cameron, but I want to know what happens with the other characters. (Ok, again, I can assume, but I really want something finite!)