When I originally requested this book in NetGalley, I had not realized it was part of a series. Thankfully as it had already been released when I downloaded it, I figured I would take the time to read the first two books (obviously), so that I knew what I was in for.
To catch everyone up to speed, the first book Akarnae (pronounced uh-car-nay) introduces us to our MC — 16 year old Alexandra “Alex” Jennings who by chance steps into another world, Medora. The only person who can help her is a professor who has gone missing, so she is stuck in Akarnae Academy which is a boarding school not unlike Hogwarts. (It’s hard not to draw the comparison.) I did like, however, that the school is in a world that is more apt with technology, so it doesn’t have the same feel as a wizard castle in England (just saying!). Another plus point for me is that she made friends with two male teens and there was no romantic entanglement.
Anyway, the first book had a great start and a middle grade / YA crossover appeal. Definitely aimed at younger teens. In the second book, Raelia, she crosses over into Medora again for her second year of school. But this time she has a man out for her — Aven Dalmarta, a banished prince from a lost city. This book has a lot more adventure and a lot less day-to-day life at the academy type stuff. But there’s still plenty of the academy too. The author shares lots of information to help you along the way, as you are learning things as Alex is learning them too. I can’t really talk about the ending of this one because there is a cliffhanger ending. But again, lots of adventure in this second book!
So now onto the third book, Draekora, which is the subject of this review. Alex is putting herself to the test on all fronts to master her skills. This new book is to me a little akin to Star Wars wherein Luke is battling to figure out if he is a Jedi or a Sith, and how much darkness or light is within him. Ultimately it is a choice, and that choice will change everything about who can be trusted, who is a friend, and who is the true enemy. But all other Star Wars connections aside, this book again is very high on adventure. And although the floating islands and dragons (draekon) were a little akin to Avatar’s Pandora (where they were called floating mountains, I believe, and the dragons were banshees), it still lends itself to a beautiful well-crafted world that didn’t feel all too borrowed.
This is also the first book with a potential love interest for Alex, which makes sense as she is growing up. Noni’s more apt to show rather than tell, as she did in earlier books, and her hand is much more practiced at weaving the storylines together. Which is rather important as there are more and more characters involved and many things to keep track of. It is definitely the strongest book in the series so far, and as far as I’m aware, there is at least one more book to go.
I think this series is good for fans of Percy Jackson, especially, and some fans of HP or high fantasy. There is a lot going on, but the third book really pulls everything together.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.