Review: Akarnae by Lynette Noni

A little bit Harry Potter, a little bit Narnia, Akarnae is an intriguing YA fantasy debut from Australian author Lynette Noni. Alex is dreading her first day at a dreary boarding school full of mean girls, but life takes a very unexpected, and perhaps welcome, twist, when she opens a door and finds herself within another realm. Medora is a world that is just like earth, but also completely different. Here, people have different skills and some have special gifts. And Alex, it seems is one of the gifted. Fortunately, Akarnae Academy, a school for the gifted is willing to take her on full scholarship. And the adventures--new friendships, and a very scary enemy are just the beginning.

I picked this one up for one reason--I'd never heard of it or it's author. The fact that it was published by a smaller publisher was also another plus. I like giving review space on my blog to up and coming authors, particularly up and coming Australian authors. Anyway, a short search on google very quickly informed me that there was nothing up and coming about this book or its author. It turns out that in many circles, The Medoran Chronicles are already a huge, big deal and Akarnae is already on its third print run. (That will bloody well teach me to keep up with what is going on with Australian speculative fiction authors!)

Anyway, I read Akarnae and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Without giving too much away, I think that anyone who loves books and libraries will probably love Akarnae. Alex herself is a great heroine--smart, resourceful and able to survive against the odds. Parts of the book felt a little bit too similar to things that I'd read before, but I suppose that when you're a women in her thirties who persists in reading YA, you cop that. Anyway, there was more than enough in this one to hold my interest. I liked most of the supporting characters, though, surprisingly, my favourite was probably the sullen DC--I thoroughly enjoyed some of her and Alex's bickering. (Alex's comebacks are quite amusing.)

Overall, an enjoyable read. Recommended. 

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2018


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