Friday, March 1, 2013

REVIEW: "THE COVERT ACADEMY" (The Covert Academy, #1) - by Peter Laurent

Title: “The Covert Academy
Series: (The Covert Academy, #1)
Author: Peter Laurent
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Source: Received from author for review
Ellen’s star rating: 5/5


In the late 21st Century, the world’s governments have collapsed and mob rule sweeps the planet.
A group of so-called experts, known as the Confederacy, assume control.
When they unleash thousands of unmanned killing machines on the rioters, the conflict ends, yet the majority of the populace remain destitute under the watchful eye of the drones.
Twenty years pass and Joshua has grown up on the now ruined streets of Chicago, in the shadow of the Confederacy’s symbol of authority, the Tower, situated within their impenetrable base, the Colonnade.
With his sister taken by the Confederacy for some unknown purpose, Joshua drifts for years around the border of the Colonnade, until one day he makes an incredible discovery that leads him to a secret resistance called the Academy, a school for training in the art of invisibility.
But Joshua has his own agenda, and he is hell-bent on a quest for the truth, no matter the cost...


Although I truly enjoy dystopian fiction, I always feel rather skeptical that it would be yet another Hunger Games carbon copy. Not so in the case of The Covert Academy. This utterly unique book had me riveted to my chair for a read-in-one-go session! While skillfully dodging drones - the all-seeing, highly destructive mechanical police of The Confederacy - Joshua is noticed by Sarah, an agent from the Academy. He is taken from his homeless existence on the streets of Chicago and whisked away to the Academy which most believe to be just another myth.  In an unhappy, oppressed society ruled by a few brilliant people, there will always be those who oppose them and intrigue in their own ranks is the order of the day. Not only is Joshua signed up to train as a fighter against the Confederacy, but he uncovers numerous subplots and surprising truths during his time in the Academy.

The author created a believable and very realistic back story concerning the events leading up to the circumstances in which this book is set. He uses very advanced technology to achieve his goals rather than resorting to magic and other paranormal solutions.

The characters are highly realistic and are given room to develop and grow throughout the story. Joshua, the rat-eating street boy, has to become a leader in the span of six months; and Sarah, the female protagonist, changes from a ruthless killing machine to a person who thinks twice before simply killing her antagonist. The other characters are all brilliantly crafted; from the truly psychotic Simeon Warner who tries to mind control his pawns, to the leader of the Academy who is a brilliant strategist. Then there are those who are not what they appear to be - something which the author manages to successfully hide from the reader until he is ready to reveal the truth.

For a fast-paced story with absolutely never a dull moment and so much realism it is scary, I highly recommend The Covert Academy. As the book ends in somewhat of a cliffhanger, I hope we'll soon see the next installment in what promises to be a five-stars-all-the-way series.



The Covert Academy by Peter Laurent has 4 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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