Oregon Spirit Award Winner "Selected
by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English as the top YA novel of
2009 by an Oregon author, for being “a distinguished contribution to
young adult literature that engages and encourages readers’
imagination, discovery, and understanding."
Reviews for Academy 7:
“…a barn burner of a book!” —author, Susan Fletcher
“...thought-provoking" —author,Tamora Pierce
“I so would have loved this book as a teen.” —author, Sherwood Smith
17-year-old Aerin Renning is accepted at Academy 7, an ultra-exclusive
military school, she finds herself in fierce competition with the other
top freshman, Dane Madousin. Their backgrounds could not be more
different — Dane, as the son of a powerful general, grew up with wealth
and privilege while Aerin spent a nomadic childhood with her renegade
trader father, enduring six harsh years of slavery after his death.
Character development and a budding romance between Dane and Aerin
drive this fast-paced read. Osterlund establishes an intriguing world
of Machiavellian plot twists, along with imaginative histories for the
different planets the characters encounter. Fans of Tamora Pierce’s
Alanna series will find many of the same elements here: a competitive
school environment, catty female students, motherless childhoods, and
shared secrets. The unfortunate cover suggests a formulaic romance, but
the story itself, with details of spacecraft, flight, and other worlds,
will appeal to readers who crave adventure, and demands a sequel.
— Debbie Carton
VOYA: starred review!Excerpt:
grounding her science fiction in the familiar, the author tackles the
struggle to fit in at school, explosive family issues, and love in the
face of parental disapproval, creating a broad appeal that crosses
genre lines ... Intriguing cover art, complex characters, and an
innovative plot will send this book tumbling off library shelves.
Readers can only hope for a sequel.
— Nancy K. Wallace
written, this book shares a heartwarming tale of love, secrets, and
sacrifice. Readers will immediately be captured by the shocking tale of
the young heroine, Aerin Renning. The author's description and detail
add suspense and drama to the story as readers race to uncover the many
secrets that unfold. It is an irresistible must-read for any fantasy
story's pacing, intrigue, and subtly romantic overtones are
consistently engaging ... Osterlund's impressionistic and evocative
storytelling style, as the plot moves at light-speed, and the setting
and characters are believable. Academy 7 is a satisfying, refreshing
portrayal of two smart, desperate, and unhappy young people struggling
to make sense of-and-better-the world their parents bequeathed them.
— Roxanne Meyers Spencer
Sally Watson, author of The Witch of the Glens
"the best book for young people I have read in many years! Original, enchanting, engrossing, brilliantly written..."
A Personal Favorite (e-mail/review):
Anne! I finished reviewing your book, Academy 7, not too long ago, and
may I just tell you
that it was one of the best books that I have ever
read. It kept me up until some ridiculous hour at night, on a school
night. I couldn't put it down. The tension you create between Dane and
Aerin and the mystery of their pasts and the secrets (is) so gripping,
readers will flip through the pages so fast, they will have to re-read
it to let it all sink in. As a fan of both Twilight and The Hunger
Games, I know that they will have some competition when this book is
released. I just have one question; is there going to be more? I HAVE
to read more! . . . There has to be more!!!! . . . Please write back to
me and let me know if there will be more!"
— Laura Donahue, reviewer for Eight
Cousins Children Bookstore in Falmouth, Cape Cod.
The Book Girl Reviews:Excerpt:
has a secret. No matter what, she must keep it hidden. Not only could
it cost her future, but also her life. Dane has a dark past as well.
Labeled a delinquent by the tabloids, and his own father, his
reputation precedes him. But neither one is as they seem. Both will do
whatever it takes to guarantee the safety of their futures. Futures in
which they will not be controlled. What they’re not aware of is this:
They have much more in common than a simple desire to escape their own
forms of slavery. Their pasts are connected. But how?
I had very high expectations for this book. But from the very first
page it was obvious that it was nothing like I had expected. Somehow,
it was better. My initial impression from reading the summary was that
the students would be at a school, there would be danger, mystery, and
romance. In my opinion, the makings of a very good story. Yet I should
have known, when the back used the word 'universe' instead of 'world'
that the book would be much more than that. These pages are filled with
a story from a completely different, futuristic, world. Space travel is
the norm. It gave the story a whole new dimension that caught me
completely off guard. I ended up reading the book in one day, because I
couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this book to all readers. And
if this sounds interesting to you, Anne wrote another book, Aurelia. I
know I'll be checking it out!
not usually a science fiction literature fan, but Academy 7 has become
an exception. Contrary to their futuristic setting the characters are
easily relatable to today’s teen. They have many of the same struggles,
dreams, and desires. Aerin and Dane were well developed and captivating
characters to read about.
the synopsis I was expecting a more sinister plot twist than what the
story ultimately revealed, but I still really enjoyed the seamlessly
intertwined plot that Osterlund surprised me with. The subtle releases
of Aerin and Dane’s backgrounds had me frantically flipping the pages
to find out the connection.
was absolutely intrigued by the world Osterlund created. I might just
have to change my outlook on Sci-fi. This was just a fantastic novel
all around. I’ll be on the look out for more novels by Osterlund.
page one, Academy 7 is just a fantastic read. Osterlund’s writing is
beautiful. Her descriptions of Dane’s home planet, Chivalry are just
breathtaking. As is all of her writing. This is a quick read, but
reading it quickly doesn’t really do it justice. It will definitely be
put immediately into my re-read pile so that I can experience it all
I don’t know if she is planning on writing a sequel to this book, but I
really hope she does. There just seems like there are so many other
stories haunting the halls of Academy 7, plus I want to hear more about
Aerin and Dane. I really can’t recommend this book highly enough. It
has everything, sci-fi, action, and suspense. What can you ask for?
Osterlund delivers a unique and breathtaking book that will sweep away
both fantasy and science-fiction lovers alike. Her futuristic universe,
reminiscent of Star Wars, is vivid and varied, and quite intriguing.
Osterlund does an excellent job presenting her characters, and giving
little hints about their past, which succeeds in hooking readers right
from the start. Both Aerin and Dane are dynamic characters who are
fallible, but they recognize their problems and faults and grow as
individuals throughout the course of the book. As readers delve more
deeply into the novel, they'll be happy to find that Academy 7 is not
just about romance, competition, and dark secrets; there are many
political, social, and even ethical issues that the characters must
grapple with. These more serious elements make Academy 7 more
believable and realistic and, at times, more serious. Overall,
Osterlund has created a highly imaginative, wonderfully entertaining,
and nicely complicated read that is at once romantic, witty, and quite
honestly cannot believe there are not a million more reviews of this
book on Amazon - the book is brilliant! I'm used to reading YA romances
and YA paranormal books; this book is sci-fi, action, romance all
rolled into one (pretty unusual!) and it is great. The book's main
narrator is Aerin, although in turns the book is narrated by other
characters (most notably Dane). By the end of this book you know the
characters so well, and you just want MORE! Sequel please! :-)
Aerin's trader father travelled with Aerin outside of a ring of central
planets (representing the core of civilization in the galaxy), when he
dies she is stranded as a slave on an outer planet. The book opens when
Aerin has escaped, and she is brought to Academy 7, the most advance
school in the galaxy where she meets Dane Madousin. Son of a legendary
general. The bitter relationship between father and son means that the
larger plot of the book (thriller/mystery) doesn't emerge until later
on although there is plenty of action throughout the book.
The romance is slow to evolve (Aerin is trying too hard to go
unnoticed, afraid that she is not a 'citizen' and so in the school
illegally) - but perfect - and elements of the situation remind me of
Hogworts, or the House of Night books (2 totally different genres) in a
very good way.
Dane is a very worthwhile hero, and the voices of both characters are
what makes this story so special. Aerin, is a compassionate young
genius, used to fighting through life, and Dane is a tortured young man
trying to find his place in society, amid the interested eyes of the
rest of the world (due to his father's fame). I shall definitely be
purchasing Anne Osterlund's earlier novel Aurelia now and I hope it
will be just as great a read!
Cloudy with a Chance of Books:Excerpt:
This is a romance with great depth of character and an interesting planetary political scene.
Aerin is from outside the Alliance of planets and has faked her
identity to test into the elite school Academy 7. Dane is the son of
the Alliance’s leading general. He attends Academy 7 to displease his
father who holds a grudge against his alma mater. Aerin comes from a
life of brutal slavery on an outer world and Dane from a life of great
privilege. They are soon Academy 7’s two top students, but each has
What made this story great was the way these two guarded characters
learned about each other. Both Dane and Aerin made assumptions about
the other and this book showed them learning that though they had the
superior intelligence required to attend Academy 7 neither knew as much
as he/she thought.
I am really hoping Osterlund is writing a sequel because I loved this book and will be recommending it widely.
author of the young adult romantic mystery AURELIA, Anne Osterlund
provides an entertaining young teen science fiction thriller with a
touch of romance in the galaxy. The battling lead couple makes for a
fun duet as each sings the refrain: “anything you can do, I can do
better” until they get into trouble. Readers will enjoy the somewhat
gender bending escapades of Dane and Aerin as they are on the brink of
being expelled from school in spite of being the top two students at
the same time a nefarious deathtrap tries to keep them apart while also
thinking kiss her already.
— Harriet Klausner
there's one thing I know, it's this: Anne Osterlund knows how to keep
an audience entertained. I was hooked from the very beginning. She very
smoothly alternated between Dane's, Aerin's, and even Dr. Livinski's
perspectives. The book was easy to follow and satisfying. The
emotion - especially Aerin's - was true and heartfelt.
some other futuristic books I've reviewed here, Academy 7 definitely
relies on the political and physical make-up of the setting for many
important plot points, but I don't think this is necessarily a bad
thing. Osterlund has put so much detail and thought into this world,
and it is obvious from the very beginning. I am not usually enthused by
spaceships and interplanetary travel, but I found myself seriously
enjoying Osterlund's rendition of the future, and I thought it
perfectly suited the characters.
The romance in this book is not as prevalent as the cover claims. That
does not mean it isn't beautifully realistic and touching, while at the
same time being reserved and passionate. Osterlund manages to make a
simple scene of talking or hand-holding into something as intimate and
tender as the best of kissing scenes in other books.
Academy 7 could, in my opinion, appeal to readers of many genres. It
isn't exclusively sci-fi or fantasy or political adventure or romance.
It's a generous conglomeration of everything that Anne Osterlund very
successfully turned into a deep and touching novel about losing and
finding people you love.
7 is one of my favorite teen fiction reads so far this year. Aerin and
Dane, although they live in a futuristic world, are easy to relate to
and have many of the same problems teens today face – Aerin struggles
to blend in at school as she struggles emotionally with her past, while
Dane longs for acceptance from his father and acts out rebelliously as
a result of never gaining it. Throughout the novel, they grow both as
individuals and in their growing relationship with each other. I highly
recommend this book to readers who enjoy teen fiction. It honestly has
something in it for everyone – science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and
a story of friendship and romance.