Hopkins’ ‘Space Academy’ started out as self-published novel ‘The Split’ in 2017, the first in her ‘Mayfly’ series, before being picked up by The Conrad Press, edited, and re-released this year.
Whilst this isn’t the first school-among-the-stars novel I’ve read (see the brilliant ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card, for example) the Mystery / Thriller mash-up aspects of the story kept it moving at a decent pace, and meant that surprises (pleasant and otherwise) were much more common than I predicted. It’s also a well-timed dystopian look at a now not-too-distant possible future for humanity.
Although the novel is somewhat overwritten, the world building is pretty good, and the characterisation is nuanced enough to mostly escape caricature; Will, the protagonist, has an arc that is especially well handled.
This is apparently the first in a series of five and if book one is anything to go by, the rest of the series will keep readers of the MG / Young Adult target market entertained and questioning, until the end.
For that audience, I give it 4*
It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.
Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.
Lose yourself in this brilliantly addictive novel as it takes you on a journey through the stars. But be warned – you might be surprised by what you find.
I do not get paid for blog tours or giving my opinion, and this is my honest review.