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The Academy (The Central Series Book 1) (English Edition) von [Rawlins, Zachary]
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The Academy (The Central Series Book 1) (English Edition) Kindle Edition

3.0 von 5 Sternen 2 Kundenrezensionen
Buch 1 von 4 in The Central Series (4 Book Series)

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Länge: 394 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
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Final edition published 11-18-14, with professional editing and proofing.

Alex Warner’s life hasn’t been a great success – so maybe it’s better that he can’t remember any of it, even the fire that killed his family, the one he was blamed for setting. Still, a horrifying attack by werewolves in a city park is a new and violent low, until Mitsuru, a woman with odd red eyes and tremendous powers, intervenes, turning Alex’s world upside down.

Alex wakes to find himself in a hospital bed in a very different place: the Academy, a school in a hidden, fog-shrouded city named Central, where teenagers with remarkable abilities train to become Operators like Mitsuru, soldiers who use their amazing and frightening powers to fight Witches, Weir, and each other. And Alex is the Academy’s newest student.

In a class of students who can read minds, turn to stone, and sort through possible futures – and staff who can control emotions, set fires with thought, and level mountain sides on a whim – Alex is quickly in over his head. Worse, he has caught the interest of both the cartels vying for control of Central – the fragmented and aristocratic Hegemony, and the ruthless and dictatorial Black Sun. Alex is forced to make his way through a school populated by telepaths, vampires, and most puzzling of all, a number of girls who seem interested in him: Emily, lovely and almost powerless, with orders to make Alex fall in love with her; Anastasia, a Machiavellian heiress trapped in the body of a adolescent; and Eerie, only half-human and not entirely sane, but strangely captivating.

All the while, an elite cadre of Operators drawn from the staff of the Academy – the Auditors – fight brutal battles against the Witches and rebellious cartels, as Alex attempts to navigate the Byzantine politics of Central in the hopes of survival, passing grades, and possibly even a girlfriend.

(Latest version – 8-8-2013. Includes a rewrite by the Author and a complete copy edit by a professional proofer, removing virtually all typos and grammatical errors.)


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1055 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 394 Seiten
  • Verlag: ROUS Industries; Auflage: 2 (5. September 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B005LIBM30
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Screenreader: Unterstützt
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen 2 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #238.815 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I tried the Central Series because I liked Justin Shear's "Zero Sight" so much. ...and Amazon was right. Both books have some similarities (students in an academy with people with special powers) but are by no way IMHO similar. I enjoyed both, Zachary Rawlins' hero Alex, a loner (not a loser) who has to orient himself in the new environment of the "academy" in the location "central". Event though that structure may target a typical highschool reader (and I think they might have fun reading it), it is perfectly okay for adults too. The story is complex, the motives of the other students and the teachers well hidden, so there is a strong incentive to turn page after page. It took me only 20-30 pages to realize that the author knows what he is doing, the start is fast paced (maybe because it is focused on getting the readers attention) and it takes only a couple of more pages to show Rawlins' talent in full.

I enjoyed it and recommend it if you enjoy being (intelligently) entertained.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
but starts getting quite boring and also a little strange after a while. (Why do the good guys have to be psychos?) Also a little bit too reminiscent of Harry Potter for me.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten) 3.6 von 5 Sternen 127 Rezensionen
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Had to force myself to finish this book... 2. Januar 2012
Von S. J. Cowan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I finished this book last night (finally!) and am still just not quite sure what to say about it. I love fantasy books and thought this one sounded like it had potential. But while I didn't think that the concept was a bad idea, I didn't feel it was carried out as well as it could have been. I had a truly difficult time even making myself finish the book.

Sadly, nothing besides the fact that it was a good concept stands out as far as things that I liked about the book. The things I disliked about the book are far easier to pin down and far more numerous.

1. Poor editing. This book had a TON of spelling and grammar errors. Words would just cut off half way though. Big chunks would be missing from sentences. Words were grossly misspelled. The grammar could be horrendous. I mean, really, this got published? Has the author heard of proof-reading his work? Or did he just hope his editor would catch any errors (although so many glaring errors were missed that I'm not sure the editor read the book either).

2. I didn't feel that the characters were terribly well developed or explained. You know that each of the people in the book has some sort of history and back-story, but you never really learn it. You also don't really learn much about them as people - they pretty much seem to be a large group of violent, poorly-adapted, poorly-socialized psychopaths with special powers.

3. The author goes to a lot of trouble to have all these characters warn Alex (the main character) not to trust people and to watch his back, etc. But combined with the lack of depth that the author gives the characters (we never learn what they are truly like, what they are motivated by, what they want, etc) all it does it instill an overall feeling of complete paranoia because you constantly question why someone is talking to Alex and what they are going to do to him.

4. I realize that this is the first book in a series, but this new method that authors seem to be using to sell future books isn't one that I feel is a good trait - they just leave them at a complete cliffhanger. You should sell future books based on the fact that you're a good writer and have come up with a good idea, not because you are essentially holding information hostage and are bribing readers to buy your next book so they can find out things you should have explained in the first book.

On the whole, I would not recommend this book. Reading it simply because it started out as a good concept isn't really a good enough reason in my mind and I think it was carried out far too poorly and, quite simply, doesn't have much going for it.
2.0 von 5 Sternen Meh. *possible spoilers* 20. August 2014
Von M. Robare - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Interesting premise to start, but quickly spirals into nonsense...and I use that term n its original meaning, as in `the opposite of sense'.

Now, it's possible the author meant to write it exactly as he did. The main character, Alex, is confused and clueless, so how better to convey that sense of confusion and uncertainty than by making sure the reader experiences exactly the same? Sadly, someone should have informed him this is not a tactic designed to win returning readers.

Introduce characters. Sprinkle a hint of a plot throughout a lot of nothing much at all. Book ends. No conflict resolution, no climax, not even a bit of heavy breathing.

And if you're looking for a sympathetic, interesting main character, you'll want to buy this book so it can serve as an example of exactly what you aren't looking for. Alex is a whiny, ignorant, self-absorbed little prick and honestly? The big trauma in his life is a fire that killed his family that he may or may not have set. My money is on his family setting it themselves just so they won't have to deal with him any more. The most emo kid in the history of the give him superpowers, he's going to be *interested* in finding out what exactly he can do.

Another gripe is too many fantasy element threads. It's like the author tried to come up with something fresh, couldn't figure out how to mesh it with `standard' fantasy themes, so decided what the hell, lets just use them all! We have nanites, Ether, Protocols, witches, werewolves, and cartels, oh, my! And no real cohesive explanation for any of it. As a teacher told Alex (who wasn't interested), "...teach you about *why* it works..." Sadly, the author didn't follow his own character's advice.

Finally...the only sympathetic characters are a couple minor players who are practically Mary Sue in their sympathetic characterizations.

So, if you're looking for a quick read at a cheap price, it's not bad. I doubt it will make you curse in frustration and throw it out the window, but don't expect to be faithfully checking for news of the sequel. It's not the worst book I've read in the genre, but I wouldn't call it good.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Stands head and shoulders above it's self-pub peers. A great read! 8. August 2014
Von Chris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
A very engrossing read. I was fully prepared for this book to be as lousy as it's price indicates it might be, but wow, I couldn't have been more wrong. Unlike so many other self-published novels, this book has the key elements of a book written by a professional writer - solid prose and competent editing.

At the beginning, the story comes off a bit formulaic - Alex, the hoodie sporting teenage zero-cum-hero with near limitless arcane potential a background full of holes so big you could drive a truck through them is attacked by random baddies. He's saved by a member of the faculty of a school for magicians and is soon after enrolled as a student. Those familiar with harem-themed shounen anime will feel right at home as Alex is wooed by multiple competing magical factions, all trying to recruit him for his vast potential. I realize this all sounds pretty average, but though it's no stranger to tropes, the book subverts them sufficiently to come off as something much greater.

The magic system is fresh and interesting - magic is essentially nano-technology powered by a mysterious force called the ether. The main character is not at all as angsty and unlikeable as I expected. Rather, I found myself enjoying his responses to his betters during some of the early scenes. Characters are written in a way that allows the reader to differentiate them. That is to say, I can build a mental picture of how each one of them might respond in certain situations; this, IMO, is one of the single greatest challenges to inexperienced writers - characters frequently have no personality at all. Romances, which this book is clearly setting up, do not develop in hours. Instead, the characters learn about each other over time, and interactions are largely true to characters' inexperience. Similarly, the development and skillful use of Alex' powers are slow to build, in keeping with what you would expect. The school experience is nicely punctuated with the goings-on of the faculty within the "real world" and the machinations of the various factions.

Naturally, the book isn't without it's frustrations. The main character seems to be almost willfully obtuse, uttering the phrase "I don't understand", or similar, with frustrating frequency. And the author appears to struggle somewhat with character interactions at times, often using laughter as a default reaction to just about any situation. Lastly, as is the case with some books centered around an education on the arcance (The Magicians is one such example), it's difficult to get a sense of the greater plot arc of the book beyond an end state of learning to use one's powers. Only in the last few pages of the book do we begin to get an inkling of the big picture - or at least who/what is behind the primary conflict. Accordingly, the book feels almost too short, and comes off as a single part of a larger book instead of the first novel in a trilogy. Character development is somewhat lacking so far, but as I feel the author is still establishing setting throughout almost the entire book, it doesn't necessarily feel wrong that this is so.

Overall, the book is not what I would call fantastic writing, but for an early effort, Mr Rawlins shows great promise. Even with it's few faults, the Academy is a compelling read that kept me "turning pages" on my ipad until I was through. For the price, it's a steal. I highly recommend this book, and I'm shocked that it's offered for $0.99. Even more shocking is the fact that the author has priced the entire trilogy similarly, rejecting the first-novel-nearly-free-then-jack-the-price strategy many self-pub authors adopt. I confess that I went ahead and bought the entire trilogy after I read the first half of this book to avoid missing the great prices on the latter two books (should the author have come to his senses and priced them in the $3-4 range). I'll be looking for more from Mr. Rawlins in the future.
3.0 von 5 Sternen pretty good for what it is... 3. August 2014
Von Simon Pot - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
On the downside, it is very similar to the basic elements of the Zero Sum novels. On the upside, I liked the Zero Sum novels a great deal and have been impatiently waiting for the next to come out, so it is satisfying an itch. Another upside/downside dilemma is that both Alex's mysterious history and the mysteries of the system of magic underlying the plot of the book are both quite compelling. That's the upside. The downside is that this first book in the series is frustratingly slow in providing any revelations of consequence. Not hard to stay interested. It would just be a little more fun were at least pieces of the secrets revealed sooner along the way. These aspects of far-too-long-delayed gratification borders on annoying, but since the whole cast of characters are so well drawn and the meager hints of the answers to the underlying mysteries are sufficiently tantalizing, it nerds out as fun. Gonna buy Book 2 today in the hopes of getting some answers soon....
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Complex enough to keep interest: 3.5 30. April 2014
Von Liquid Frost - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Kindle freebie and released with professional editing (still some mistakes, but nothing glaring). This is a lengthy book - a bit too long for the YA standard, but had enough language and blood to offset the whole "hero coming of age" arc. Some of the detail regarding the 'world' this is set in was, at times, off, in my opinion; likely either too complex to put into words or simply not fleshed out very well. However, the book picks up steam in the second half as characters get a bit more of the spotlight. I'd say 3.5 stars and I did pick up the second book in the series.
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