Sunday, December 30, 2012

Opening the Ball by Nathaniel Simpson

Title:  Opening the Ball
Author:  Nathaniel Simpson
Series:  The Academy Series #1
Published:  August 31st 2012
Page Count: 269
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodread:

Jonathan Chambers isn’t a vampire. He isn’t a wizard. He doesn’t have a girlfriend. His teenage life was relatively normal until a mysterious stranger recruited him to an even more mysterious paramilitary academy for gifted boys.

After years of rigorous training, he and two others are selected for an elite program that will test their mettle and their friendship by sending them back in time to alter the present. On one of the bloodiest days of battle of the Civil War, they will learn a life-altering lesson – that not everything is always as it seems.

My Review:

OMG. Picture Xmen meets GI Joe meets Back to the Future, along with a whole lot of James Bond-like gadgets and you have this book. It is the most unique concept that I have seen in a long time. It may seem like a very odd mix, but does it ever work for this author. Not only is this a very different novel but you jump right into the action of the story from the first paragraph and it rarely lets up. This book is intense and when I got to the end I found myself wanting to grab for the sequel right then.

Nathaniel Simpson uses both metaphors and similes amazingly throughout the story. They are seamlessly inserted into the story and heighten his descriptions immensely. The backdrop of this story becomes so real that it takes no effort at all to picture yourself being dropped into this world. The author’s way with words allows you do seamlessly transition from one paragraph to the next and from one chapter to its neighbour.

The characters in this novel are very well suited to their task. Some are quite well developed. You know all that you need to know about them and can guess what they might do in certain situations. Unfortunately, this does not carry over to all of the characters. Some of them are rather one sided. You never know anything about them other than what they accomplish within the storyline. One thing that I found somewhat troubling about the story actually leads back to the characters as well. I find the situations that they find themselves in very disconcerting based on their age.

All in all, however: Please hand me the sequel now!

Get your copy of this novel online here today!

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