book review

The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted|Book Review

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Title: The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted44442036.jpg

Author: Conor Grennan

Pages: 368


Synopsis: Jack Carlson is dreading a class presentation when he suddenly finds himself transported to the Hadley Academy, a secret institution that tracks teens with unlikely gifts and trains them to protect the world from an unseen squad of killers. But Jack isn’t the only one who doesn’t know what he’s doing at Hadley. Despite indications that he is the one prophesied to end the ancient Reaper War, Jack appears to have no extraordinary abilities.

So when dark, mysterious forces grow, Hadley is in a confused panic. Much to everyone’s dismay, humanity seems to depend on Jack and his new teammates. Can Hadley’s rawest recruits push past personal struggles and enormous doubts, develop their dormant powers, and stop the spreading evil? And are they willing to commit to Hadley’s motto, “One Life for Many,” and make the ultimate sacrifice? The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted might be just the place for Jack after all.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review but all thoughts are my own.

Spoiler Free Review

The book starts off with Jack’s friend Freddy giving a presentation on the Hadley Academy. Not to long after, Jack finds himself suddenly on the grounds of the Hadley Academy. The Superior of the academy has come to believe that Jack is the long awaited Guardian, the one to end the Reaper War. But there is a problem, Jack doesn’t seem to have any abilities. Jack and his fellow dormant teammates have three days to prove they are Hadley material, can they do it?

I really enjoyed this book. The beginning was a little hard for me to get into but once I got a better understanding of the academy and the gifted I became super into it. I found the whole ability aspect really interesting and I liked to see everyone’s abilities in action. The reaper aspect of the book was a little confusing and a little poorly explained. It could be that I am just dumb and didn’t understand. But I think the author could of better explained the Reaper King and how he was doing the new things he was doing because it seemed to me the way the author explained it was like we should already know.

There were about four main characters in this book. Freddy, Jack, Asha, and Voss. All of them make up Team Thirteen, a never before team since in the past there have only been twelve teams. All of team thirteen are dormant, meaning their abilities haven’t manifested. They are given three days to try and master their abilities or they have to undergo a mind-swipe. These four teens try many outlets to find their abilities and they also discover things about themselves and their fellow teammates. In the beginning these four kids do not know each other but in the end they are a well oiled team. I liked the development these four went as a team. It was like we had their character development and then we had the team development.

The dynamic of each character in the group was nice. They all added something different to the group and it is no surprise they work so well together. There didn’t seem to be super clear character development for the characters but it is also a middle grade book so it doesn’t seem like there would be super prominent character development. What is easy to see is the development each character goes through when it comes to discovering their abilities. They are put through some tough situations and each situation tests them as a team but also strengthens them.

The ending of the story was a little rushed and I would of liked it drawn out a bit more. Things happen so fast that at some points I wasn’t sure what was going on and since it was at the end, the parts where important to the plot overall. The author puts in quite a few plot twists that had me panicking about to my friends. However some of the plots felt a little far fetched. Some of the twists had a connection to the plot but the rope felt so thin that it is easy to see it the author tried too hard to include it.

One thing I am not sure of is the ending. On Goodreads it doesn’t say it is the first book in the series. But the ending of the book makes it seem like there will be a second book in the series. So if this is a standalone than I did not like the ending because it is a cliffhanger. If it is the first book in the series, than I enjoyed the ending and can’t wait to read the second. I honestly think I might email the author and ask lol.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to read a middle grade book about a team of teenagers facing odds that are so very stacked against them.


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