I honestly cannot remember how it was that I came to follow Lynette Noni’s blog, but I found out about her book “Akarnae” (Ah-kar-nay) through it. Having enjoyed reading her blog posts I thought it was worth investing in my very own copy. I don’t pick up a lot of fantasy novels, but when I started to read “Akarnae” by Lynette Noni I felt like I was in a cross between the Harry Potter series and the Chronicles of Narnia. The more I read though, the more “Akarnae” really evolved into its own magical place.
At the beginning of “Akarnae” we meet Alex Jennings whom is being shipped off to a boarding school while her parents go study under a famous archeologist in some remote region of Russia. Having spent most of her life jumping from school to school as a result of her parents’ work, Alex is rather apprehensive about spending so much time on her own and how to form friendships at the age of sixteen. “It wasn’t like she could just go and sit beside someone in the sandpit, eat dirt with them, and declare a state of ‘besties forever’. She was too old for that now. People would just look at her strangely.” (Akarnae, pg 3). I liked this quote because I think it illustrates the comedic approach that Lynette Noni takes to her writing. Forming friendships becomes the least of her worries however, when Alex opens the door that should lead her to the admissions office at her new school and instead walks through the door into a whole new world – one that is filled with wonder, magic, and danger. Alex finds herself embarking on a crazy adventure in this new world, Medora.
I enjoyed all the little quirks that could be found throughout “Akarnae”. It was quite clear from the beginning that Lynette Noni has an active imagination and a healthy dose of creativity. I think that she did an excellent job developing the different characters as well. Soon after arriving in Medora, Alex meets Jordan and Bear and quickly develops a strong friendship with them. Their playful banter frequently made me laugh aloud.
““You know, where I come from, most teenage guys avoid libraries,” Alex said. “If you’re not careful, people might start to think you’ve become nerds.”
“Hey, now,” Bear said, feigning hurt. “We prefer the term ‘library folk’. It’s much less derogatory.”” (Akarnae, pg 174).
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that “Akarnae” is such an intriguing book that it could appeal to a wide range of readers. It is young adult, which I know sometimes puts people off, but it is a very entertaining read. While I wouldn’t consider the entire book to be a page-turner, there was a place in the book that once I reached it I had to read through to the end. My only regret is that this is the first book in the series and the other books have not been released yet. But Lynette Noni assured me the next book was in the works and should be released early next year. If I were to offer up one piece of criticism it’s that the book description on the back goes into too much detail. As a rule (and because I’ve noticed this in the past) I do not read the book description until I’m done the book so as to not have any major plot points exposed. Although the description does not give a ton away, it does reference things that do not occur until the end of the book, and I think that’s not the best. Still loved the book and still planning on getting my hands on the rest of the series as soon as I can, but I would recommend avoiding the book description.