I have an individual review for the first book in this series, and if you’ve read that, you’ll know that I struggled to get through it. HOWEVER, I decided to continue reading for a few reasons:
- To support a UKYA author!
- To support my library (since I sources all 5 books from local libraries!)
- Because the author admitted her mistake in letting main character Ally get rescued by boys in the first book and said it got better in a Feminism in YA panel I attended earlier in the year.
- I believed there was a good story to tell underneath some of the sillier elements.
In the end I’m pleased that I gave this series a second chance, because much to my relief it did get better. Night School even turned into something I would recommend to fans of Ally Carter and Jennifer Lynne Barnes. It has it’s issues, and I think some of the general concept for the series is confused and completely unrealistic, but taken with a pinch of salt it’s pretty fun.
As I’ve already done a bit of a list for this series, I thought I would continue in that vein with a good old pros and cons list. What I liked and what I didn’t.
P R O S
- Ally’s growth. She’s still a regular teenager so her hormones make some misguided decisions, but she goes through a slow transformation and makes quite badass.
- Boarding school setting! Who doesn’t love a good one. I wish there had been a bit more detail in the lessons they had ‘general combat’ is a bit too vague. I was hoping for more espionage, hacking, etiquette lessons that would prefer them for their futures. But that stuff is only half of the curriculum, so it was nice to see the characters struggling under mountains of french homework too.
- Peril. Some of the scenes in the Night School series will have your heart racing. The stakes are high and so are the risks!
- The endings are always dramatic, making it hard not to reach for the sequel immediately. Overall, he action is really well sustained!
- The final book attempts to include some more LGBT representation (a bit late, but at least it’s there!)
I’d say Fracture (the middle book surprisingly!) is the best in the series. Allie’s properly acquainted with the school and is beginning to unravel some of its true mysteries. When something terrible happens things descend into a game of who’s lying and who’s telling the truth, where they can’t trust anyone.
C O N S
- The first few book became a bit repetitive. At least one friend character dies and everyone’s freaking out over Nathaniel.
- Love triangle. Not all love triangles are bad, but this one was. The two love interests felt like they were just there to increase tension, when really they just take away from the main plot. In the first book they’re more of a hindrance than anything else, and by the fourth book I was hoping Ally would just pick one already.
- You don’t actually find out what Night School is until book 3. And even then you find out more about the organisation behind Night School, Orion – an organisation that’s supposed to control the whole world practically – but why training teenagers in combat is important still escapes me..what is it they’ll grow up to do? The lack of clarification is seriously what put me off the first book. I wasn’t up for that kind of ambiguity.
This series fan base is incredibly loyal and dedicated to the series, and I have to say there has been some pretty amazing video content released on the author’s YouTube channel that really encouraged me to keep reading.
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