Title: Fallen Academy: Year One
Author: Leia Stone
Pub. Date: August 17, 2018
Pub: Self Published
Genre: YA Fantasy Paranormal
Brielle Atwater isn’t sure of much, but she knows a few things:
1. Having black wings is not normal.
2. Selling her soul to the demons was a mistake.
3. Lincoln Grey is the biggest *** she’s ever met … but not falling in love with him might prove impossible.
When angels fell from the sky to war with the demons that ravaged Earth, their combined powers infected humanity. Now, the humans are assigned one of two fates, being either demon gifted or angel blessed.
After wings sprout from Brielle’s back at her awakening ceremony, she’s sure she’s an angel blessed celestial. It’s not until she sees black wings that she realizes something is terribly wrong.
Having sold her contract at a young age to save her father’s life means she should be bound for Tainted Academy. That is, until a fallen angel unexpectedly fights for her to be accepted into Fallen Academy, the elite school for those that inhabit Angel City.
She’s immediately matched with her impossibly handsome celestial teacher, Lincoln Grey. Laying eyes on him, her first thought is that her time at the academy might actually be fun, but this theory quickly fades when she and Lincoln clash on day one. To further prove her admission into Fallen Academy is cursed, the entire school is thrown into chaos when an Abrus demon reveals that he knows Brielle’s secret. Now, above all else, Lincoln must fight to protect her.
To his surprise, the only thing more difficult than trying to save her … is trying not to fall for her.
This will be a short, spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. This has been on my radar for a while. I wasn’t planning on listening to this, but in a sudden change of mood, I needed something different than what I’d planned on listening to. I’m a sucker for Angels and after all the other books I’ve been reading recently, I love a school setting. I’ve read some of Leia Stone’s other books, so I kind of knew what to expect when diving into this.
Overall, it didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed it. I definitely love angel books, and if they want to make a resurgence, I’m all for it. Vampires are back, next it’s angels, and then maybe (hopefully) dystopian. But for now, bring me all the angel content. I also love interesting takes on Heaven and Hell and the lore and hierarchy that comes with those elements. While the book is predictable – not in a bad way, but you read the synopsis and for the most part you know how it’s going to play out – it still had moments that surprised me, and I really liked the twists. Lowkey, I kind of figured it out early on, but I still enjoyed the reveal.
I think my biggest complaint is just the pacing of the relationship between Lincoln and Brielle. The pacing of the whole plot is pretty steady and keeps you interested and entertained, but the progression of their relationship just goes from like 0 to 50 to 100 really quick. I kind of wish that their relationship had been a little slower burn. Their almost childlike, banter and sass were so enjoyable and I’m a sucker for a good rival to lover’s romance. It’s still enjoyable and I love them together and ultimately have no problem with their relationship. I just wish things had been drawn out a little more.
Especially with Lincoln’s background and traumatic past that shaped his initial feelings towards Brielle. Like, I’m glad his was emotionally open and vulnerable with her, but I could have done with a little more tension between them.
But if we’re also being honest, I’m not reading this book (or books like it) for the heavy, nuanced plot. And on that note, this book isn’t super graphic. I would put it in the upper YA category. Mild spice on the page, but not overly explicit. It’s not ACOSF or TOG level, but more like Serpent & Dove.
Brielle was a fun character, a little obnoxious, a little “not like other girls” but not so much in an annoying way. She’s just kind of weird and goofy, but also incredibly strong and willing to stand up for herself and those she claims as family. I enjoyed her and I can’t wait to see how her journey unfolds.
Overall, I enjoyed this. I didn’t have any expectations really, other than I hope I enjoyed it, and I did. The pacing is good, the plot is consistent, the world is interesting, and the characters are great. If you’re a fan of Vampire Academy, the Covenant Series or just basically any “boarding school” type settings, with paranormals and drama, then you’re probably going to enjoy this.