Space Academy- Hannah Hopkins

Happy Sunday book friends!

I hope you have been enjoying your weekend and that you’ve had some good books to read! I was on a blog tour for this one on Friday but due to special circumstances in our home I wasn’t able to deliver on time, which is very unfortunate but sometimes life gets in the way and the review is here now! I’ll do a giveaway for this one when we get closer to school to cheer someone up a little! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

It’s the year 2100. Earth is dying. A young woman, Elsie, has risked everything to get her newborn son, Will, aboard ‘The Mayflower’ – a spaceship that will transport a select number of people to a new planet they can call home. Elsie’s luck takes a turn when she discovers the captain of ‘The Mayflower’ is an old friend. He allows her to board with her son, giving them a place on the luxurious Floor One, where they live amongst the most honoured of ‘The Mayflower’s’ passengers.

Thirteen years later, and Will is ready to start school at Space Academy, an institute specialising in subjects such as Alien Studies, Technology, and Rocket Control. While a pupil there, Will starts to uncover secrets about his father’s death, becoming wrapped in a mystery that he and his friends must solve if they are to have any hope of saving humanity from the threat that lies in wait.

In my opinion Space Academy bears strong similarities to Harry Potter and Alice Through the Looking Glass. I’ve read Harry Potter more times than I can count but I’ve never read Alice Through the Looking Glass, just watched the movie, but something with this book reminded me of that movie. I don’t think these two factors affected my reading experience too much but when you’ve discovered these sorts of things it’s harder to look away from them. Mind you it was cool to read a space version of Harry Potter if you could call it that! When I say strong similarities I don’t mean copying, not at all, but as I said, when you’ve read a story more than one (or ten times) it’s easier to pick up on similarities in other books you read. These are mere observations and interesting connection points. However, I have some issues with the book. Firstly, there are quite a few spelling mistakes or words lacking within sentences. This ALWAYS irks me immensly when I read a book because it disrupts my flow. I think I’m overly aware of this because spelling mistakes generally annoy me quite a bit.

Secondly, Space Academy falls a bit flat for me sometimes because of the storyline which seems a bit too rushed from time to time. I would have loved to have another 100 pages so there would be more room for explanations. This whole new world we get to encounter onboard The Mayflower is rather intriguing, and there is a ton of things to explore in order to gain a better understanding of this fantasy world. One of the more intriguing things I would love to learn more about is the subjects taught at Space Academy. They truly seem fascinating and the fact that the students have to learn such things as survival in the wild is just so weird to me! However, I suppose that when Earth died you have to hone the skills your specie has in order to survive in the unknown wilderness of space! Further, I would love to know how the class system is decided on The Mayflower. This isn’t explained at all but from what little we know it seems to be determined based on people’s skills. If this is in relation to what they did on Earth or if this is something that was determined during the application process for The Mayflower is uncertain. Would be very interesting to know!

Our characters are pleasantly relatable! I mean, we’ve all been teenagers and it was so relaxing to have characters who fit the teenage species so well! Will is our obvious leader and I really enjoyed watching him develop during this book. Elsie is the smart one of the group and aims to keep the rest in line whilst she is fiercely faithful to her friends if rulebreaking is needed. I wasn’t too sure about Lois in the beginning but I ended up liking her in the end! If there are more books to come then I hope Hopkins chooses to explore this character more. Finally, we have Finley, my favourite. I love a good underdog who does well among the high and mighty! It’s so clear that he views the world so completely different than his peers and it’s quite interesting to witness.

Space Academy is a new sort of YA book. At least for me. It has similarities with other known stories but its very much its own none the same. Sometimes it fell a bit flat for me but I really enjoyed the characters! If there are more books to come about this gang I would definitley consider reading them because I enjoyed the characters so much! If a new book were to come I also hope that it will include more details about this fantasy world!

Author Bio

In 2017, Hannah Hopkins released a self-published novel entitled ‘The Split’; the story of four teenagers navigating life after Earth as they journey through space to a new planet. Two years later, the book was picked up by ‘The Conrad Press’ and re-vamped as ‘Space Academy,’ with a new cover, new title and new additions to the story. ‘Space Academy’ was released in 2020, kickstarting Hannah’s career as a writer.

Hannah is currently busy writing a historical fiction novel with a feminist twist. She spends the rest of her time working at a University and caring for her two young children in the UK.

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Published: 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Theme: Friends, school, aliens

– The Book Reader

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