Friday, 10 October 2014

Reread and Review: Darke Academy - Gabriella Poole

Book: Secret Lives, Blood Ties, Divided Souls
Series: Darke Academy
Author: Gabriella Poole
Published: August 2009
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 
Pages: 288 - 320
Rating: 3/5 stars

 You'll be dying to join the chosen Few... 

The Darke Academy is a school like no other. An √©lite establishment that moves to an exotic new city every term, its students are impossibly beautiful, sophisticated and rich. And the more new scholarship girl Cassie Bell learns about the Academy, the more curious she becomes. 

What sinister secrets are guarded by the Few — the select group of students who keep outsiders away? Who is the dark stranger prowling the corridors at night? And what really happened a year earlier, when the last scholarship girl died in mysterious circumstances? 

One thing Cassie will discover is that a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but knowing too much can be deadly...
*Synopsis from Goodreads*

So I decided to go through my books and find a story that I haven't read in ages to see how my opinion of it has changed. I picked The Darke Academy series, from my Vampire book phase, because I remember really enjoying them but going off vampire books before the fourth was released.  I want to know whether I should continue it now.

The story is really original and I find Cassie a super gutsy and likeable character. The images of the school and cities are really good, and the writing style is simple and easy to read. It helps that these aren't particularly long books.

Poole is really good at building characters and giving them their own identity, even if they weren't front and centre stage . I remember wanting Isabella to be my best friend and having a book-character-crush on Richard and Ranjit. In fact Richard is probably my favourite character out of the whole series because he's a dastardly charming English gent but also two-faced and sneaky (I'm not 100% convinced it's just because of he Few spirit either).

The plot in the first two books really made it for me. I loved the idea of this not-so-secret, yet totally mysterious, clique ruling over a school filled with privileged kids and that it takes scholarship student Cassie to shake things up a bit. The Few spirits were a chilling take of vampires as well, and the way they fed really freaked me out.

I found Cassie's resemblance to Jess a little...strange. Also, that apart from knowing she comes from a care home we never find much out about Cassie's past. But apart from that and Cassie's ability to kill without any apparent remorse, I loved the mystery and scandal that arose with her appearance. The first book ultimately deals with Cassie becoming a member of the few...illegally, and the second book about dealing with some of the fall out of the first book, including one rich, homicidal maniac.

But the third book...meh. It was like the ideas had run a little dry. All of a sudden Ranjit is crazy as hell and there's some chase for some weird-ass relics. It all goes a bit cliché, and the fall out between Cassie and Isabella seems flimsy at best. It disappointed me because I so enjoyed the first two. Once again Cassie demonstrates her ability to have no morality whatsoever by:
a) letting Ranjit escape, when she could have stopped him
b) not caring about Richard's role in Jess's death, no matter how innocent his intentions seemed
c) almost completely disregarding Jake and Isabella in the last chapter in order to have some witty banter with Richard

Originally, I thought her fling with Richard was a blessing, because I thought they'd be a really interesting dynamic. But no, Cassie is all "I'm still so in love with my serial killing, unreliable ex-boyfriend, I have to be with him". This made me sad.

Anyway, I don't know whether I'm going to get the fourth book. I might just to satiate the slight tingle of curiosity that I have but. 3/5 stars for the last book making me sad but the first two being really good.

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