Review: The Unsound Theory (STAR Academy #1) by Emilia Zeeland
Yalena Russo, your STAR Academy invitation has arrived.
Unlike other teenagers across the near worlds, Yalena isn't space-crazed. But a surprise invitation to join the exclusive STAR Academy opens a window to her unknown origins, making her ponder… What if space is where she belongs?
Mystified by the leadership trio known as the O'Donnells, as well as the reason they brought her on board, Yalena stumbles onto an alarming secret. Pulled deeper into the mystery by the commander's son, she will find that some riddles can be hard to walk away from—especially if she is the one holding the answers.
Take a plunge into the not-so-near future, where travel is interplanetary, competition is a rush, and even the elite don't always play by the rules.
Genre: Aliens, Another-World, Mystery, Space, Suspense, Teen--
In a world where the earth that we know it no longer exists, space travel is the new norm. When two strangers show up and offer Yelena a letter of acceptance to the elite, exclusive space school STARs, she is hesitant about the offer. No one knows why or how students are selected for the school, but it is an honor that would be hard to reuse. Yelena accepts the invitation even though she knows she is completely out of her element, but hopes she may discover more about where she came from.
I kind of feel like this was the training that everyone on Star Trek had to go though before they could join the star fleet- the college that prepped them for mission in space dealing with other colonies, rules, life and species. Seriously, this is the behind the scenes that we missed in the movies, the teens leaning new skills and training to be the best the universe could offer. All the kids are humans (sorry to disappoint) but they have lived in new locations, such as Mars and the Moon as well as on space stations, to give them different backgrounds and experiences. The dynamic between all the groups was interesting, be it culture and personality, and the author included even the littlest details of accent to help set the tone.
I found the world to be incredibly detailed, interwoven and really complicated, so much so that at times I was in over my head with what I was reading and I had to re-read the section again. I would say this would be a better read for upper teens to adults (or super smart younger kids!) not due to inappropriate content but due to the complexity of the entire storyline.
The book is narrated from Yelena, who seems to be smart and curious, completely flummoxed as to how she ended up chosen for this school when she had almost no qualifications to deem her worthy. I thought she seemed interesting and very adult in her interactions, but I do not feel like I know her well- I know what she does but not the whys behind her action, there was not a lot of inner reflection that took place, more a constant info download about the world and the mysteries she was involved in.
This was the start of an epic science fiction space mystery series full of big twists and turns. Yelena may have finished her first year at the STAR Academy, but the truths that she desperately seeks are only starting to unravel.
I am voluntarily reviewing an advance, complimentary copy of this book.