Monday, August 25, 2014

The Academy Ghost Bird Series by C.L. Stone

Amazon is known for it's promotion of independent authors and C.L. Stone shows great signs of being the next big thing in YA fiction. This is an author that is fearless in her writing. She's not afraid to push the boundaries of what society deems acceptable and will challenge the reader to expand his or her ideas of right and wrong.

The first short novel titled Introductions is exactly that, and introduction to the characters in the story. You have young Sang Sorenson a 15 year old girl with an agoraphobic, sickly mother who is isolated from society and abused by her mom and neglected by her father. The Ghost Bird series centers around Sang and her shy almost painful introduction to a group of boys who form their own cell within the Academy. She first meets Kota Lee on a windy rainy night a few weeks before school starts. The reader will find it endearing how Kota slowly introduces her to his close knit group of friends. In Introductions the reader will meet all seven of the boys and the two leaders of the team Mr. Blackbourne and Dr. Sean Green.

Remember this is a YA novel so don't expect sophisticated vocabulary. The main characters are all between the ages of 15 and 19 and as such much of their dialogue is consistent with that age group. As the series progresses through the novels you will learn more about each of the boys in this group as well as the mystery surrounding Sang Sorensen.

The characters are artfully and thoughtfully crafted. Each one of the boys fulfills a specific need in the main character Sang.

Dakota Lee a.k.a Kota is the teams leader. He is described as a nerdling but on closer inspection he is quite handsome with a heart of gold. Kota is the first of the boys to make contact with Sang. He is a bit shy about his feelings for Sang and cautious of involving her with his team. He is her self described protector. The other boys on the Academy Team look up to Kota and trust his leadership. Sang notices this right off when she sees him interact with the other two team members she meets next Victor Morgan and Silas Korba.

Victor Morgan is a piano prodigy with a generous heart and wallet. He is the only son of wealthy parents and he is the main financial provider to the team. Sang describes him as "fire eyes" because his eyes are very expressive. Victor Morgan is Sang's compassion and she is his Kindness something he has lacked in his personal life and Sang is need of compassion something she's never received in her own home.

Silas Korba is the hunky greek in this close knit group. He is the strong silent type and his first encounter with Sang is the same day as Victors. Where as Victor demands an explanation almost immediately from Kota about Sang's presence Silas takes it all in stride. He is the first of the seven boys to be Sang's self appointed protector. You don't get a real feel for Silas Korba's character until the later books. All I'll say is that it's worth the read of the other novels to discover this character unfold. Of all the Academy guys Silas is quite possibly my favorite.

These are the main three boys you meet in the first novel which is only 290 pages so it's a quick read. I've read quite a few reviews online about this series some good and some bad. The story line is good, the characters are well thought out and the issues she writes about are real and push the boundaries of what is considered Taboo in our society. The writing is sometimes juvenile with some repetition and unnecessary details but this is her first novel so some leeway must be given. The following novels certainly get better both plot wise and writing wise. C. L. Stone is definitely an author to watch out for.

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