Review: Initiation (Bonfire Acedemy #1) by Imogen Rose
The Bonfire Academy is a school for young (or new) paranormals to learn their powers and how to control them. It’s set in the Alpine mountains and is NOT a place for humans. So when half-human Faustine shows up at the tender age of 12, chaos and danger ensues! GraveTells says Initiation is worth a look!
- Title: Initiation
- Series: Bonfire Academy Book 1
- Author: Imogen Rose
- Prominent Characters: Cordelia, Jagger, Quinn, and Faustine
- Recommended Reader Age: 16+
- Sexual Content Level: Light
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
There’s a warning on the book that states the following: “This YA story is set in a school for paranormals who are very different from normal human teens. Thus, the language and some scenes might not be appropriate for younger YA readers. Recommended for those sixteen and above.” There’s a reason for it! The paranormal world, even for teens, is depicted a lot more violent and carnal than I’m used to. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not really a bad thing, but there is a graphic death scene, and some gnarly fights, and sex, while never “shown”, is viewed as pretty much expected, let alone natural.
It’s a neat take on young paranormals and a school they might attend, as there are classes about the individual species’ histories, personalized learning, and the “politics” are pretty different than I’ve seen before. There’s also just about every kind of paranormal you can get thrown in. Fey, trolls, demons, shape shifters, vampires, witches, and don’t even get me started on the Wanderers.
What was cool was that at one point I wanted to scream because there was a theory I had about a pair of characters and everyone seemed to be completely missing it! Within a couple pages of hanging on the edge of losing it over this, the solution is figured out and I discover I was only half right anyway. I love when a story is not totally predictable!
Other than that though, I had several problems with it too. For one, punishments didn’t seem very severe… at all. While I understand why, I still felt that sex was viewed far too casually, but that’s just me I suppose. Some of the mystery in the plot and the characters’ brain storming over it just ended up confusing me. Perhaps the thing that bothered me the most, was that there was almost zero resolution to the love triangle that evolves right at the beginning of the book, and as a romance fan I focus on that, so that really bugged me. I get that it’s supposed to be the start of a series, but I still would’ve appreciated a little more progress in that department.
One thing to keep in mind about this book is that while it’s book 1 in The Bonfire Academy series, it’s actually a prequel/tie-in series to other works by the author. There were times I felt like I was missing something because of a casual reference made here and there I think it’s because of that prequel/tie-in aspect. Personally I was all turned around trying to figure out where this fell in the time line of all the books, but hopefully y’all will have better luck.
There he goes thinkin’ too hard again.
“Why do you need me?”
His eyes narrowed. “You ask, after what just happened?”
Awkward. I didn’t want to talk about that. “I mean, why do you need me as a mentor?”
I almost snickered when I detected a red hue forming on his snow-white skin.
Ah, hormone riddled teenagers…they don’t hide things very well.
“What calms you down the most? The breathing exercises? The muscle tensing ones?”
She suddenly blushed.
“I don’t think I want to share, but okay, say if I pick one, then what?”
“When you feel yourself transforming, concentrate on calming yourself down using just the one method.” Like I couldn’t totally read what that method was from her crimson expression—Ryker, of course. I just hoped that she didn’t have calm mixed up with hot and excited.
If you liked Initiation…
If you enjoyed Initiation, you should check out Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. It’s a YA story, more about vampires specifically, but the writing style is similar and it too is based on learning to control one’s abilities (physical or other). It also has an element of secret and forbidden love which always makes for great drama.
If you want a more lighthearted read, Harry Potter is another series (starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling) you might want to check out. It’s a school full of wizards getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. The primary difference is that the first couple books are considerably younger than Initiation (main characters all start off at the age of 11 or 12) and there’s not really much romance until later books (and not much then), but it’s full of magic and adventure!