Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Death's Academy by Michael Bast

Midnight Smith has a problem.  He's a hoodie.  Well, almost.  He has to go through Death's Academy so he can learn how to snuff out shorties (humans, like you and your friends) and outsmart those pesky halos.  Then he'll get his shroud and calling and become a full-fledged Grim Reaper.  But to get into Death's Academy, there's a real killer exam . . . and Midnight stinks at exams.

What he doesn't know is that the exam is the least of his worries.  When the hoodies and halos go on their yearly retreat, the time is ripe for an old enemy - the diabolical unicorns- to strike.  That leaves Midnight and his friends as the only ones to stop the attack- and this is something he just can't fail at.

If you are looking for a middle grade fantasy sort of book for boys and girls alike, this just might be your book.  The main character is a boy named Midnight and his best friend is a genius girl named Mal.  Everyone ought to have a best friend like Mal.  She invents way cool stuff and she does animal speak.  I really liked Mal.

I'm not so sure I'm the biggest fan of Midnight.  He breaks rules without remorse, he is disrespectful to his parents and other authority figures, he lies and he sneaks out of his house.  As a mother I'm not a fan of any of these things.  He pulls off a good thing in the end but I wonder at the lack of consequences for his continued bad behavior.  He is young though and I think he learns some valuable lessons by the end so it's not all bad.  I just prefer to see a main character (especially in books where young kids may be reading) have a bit more respect.

This book is filled with fun and adventure.  The secondary characters are engaging and the story flows well.  The few pictures throughout the book were fun and I liked how it enhanced my mental pictures.  I kind of wish there had been more of them.  :)

This is a clean book, well, mostly.  There is no swearing or sexual content but there is quite a bit of potty humor.  There are several references to the character swearing, but no actual words.  

You can find Death's Academy at Amazon.  This book will be officially released Jan. 14th.

See the book’s official trailer here.

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