Review: The Awakening (Zodiac Academy #1)

Title: The Awakening (Zodiac Academy #1)
Author: Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, New Adult
Publisher: Independently published
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 13, 2019
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

You have been selected to attend Zodiac Academy, where your star sign defines your destiny. 

If you’re one of the Fae, elemental magic is in your blood. And apparently it’s in ours. As twins born in the month of Gemini, we’re a rare breed even in this academy of supernatural a-holes.

Changelings were outlawed hundreds of years ago but I guess our birth parents didn’t get the memo. Which means we’re totally unprepared for the ruthless world of Fae.

Air. Fire. Water. Earth.

No one has ever harnessed all four of them, until we arrived. And it hasn’t made us any friends so far.

As the rarest Elementals ever known, we’re already a threat to the four celestial heirs; the popular, vindictive bullies who happen to be some of the hottest guys we’ve ever seen. It doesn’t help that they’re the most dangerous beasts in the Academy. And probably on earth too.

Our fates are intertwined, but they want us gone. They’ve only got until the lunar eclipse to force us out and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed.

We never knew we had a birthright to live up to but now that we do, we intend to claim our throne.

We can’t expect any help from the faculty when it comes to defending ourselves. So if the dragon shifters want some target practice, the werewolves want someone to hunt or the vampiresfancy a snack then we have to be ready. But we’ve been looking after each other for a long time and fighting back is in our blood.

Today’s horoscope: totally screwed.


Darcy and Tory are eighteen-year-old twins from Chicago. Their parents died when they were babies so they went through many foster families who didn’t treat them well. Soon after their eighteenth birthday, a man shows up in their lives to take them to their home world. They are actually fae, and the true heirs to the throne. Darcy and Tory are taken to the Zodiac Academy, and they must pass their Awakening to earn their places as heirs. However, they don’t know anything about this world or their extraordinary magical powers. The sisters have to face bullies, hazing, and potential romances, while also learning about their powers.

I’ve been seeing this book everywhere so I had to read it. I’ve seen it described as Hogwarts as a university, with some spicy romance. It had Hogwarts vibes, since Darcy and Tory had to go to a magical school and learn about the world, like Harry Potter. However, these girls didn’t seem to have any allies in the other students, so it was more difficult for them to navigate this world.

This was my first time reading “bully romance.” I didn’t even know what that was before reading this. The men in this book were very toxic. They treated the women terribly. Yet they were physically attractive and from powerful families, so people were drawn to them. There were some moments that I thought the guys were going to redeem themselves, but it didn’t last very long.

The Awakening is a great start to this series!

Ruthless Fae by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Have you read The Awakening? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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