Hood Academy (Shelley Wilson)

Hood Academy is a novel by Shelley Wilson.
Finished on: 23.9.2019
[I won this book in a librarything Early Reviewer give-away.]

After Mia’s father is murdered by what Mia knows to be a werewolf, with her mother already dead for a while and her brother missing, the only family she has left is her uncle Sebastian. He comes to pick her up and brings her to the school he runs, Hood Academy. Once there, Mia discovers that the school trains hunters – werewolf hunters. She takes the oath to become one herself. But things might be more complicated than Mia thought.

I like werewolf stories, but there was a little too much going on in Hood Academy. A little less would have been more and would have made the book stronger. Altogether, I’d say it’s not more than okay.

The book cover showing a wolf and a castle.

The idea was rather nice (albeit not very original), but the execution of it didn’t really work for me. The biggest problem was that there was a twist on what felt like every second page. That in turn meant that none of the developments had much time to be dealt with which ultimately led to things not really having any consequences. Things that should have been huge are quickly forgiven. Problems Mia had that seemed insurmountable on one page, are resolved with a snap the next. It made taking things seriously difficult.

There’s also a big twist that revolves around DNA and the science mumbling was particularly bad here. I’m no DNA expert, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. And the way we talk about DNA in general is something I look at very critically, it just pushed one of my buttons.

I also found it pretty questionable that everybody here was convinced that lycantrophy is something to be cured. Given what lycantrophy is often used as a metaphor for – starting with the animal side in humanity to metaphors for marginalization – wanting to heal it doesn’t seem a very good approach. The emphasis on healing also seems to feed into ableist notions.

The book is separated into two parts and I’m not sure whether they were originally separate books, but the second part starts with a recap of the first and at least for this edition that puts them together as one novel, this recap should have been lost. It’s not that bad, but it’s weird (just like it’s weird that Miss Ross stays Miss Ross and never gets a first name).

So, yeah, altogether I just wasn’t really taken by it. I have read worse, but there was nothing here that really drew me in.

Summarizing: Middling.

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