By Valicity Garris
At the outset, Cross Academy is a bit of a slow read, while the author constructs the dark post-apocalyptic world and establishes the central characters. But after the attack on the city, the pace rockets ahead at a breakneck pace. Cross Academy is filled with larger-than-life priests and demon hunters with anime-style weapons and skills, and ninja-like abilities possibly more at home in an episode of Naruto.
This book is quite violent, and in some respects graphic. I'd definitely place it in YA or even adult fiction, as it's dark, and depicts a dark world. If you are looking for action and adventure, this is a good read, as it's packed with a lot of battle and risk. Some of the battle scenes could have been fleshed out more, and in some cases hordes of demons are eliminated with a single blow, while individual demons come into close quarters and inflict a mortal wound on supporting cast members.
Language is clean, even when adrenaline is racing or disaster strikes.
Right and wrong are grayed somewhat in this book, as the characters are forced to make difficult moral decisions to survive. These are definitely opportunities to discuss dilemmas like that with moral guides you trust.
I can't place where this book would fall in the timeline of the bible. With a stretch it might be post-Millennial Kingdom, as the Devil and his hordes are released for a time before the final judgment. Perhaps I'm thinking too much, as it's a good what-if.
There are a few points where the action is interrupted for a lesson on the evils of the human heart, and there is conjecture why a good God would allow demons to overrun the world like this. The concept is handled well and the question would definitely be asked in a world like that.
There are misspellings and grammatical errors scattered throughout, but if you can get past or ignore those, it's a good read. Fast-paced, reasonable character development, good character arc, high stakes. All in all I gave it a four.
About the Author:
Valicity Garris is a recent college graduate, a youth pastor and a blogger who lives in Western New York with her family and pets. She is an active member at her church and enjoys spending time with her church family. Cross Academy is her first YA Fantasy novel but she plans to write much much more.
When she isn't writing she's watching Japanese anime or playing video games. She writes book reviews on her blog and loves to support the Indie-Author industry. Her favorite authors are CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.