Friday, November 10, 2023

Book Review: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik


Title: A Deadly Education
Series: The Scholomance #1
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Dark Academia, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Random House

Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.

There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.


*A quick thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for gifting me this ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review*

Hello Fellow Readers, 

Dark Academia is a genre I have not read too much of but have been looking to read, so when I got the chance to read Novik's A Deadly Education I was very excited. I do know it is a Young Adult book but I still loved El. She's a BAMF who, although very unpopular, knows what it takes to survive Scholomance Magic School. Of course, when she is saved (but absolutely didn't need to be saved) by the popular cinnamon roll Orion, things start to change for El. 

The dynamic between El and Orion was entertaining, but very much reminded me of high school. Their dynamic brought a bit of light to what would otherwise be a dark book. Despite it being high school (but you know with magic) I was interested in the intrigue and politics that goes on at the school as well as the theme of class and privilege.

The book is from El's point of view and she is a broody edgy girl, so there is a lot of brooding and sarcasm (think Wednesday Addams) but I was absolutely not prepared for the ramblings, info dumps, and over-detailing of everything. This is what really hurt the book for me, the book could have been significantly shorter had they edited out all the unnecessary details.

Overall, an interesting and unique spin on magic schooling. 

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