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Zodiac Academy: The Awakening by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti

Zodiac Academy: The Awakening

by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti


Book 1 in the Beasts and Bullies series

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 vampires fancy 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.

Age Recommendation:



Urban Fantasy



Zodiac Academy: The Awakening, is the first book in the Beasts and bullies series by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti. It centers on Tory and Darcy Vega, two orphans, who are on the verge of losing the roof over their heads in the mortal world, before being brought to the fae world - where they were born. As the lost princesses of a once powerful dynasty, they quickly learn they can harness all four elements - something that hasn't happened before. They should be happy, right? Too bad there are four young men - The Heirs - who have been training all their lives for the throne, and they won't let a couple of changelings come to their turf and take away everything they have worked for. Bullying, and pranks ensue, but one thing the boys didn't count on - Tory and Darcy have been fighting their whole lives, and if they want a fight, they will get it.

Zodiac Academy is another #booktok recommendation, that I decided to try in my effort to save some money. There are some cool book boxes coming up and I want em! Zodiac Academy is on Kindle Unlimited, so I decided to take advantage of some "free" books. I will admit ... I didn't love it. I liked it. Was it kind of ridiculous? Yes. But so is Cecy Robson's Weird Girls, and I fucking love that series. I enjoyed the world building. The whole idea of all supernatural creatures and beings being fae was kind of cool, and how your zodiac sign, and star alignments are incredibly important to everything fae. I even enjoyed how Solaris (I think that is what the fae world is called), is a mirror world of the mortal realm, and so all the modern conveniences we enjoy, the fae enjoy as well. I enjoyed the twins. Different personalities, and completely and utterly loyal to one another. They are both strong in different ways, and equally flawed. What I didn't like was the boys. Well - mostly. There were times I liked them. But I had a hard time getting past the bullying, and outright torture these boys inflicted on a couple of girls who truly don't want the throne. So, obviously I am not one for a bully romance?

I debated whether or not to continue the series, to be honest. But there is a lot of hype on #booktok for these books, and I will admit to being curious about where Tory and Darcy's stories go. And in terms of romance, I have to admit to being very intrigued by a certain professor, and his fascination with "Blue". (And in case you are wondering, and haven't read this series yet, these are university aged students, and the professor in question is in his early twenties himself, so nothing truly scandalous, but still forbidden). So I'm giving the second book a go. Why not? I may discover why these books are so hyped up. And that potential romance ... I do think if you enjoyed the setting of Harry Potter, but wanted a more modern, much more adult story - you got it here.

  1. Tory walking up to her room with no shame when her clothes were burned away

  2. Tory deleting the pictures of her off Milton's Atlas, and then fighting with Marguerite

  3. All of Orion's classes

  4. Orion declaring Darcy his source

  5. The club

Geraldine: “Remember the A.S.S love you!”

she cried and several people who heard her started laughing.

Really? That was the name she went with? The ass club? Kylie: "Orion is so hot,”

Kylie whispered, her voice carrying to my ears.

Girl: "Yeah and he knows it."

The girl beside her smothered a laugh.

Orion: "He does know it, because he has Vampire hearing."

Orion looked up from his desk, pinning them in his sharp gaze.

Orion: "So if you don't want detention for the next week, I suggest you keep your petty thoughts to yourselves about me and any other member of faculty for that matter."

The girls’ mouths dropped open and a snort escaped me. Well, bye bye life, it was nice knowing you. Marguerite: “Teach her a lesson, baby,”

the redhead cooed and I offered her a moment of my attention. Suddenly her face clicked together with a trout-pout picture I’d seen on FaeBook as I trawled through my most vocal haters and tried to put names to faces.

Tory: “You’re Marguerite right?”

I asked, my face making it clear that her angular features and pouting lips weren’t going to intimidate me.

Tory: “Or do you go by muff scruff now?”

More than one of the onlookers laughed in response to that and for half a second I thought that Darius had to suppress a smile too. But as my gaze fixed on him again I was sure I’d imagined it. There was nothing in his expression beyond a bored kind of loathing. Marguerite’s eyes flared with rage and she made a move towards me but Darius flicked a hand at her, making her back down like a little whipped puppy. How pathetic. She needed daddy’s permission to play with me and he wasn’t giving it.

Darius: “So are you going to try and make me delete my copies?”

Darius pressed, holding his Atlas out as if he were offering it to me. My heart thumped steadily in my chest and I let out a breath before replying.

Tory: “Keep them. If you’re that desperate for material to jerk off to then be my guest.”

Marguerite: “As if he’d be turned on by pictures of you!”

Marguerite spat as Darius scowled, clearly irritated that I wasn’t going to try and reclaim them. At this point they were probably all over the school anyway. Anyone could have saved copies and I’d punished the guy responsible for distributing them. There was no point in me trying to hunt down each and every copy so I was just going to have to make my peace with the fact that those images were out there.

Tory: “Don’t worry, Marguerite. It’s not your fault that he needs them to get his motor going. I’m sure your hairy bush does it for him once you start bouncing about on his lap.”

Marguerite looked about ready to scratch my eyes out but Darius still hadn’t given her permission to act.

Marguerite: “You jumped-up, two cent alley-whore!”

Marguerite screeched at me but Darius cut across her before she could go on with what was shaping up to be a beautiful rendition of mean-girl hysteria. Top marks for making more friends, Tory.

Darius: “I can have any girl I like. Why would I be interested in looking at images of you?”

Darius growled, his deep tone sending a shiver down my spine. I raised my hands in mock surrender.

Tory: “Hey dude, you’re the one with naked photos of me, not the other way around. And you can’t have any girl you like. Because that’s a hard no from me. But you may as well enjoy the fantasy you’re creating with those images because I can assure you that you’ve got zero chance of getting your hands on the real thing.”

Sofia: “You know you make sex noises over your food, right?”

Tory: “No I don’t. I’m a lot louder than that in bed.”

Diego spluttered on his coffee, hacking his guts up as Darcy laughed. Geraldine seemed caught between looking scandalized and smiling but my opinion of her went up a notch when she released a snigger. Professor Cannis: “Don't be shy,”

she said as Tory flinched away.

Tory: “I'm not shy, you're just so far beyond my personal boundaries right now I can't even see them anymore.” Darcy: “One day, Professor, I'm going to be strong enough to fight you off.”

He took a measured breath and I felt like he was sucking something vital out of my body that I wasn’t sure I’d ever get back.

Orion: “I know. But until that day, you're mine, Blue.” Darcy: “Now you’re going to put a stop to our free drinks?”

Darcy asked with an air of resignation.

Caleb: “Why are you drinking at the bar when we have the VIP section to ourselves over there?”

Caleb asked, pointing at a roped off area beside the dance floor.

Tory: “I think you just answered your own question there, Caleb." Marguerite: “Do you think he's actually interested in you? He was drunk and grabbed the nearest thing with a pulse.”

Tory: “Well if that's Darius's standard now I understand why he's with you.”

Tory said airily and I couldn't help but exhale a laugh. Darius: “When you stop eye-fucking me I’ll show you what you’re so desperate to know,”

he replied mockingly and I snapped my gaze back up to his face, throwing him a scowl.

Tory: “People don’t tend to whip their junk out in the middle of a conversation. So if you didn’t want me catching an eyeful of little Darius then you shouldn’t have brought him into our discussion.” Why is everyone after those emotions?! And why am I even turned on by Lord Voldemort’s hotter, younger cousin? Caleb: “You didn’t seem so against the idea the other night,”

Tory: “That was drunk Tory. She’s notorious for making bad decisions so I wouldn’t get too excited about anything you think she might have done with you. You shouldn’t presume anything that happens when I’m wasted will have any bearing on sober Tory.”

Caleb: “And you think I’d be a bad decision?”

Caleb asked with amusement. My lips quirked in response.

Tory: “I’ve been with enough bad decisions to recognize one when I see them.”

Caleb: “How many, exactly?

Tory: “Enough to let me know that it’s a terrible idea.”

My breath caught as his mouth made it to the corner of mine.

Tory: “Probably not enough to put me off entirely.”


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