ARC Review: A Deadly Education

Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Author: Naomi Novik
Edition: Del Rey e-ARC
Releasing: 29th September 2020
Series: Scholomance #1
Pages: 336 pages approx.
Links: Author's Website | Goodreads | Pre-order the book now!

**Huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC (Netgalley) of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

In the start of an all-new series, the bestselling author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver introduces you to a dangerous school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death – until one girl begins to rewrite its rules.

Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered.

There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal.

Once you’re inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die.

El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school’s many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school.

Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it... that is, unless she has no other choice.

I LOVED this book. Whole-heartedly and completely, every minute of it. I can't even begin to describe my excitement when I first started reading this novel. I'd previously read and loved Novik's other books, Uprooted and Spinning Silver but, honestly, nothing prepared me for the blast I was going to have reading this book. I think this is my new favourite book of hers now and, sure enough, she has now become one of my staple authors.
I flew through this book over the course of one night and the next morning. I didn't want to put it down. I was gripped. Hook, line and sinker. I think it was the kind of novel I was waiting for. Dark, with a complex world, solid characters, a touch of angst, a host of different character relationships... It even had a splash of good humour to add to the mix! Half the time I feel like humour just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the storyline but, for this one, it just added a little something extra to love. I was smiling and humming away at some of the scenes and character interactions, they were just so well-done and funny.

The characters honestly made this book for me. I fell in love with them. El was exactly the kind of heroine I like - snarky and strong but has her moments of doubt and uncertainty. I really felt for her and was invested pretty quickly in her story from the beginning. I love when authors present us with flawed characters, it makes them so much more interesting and multi-dimensional. Orion was also a great character and his brusqueness and interactions with El were most of the reason I couldn't stop smiling throughout this book. I even grew to love some of the side characters and am so excited to see their development in future books, as well as watch all the different character relationships develop.

I also loved the plot and setting Novik created in this book. Of course I would be drawn in by the idea of a darker Harry Potter-esque boarding school setting. The whole school-out-to-get-you vibe was executed so well and I was completely enthralled by the magic system and how it worked. I didn't find it read too similar to Harry Potter or anything at all, to me it was completely its own story. The book provided us with a lot of backstory at times but, in all honesty, I actually really enjoyed the context because I was so invested. It also made it easier for me to fall into the world quicker. So it didn't really affect the pacing for me, at all. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Overall, I really loved this book. It has solidified Novik's position in my list of favourite authors. I flew through it. I think it is honestly one of the best books I've read so far this year and I am so excited to begin my journey with this new series. I loved the world, the concept and the characters and their relationships so much - it was just exactly my kind of story and exactly what I was looking for. The only thing now is I'm going to have to wait a while for book two! *cries*

(undoubtedly) FIVE STARS!!
Until next time,
Happy Reading!

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