Spearwood Academy Volume 5-8 by A.S. Oren
Avalon wakes up with painful memories and she finds herself fighting for her innocence. It doesn't help that all the boys have been mind-warped. Good thing, she still finds unlikely allies inside the academy. The series ends with a new threat against the school, their kind and most especially to Avalon. The books were given for free in exchange for honest review. Spoilers ahead.
Volume 5 starts with what Avalon herself acknowledged as Hunger Games setup. But being a Potter fan herself, she didn't mention the similarities to Mirror of Erised and the Goblet of Fire tournament and on later volumes there are also references to Marauder's Map and Cloak of Invisibility. I can't help but compare the ring similarity to The Mortal Instruments too.
I can't believe that one of the major characters is really dead. Just when we started to know the character, boom...sudden death. I was hoping it was just a cliffhanger but it was signed, sealed and delivered. But there might still be a way for them to meet, if my hunch is right.
As much as I loved Dante, I would want him and Avi to be together in their real selves. I feel like whatever happens between them doesn't count but it's a solid start to build something serious in the future. I'm also sensing the tension of a romance being build up for Mirren and Bullock.
In Volume 6, the significance of personal assistants comes into play which I find just so sad and a bit disturbing but it opens up to a many possibilities. I loved the twist in this volume. The origin of PAs was first explained on Spearwood Boys but the spin-off had been pulled out. Some of the background stories in the spin-off are now being introduced in the succeeding volumes of Spearwood Academy like Dante's parents etc.
In the final two volumes and in true Spearwood fashion, the story peaks and ends in a wide-scale battle. I liked how it ended but I was hoping that there will be an appearance from her brother or from the men pulling the strings inside the school. What happened to her parents?
If the Ghost Bird series is super slow in pacing, then Spearwood Academy is the complete opposite. The plot twists and arc changes are super fast. It doesn't give you time to recover. It gives justice to the line, "That escalated quickly". Too quickly. It's twists upon twist. Before you get to fully know the characters, a new batch of characters with mysterious agenda are being added. It has probably something to do with the one-volume-at-a-time release. All the elements are cramped and the storyline are rushed. It could be more fully explored if it's a single book perhaps? Still, I'm excited for book 2. But before you get your hopes high, the book has been pulled up for now. Now after reading the reason for having it pulled out, it does make sense. I was disappointed that it was pulled out but I'm now much more excited with the rebranding. The story has a lot of potential and I'm looking for forward to the new Spearwood Academy. There's also two new reverse harem series from the same author, which are Gildemer and Miltic. I haven't read the two yet but you may want to check it out at Reverse Harem Garden Store.