Alice Dibble has finally made it to the Nocturnal Academy, and is ready to start lessons at the most exclusive private school in Australia. She believes she is about to be trained to become a nocturnal defender of the Earth against the chaotic hordes of the Immaterium, and is ready to face up to this noble challenge.
Unfortunately, when she arrives she discovers that the Nocturnal Academy isn’t really that different from her old school. Lessons are tedious, equipment is old and broken, bats roosting in the rafters keep dropping presents on her notebook – and then there is scullery duty, which involves taking rubbish out to the epic compost heap, known to swallow children whole.
Alice’s new friend Toby, once a popular kid at her primary school, has become an outcast; her old enemy Carla needs help to learn how to change into her new animal form, and a little omniwere boy who can only change into tiny creatures like rats and rabbits has developed a crush on her.
Alice must also learn how to use her new vampire powers responsibly without succumbing to the lure of the darkness.
To make matters worse, Professor Abbacus, a teacher Alice thought liked her, now seems to want to kill her. It is all Alice can do to keep one step ahead of him and all of his devious, convoluted plans to punish her for the destruction of the Holloway Grimoire.
I enjoyed getting to know the character better in this second installment of the series and learning how the world works. It was good to see the old characters but also be introduced to new faces. A villain hiding in plain sight, got me good. I did not expect that at all.
I sometimes forget that the characters are so young, not even teenagers yet, they act so mature, which is probably not very realistic but it only bothers me when I am reminded of their ages.
The action is well written and enjoyable.
All in all it’s a good book for younger readers, but adults will enjoy it.
4 out of 5 stars