By Cynthia Bujnicki
After a werewolf attack, Mia ventures to the Hood Academy, a school for those who can see werewolves and are trained to hunt them down. Mia takes to the school but soon discovers that it harbors dark secrets that hold the key to her past.
Hood Academy follows one young girl thrust into a world where werewolves are real, and she is part of a culture bent on hunting them.
Hood Academy is an okay novel. There are times when – and this may seem harsh – where this novel almost feels like a knock off of The Vampire Academy except with werewolves. It is not just the structure and concept of the novel, but the tone as well that resembles that series. It has some exciting plot twists and a fair amount of character development, but the characters, for the most part, do not have many flaws. The only character so flawed is the mean girl, but the antagonist is that stereotypical mean girl. She has no substance to her. Sure, there is an explanation of her brutality, how hatred and bigotry are ingrained in her, but she lacks the substance to inspire the reader to feel any amount of pity for her. A good villain inspires something in the reader, and given her dynamics with Mia; she is almost forgettable. It makes her multiple defeats meaningless to the reader. The world they live in is flawed, but the characters themselves are not compelling enough, they are not flawed enough to make the reader care about them.
The character dynamics function much the same way. The dynamics all seem forced together. It seems so easy for the characters to meld together and become friends, to form a romantic attachment. It seems false and separates the reader from the text.
It is unfortunate because the novel does have a powerful opening, but after that, the pacing falls short; it drags. The building of the story, of the history of this new world, Mia enters, uses too much exposition to guide the story forward without compelling tension to keep the reader engrained in the story.
However, the underlying theme does come through, supernaturally addressing bigotry and racism. It shows how that much prejudice and hatred corrupt’s a person, and for that, the novel is an interesting read. (★★★☆☆)