After finishing Zodiac Academy 7:Heartless Sky, we were desperate to get back to Solaria and our favorite characters. We decided to pick up Zodiac Academy: The Awakening As Told by the Boys, where the Celestial Heirs and Lance Orion get to tell their side of Zodiac Academy: The Awakening. Unlike the rest of the series, the first book is only told from Tory’s and Darcy’s POV.
When Tory and Darcy arrive in Solaria, the Celestial Heirs are less than thrilled to have a challenge to rule. From the beginning, the men want to get rid of them in order to keep their place in society. Leading this charge is Lionel Acrux, who wants nothing more than to see the daughters of the Savage King fall.
The chapters alternate between Professor Orion, Darius, Caleb, Max and Seth and we get further insights on how this series started. While it is a retelling, there are new scenes where the reader gets to see what Tory and Darcy never did.
The best aspect of Zodiac Academy: The Awakening As Told by the Boys was that it gave us an opportunity to get to know the characters better, especially at the beginning. We liked seeing the why behind some of the horrendous actions. While we understood Darius and Caleb better and even felt sorry for them, it only made us hate Seth even more. Our opinions of Max and Professor Orion didn’t change.
These actions weren’t excusable at all, no matter what, but we understood why Darius felt he needed to complete the tasks Lionel assigned him. Lionel is literally the worst Fae in Solaria, so we wouldn’t want to be raised by him either.
One fun aspect is we got to see characters that weren’t in The Awakening, but we got to know later on. Xavier Acrux and Gabriel Nox actually play a role in the story and we loved getting more background information on them.
As for Tory and Darcy, it was painful to reread some of the things that happened to them, especially the ending. We had to remember how much had changed by the end of book 7. However, we loved reliving how much of a badass the Vega twins were, even when they had no warning about what awaited them at Zodiac Academy.
We recommend waiting to read this installment until you’re up to date on the series. While there aren’t any spoilers, you’ll understand it much better knowing what happens later on. If you enjoyed the series thus far, pick up Zodiac Academy: The Awakening As Told by the Boys and relive some of the crazy moments that started it all.