A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Narrator: Anisha Dadia
Series: The Scholomance #1
Published by Penguin Random House Audio on September 29, 2020
Genres: Dark Academia, Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 59 minutes
Pages: 336
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life.
Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans.
I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world.
At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does.
But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either.
Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.


This was a great read that I’m upset I didn’t get to earlier! I did read A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik as an audiobook and golly Anisha Dadia is SUCH a great narrator. She gave so much emotion for each of the characters and with just the slightest change in tone or inflection, you knew who was speaking, you know their mood, you knew the situation. I think reading this as an audiobook really changed and elevated my experience. I definitely believe that, had I read this as a physical copy, I would have given this four stars, but Anisha Dadia definitely added that extra half star.

Reading the synopsis, I was a little hesitant. I was worried that the narrator would be annoying and insufferable. She wasn’t! I mean, she could be longwinded, but that makes sense considering she is living in a world we aren’t and so her little side rants help build the world around her without feeling like pointless exposition. Everything seems so very well thought out that it flows smoothly. There are checks and balances to the magic system that explain why El is the way she is and how she feels toward the elite cliques. Really nice world building.

Orion Lake? So interesting of a character! At first, I wondered is he just a dumb himbo of a beast, content to kill as many creatures as possible. Then we see no, he has depth that even El, who wants to hate him, is forced to recognize. He’s a puppy just needing someone to care for him and not for what he can do. His relationship with El just really was so nice to see and I wanted SO BADLY to have them before a real thing, in love, together, forever and ever. HOWEVER, what makes this work for me, is that El, even when she might start to like Orion, even when she realizes he isn’t the himbo she thought he might be, she doesn’t give up who she is, what she believes in, for him. El remains true to her friends, to herself, and to what her mother raised her to believe. It’s so refreshing to see, especially in a young adult book when even adult fantasy can’t seem to get that right.

Would I recommend A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik? Absolutely! If you a) love dark academia, or b) love young adult contemporary fantasy, or love original world building, I definitely think this is a no-brainer to pick up and enjoy. Personally, I cannot wait to start the second in the series, which I hope only gets better!


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