The 21st book I read this year was the Origins of an Academy Bully, a Zodiac Academy novella, by Susanne Valenti and Caroline Peckham.

There are potentially spoilers for about books 1-4 I think, so better to play it safe and stay away if you’re concerned about that.

You can check out my review of the full series here

The other novellas:
The Awakening as told by the boys
The Big A.S.S party

A brief summary

This books follows the events 5 years prior to the start of Zodiac Academy on the fateful night that changed everything for Orion and Darius, the night they were bound together as Guardian and charge and the when Orion looses his sister.

What did I think?

I thought this was really interesting, especially the way they managed to role back the characterisation of both characters but still keep their same ‘voice’, especially Darius, who doesn’t have quite the same level of rage and just, heaviness behind his narration in this one. Orion is decidedly less jaded and cynical, on the brink of his big career break in the Solaria Pitball league. If you enjoy the series, this is definitely a fun little backstory, I think it’s not worth reading until after you’re towards the end of the original series, as it probably will give you a little too much sympathy for these characters and ruin some of the journey they need to go on with their character development and respective love interests, as Darius especially, needs to redeem himself a lot.