4 stars · Viki's review

Review ‘The Year of the four’

Title: The year of the four
Author: Nya Jade
Series: Phoebe Pope #1
Genres: Young adult, Urban fantasy, Shapeshifters
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The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This book first caught my attention back in 2012 or 2013 not long after it came out. Unfortunately I couldn’t purchase it back then and it kind of got forgotten. So I was really eager when I saw it on NetGalley and just generally that it gets published again.

I love stories about shapeshifters so just this aspect sells the book for me but when you add to this that they are spies too it’s just a must read in my opinion. I really enjoyed this little tale and glad that got the opportunity to read it.
The writing style is fantastic especially for a debut novel what else the plot is quite fast paced and action packed I finished the book before I realized it. This story has a great group of characters to begin with but they evolve and grow during the events, they just became even more likeable.

Phoebe, the lead character, has a tragic childhood experience and due to this a lot of emotional scars. She had powers all her life and now has to learn to use them to the fullest and to live a double life, too. She has to overcome a lot of her issues, and fight a lot while navigating a not quite easy school year. She is a badass, she has a lot of will-power and really tough. The romance between her and her love interest is really nicely done but tooks away a bit from the main storyline. I usually require a little romance for my fantasy but in this case it could have used less of it.

This book has it all, betrayals, romance, action, adventure, mystery and magic and really creative ideas.  I really enjoyed it even if this doesn’t really falls into the type of books I read nowadays. Teenage drama and angst is not something that attracts me anymore.


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