2020 · books · fantasy · ya

Rant review: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Title: Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1)

Autor: Naomi Novik

Description: Lesson One of the Scholomance: Learning has never been this deadly.

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.

There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. 


Rating: 2 out of 5.

One sentence description: Harry Potter on a very low budget.

I’m really sad to be talking this badly about a book but this was so hard for me to read, it was almost painful and I had to make myself read more of it just for the sake of finishing it.

The fact that this book was so bad really shocked me because I absolutely loved Naomi Novik’s books (Uprooted and Spinning Silver), however this to me felt like somebody else wrote it and not her. That is mostly because this is so much different than her previous books, from the genre, to narration and writing style. And I give her props for trying something new but for me it was a big no-no. On the bright side, at least my Worst Books of 2020 list will be abundant.

This is a book about a school for young magicians called Scholomance that, although it should be an educational place, in reality is quite deadly. It is full of deadly creatures and other students who don’t wish you well, so if you want to stay alive you have to fight and be very careful because a very small amount of students leave the school alive.

Our main character is Galadriel, or shortly El, who is in her final year and is just trying to survive. She not only deals with magic and deadly creatures but also typical high school drama such as the most popular guy is head over heels for her and she is so not into him. She possesses quite a dark and dangerous romance and as to fight not only monsters but her own magic.

My main and biggest problem is El and I absolutely loathe her character. She was so annoying with her constant anger and meanness towards absolutely everyone, including the popular boy Orion. She has this I’m-not-like-other-girls feel to her which I absolutely hate and I think that we’ve come a long way in the past few years and there is just no need for those types of characters.

My other problem is that this felt like middle grade fantasy to me, although the theme wasn’t really for kids. The constant narration and inner monologue got so repetitive and boring and I think that if this book was even a half shorter, it would still be too long, considering how little stuff happens.

To be honest I will not remember this book in a few days simply because I didn’t pay any attention while reading it and I just can’t be bothered.

This had the potential to be very interesting and it turned out to be a flop, unfortunately. I know my opinions are quite unpopular in the book community because many people really loved this book, but reading some reviews I noticed others had similar opinions as me. What did you think of it? Let me know!

Happy reading!

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11 thoughts on “Rant review: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

  1. I have heard similar things about this novel and am considering whether or not I should give it a go. I definitely think it is a hit or miss type of novel for people, at least from what I have read in terms of people’s thoughts. Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haven’t read it, but it doesn’t sound like something for me. I don’t really like high school drama, or super unrealistic stuff like a school without teachers where everyone tries to kill one another, despite there being monsters? Naaah… I also hate the not-like-other-girls trope. Also… Galadriel? Really? XD Alright, take the super famous elf’s name, why not. 😛 lol Might as well have had a Harry Potter in the book too. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe her mother was a LOTR fan so she named her that haha. I feel like if this was a middle grade fantasy instead of ya it would be much better but oh well, we’ll have to find something else to read 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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