Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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In the Scholomance, students are trained to defend themselves against the hordes of deadly monsters that are constantly trying to eat them. Although survival rates in the Scholomance are only around 50%, this is still higher than those outside of the school. There are no retakes, holidays or even teachers. Students either graduate… or die.

The premise of this book sounded slightly ridiculous to me, but I suspected that in Naomi Novik’s capable hands it could turn into something really fun. That’s exactly what it delivered: the book is fast-paced, easy to get drawn into and does’t take itself too seriously. There are no major surprises to seasoned fantasy readers, but for lovers of the ‘magic-boarding school’ sub-genre this will tick all right the boxes.


One thing I especially enjoyed about it, is that it is not a fight of good against evil: the students need to stay alive in a world where they are in constant danger of being eaten, but there are hardly any villains in the book. There are no frustratingly evil teachers that the students have to stand up against, only a deeply unfair socio-political system and students taking advantage of the privilege that this system gives them.


El’s temper and dry humor combined with her strict moral code make her a very fun character to read about. Especially her ill-tempered attitude towards Orion is a highlight of the book. I think this is a great read for a young-adult audience, but also for older readers who are in the mood for a quick, fun read.

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