Book Review: A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

In the start of an all-new series, the bestselling author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver introduces you to a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death–until one girl begins to unlock its many secrets.

Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered: 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 untold 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. So El is trying her hardest not to use her power . . . at least not until she has no other option. Meanwhile, her fellow student, the insufferable Orion Lake, is making heroism look like a breeze. He’s saved hundreds of lives–including El’s–with his flashy combat magic. But in the spring of their junior year, after Orion rescues El for the second time and makes her look like more of an outcast than she already is, she reaches an impulsive conclusion: Orion Lake must die. But El is about to learn some lessons she never could in the classroom: About the school. About Orion Lake. And about who she really is. — Provided by publisher.

A Deadly Education was such a surprise! At first, I had a hard time getting into the flow of the book and I was confused with the way the author just drops you into the story with so little information, but once I realized what she was doing, I. Was. Hooked.

Novik starts A Deadly Education with no introduction and no explanation. She uses invented words and terms you’re unfamiliar with and begins the story in the middle. You, as the reader, are left flailing and stressed and unsure of what’s happening – much like many of the students who attend. It’s such a powerful technique that really brings you right into the world and minds of the characters and creates an emotionally charged atmosphere that has you looking over your shoulder, scrutinizing the dark for nightmares hidden in the shadows.

This book was everything I was hoping for and more. The characters were whole and complex, with little of the stereotypical broodiness and cheese that I often find in YA books. I can’t wait for the follow-up to see what fresh, new horrors await senior year. This would be perfect for readers 14 and older and contains a lot of monsters that eat students, discussions of students and magicians who do dark deeds or kill others for magical powers, and a little language.

Review by Sara, Support Librarian

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RBdigital Leaving October 1st

Beginning on October 1, 2020, Andover Public Library’s RBdigital eaudiobook library will transfer to the Sunflower eLibrary and the Overdrive/Libby apps. At that time, our RBdigital eaudiobooks will no longer be available on the RBdigital app. This change comes as a result of OverDrive acquiring RBdigital in North America, UK, and Australia earlier this year.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happens if I have an RBdigital eaudiobook currently checked out?

Patrons who currently have an RBdigital eaudiobook will be able to continue to listen to the eaudiobook in the RBdigital app through the remainder of the lending period.

What happens to my RBdigital holds and wishlist?

We are not able to move holds on RBdigital eaudiobooks to Overdrive/Libby. Patrons may view their holds and wishlists from the My Account section of the RBdigital app, then place new holds on those titles and recreate your wishlist in Libby.

How can I learn how to use the Sunflower eLibrary and the Libby app?

Libby will guide you through the setup process and get you connected to your library in just a few minutes. You can also visit our Sunflower eLibrary and Libby user guides.


What if I use RBdigital through the State Library of Kansas?

The State Library of Kansas’ eaudiobook collection is not yet moving and will remain active and accessible through RBdigital. We do not have a date at this time for when the State Library of Kansas will end using RBdigital. For more information on the State Library of Kansas and RBdigital, click here or contact the State Library of Kansas by calling 785-296-3296.

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Batman: Escape from Riddler’s Lair

Just in time for Batman Day — a brand new APL digital escape room featuring everyone’s favorite superhero, Batman!

Help! Batman is trapped in Riddler’s lair! Can you help him escape and save Gotham in time? This digital escape room is perfect for older kids (5th-grade skill level and up) or as a family!


Click on the image below or here to play this fun digital escape room!

Batman: Escape From Riddler's Lair


Check out all of our fun digital escape rooms here!

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Book Review – The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

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The Lantern Men (Ruth Galloway #12) by Elly Griffiths

I’ve yet to read a Ruth Galloway novel that I didn’t love immensely, this one included. It was a pleasure to re-join Ruth Galloway at her new university and tag along as she works with DCI Harry Nelson to solve a string of murders and cold cases.

In this twelfth installment of Elly Griffith‘s Ruth Galloway series, we join forensic archaeologist, Ruth, at her new teaching position in Cambridge, England, where she just completed her newest book at a peaceful writer’s retreat. Back in Norfolk, DCI Harry Nelson is pleased to hear that notorious murderer, Ivor Marsh, is convicted in the deaths of two women. Ivor agrees to talk about two other missing women and Nelson and Ruth team up again. When a local cyclist is found murdered and Ivor in jail, Nelson and Ruth ask themselves, is Ivor innocent? Is there a copycat at large?

Elly Griffiths is a natural storyteller and a talented writer. She rarely overwrites, her characters are fresh and alive, and the pacing is quick enough to keep you deep in the mystery from the start. I feel such loss after finishing one of the Ruth Galloway books that I find myself re-reading many in the series several times over. I already want to start this latest installment all over again.

While you can jump in and begin the series here with the 12th installment, it will be so much more enjoyable if you start with The Crossing Places. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed no matter where you start.

Review by Sara McEachern, Support Librarian

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