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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Sunshine at the Academy: Book 1 of the Sunshine Series by MF Blake is an easy-flowing entertaining YA science fiction novel. It's about a teenage girl named Sunny, who is trained at an academy for a peace-keeping mission on humanoid planets in the United Universe. Her main goal is to be an Ambassador--a shining example of her home planet. But like most teenagers' rites of passage from any era or time-frame, she has growing pains--she has to adjust to life away from home and the familiar, her first trip into space, and she has to make new friends and take on challenges. Since she is for peace, she feels somewhat conflicted when she finds herself attracted to a handsome warrior-race boy. So, what will happen to these two?
This is not what you'd call a hardcore science fiction novel, nor an overly technical work, but it does have enough science and science fiction to be really interesting. Rather, it's a story more focused on the characters, plot, and relationships. Some sci-fi fans lean toward the personal stories, and this is one of them. As you read about Sunny leaving home and starting on her mission/adventure, you can easily put yourself in her place as a teenager and wonder how you would act and react in these situations. The author has a good way of being true to teenagers, showing that no matter the time frame--past, present, or future--the young will be young. I do like the idea of the mission itself, and Sunny's worthy goals. The pacing, characters, and situations are just right for a YA audience. The various cultures and beings are interesting as well, and a preview of the next book in the series appears at the end. Sunshine at the Academy: Book 1 of the Sunshine Series by MF Blake is a great start to a refreshing YA sci-fi series.