Book Review: Cruel Elites by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook!

Margo Ryerkerk has been a busy lady! She’s been putting out a lot of books lately, and is still so kindly sending me ARCs to read and review. I already posted my review for the prequel to the Nocturnal Academy series back in March, so here is the review for Book #1, Cruel Elites!

I originally reviewed this book on Goodreads in December 2019. Here’s the blurb for the book:

In a world ruled by vamps, being half fae and magicless sucks.

Surviving the summer term at Nocturna Academy taught me three things.

1. There’s no escape out of the castle.
2. I’ll be trained as a servant to the vampires or worse—a courtesan.
3. I can fight for what I want from the inside out.

In the last few months, I’ve lost my mother, my best friend, and my freedom.

I’ve done unimaginable things, but I’m not broken.

The Placement Tests are coming up, and I will crush them. I refuse to end up as a vampire’s plaything. I’ll become the 1 out of 100 fae who gets to shape her own fate.

I don’t care how hard I have to work or how improbable my chances are.

My relentlessness and desperation will pay off.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

Because between a mysterious vampire guard confusing me, my nemesis circling in on me like a viper, and a new teacher hating my guts, all my efforts seem to only make everything worse.

If I’m not careful, I won’t end up as a courtesan, but as dead meat.

Immerse yourself into a world filled with magic, danger, and romance.

If you love Richelle Mead, Jaymin Eve, and Bella Forrest, you’ll love Nocturna Academy.

Cruel Elites is a fae academy novel and the first book in the Nocturna Academy trilogy. It is highly recommended to read the prequel Wicked Nobles first, which can be found in the Academy of Magic boxed set.

Book two and three of the trilogy will be published in December 2019 and January 2020.

And the cover:

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Here’s my review!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

Cruel Elites is the first book of Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook’s new series, Nocturna Academy. They released a prequel for the series which I recently reviewed! I recommend reading it first, as it does give you an excellent backstory for Onyx, the main character. Anyway, Cruel Elites begins with Onyx debating what the hell she should do with herself, because she accidentally killed a fae prince named Preston. Preston had offered to help her escape Nocturna Academy over the summer, but as it turns out, he was nothing but a giant creep. Onyx only wants to get away from him, but she ends up summoning ice and killing him- despite the fact that she thought she had no magical abilities.

With that being said, Onyx resigns herself to the fact that she is pretty much stuck at Nocturna Academy. As was explained in the prequel, she was sold to the vampires by her mother and forced to attend Nocturna Academy so she could learn how to be a good little slave fae for the vampires. In the prequel, she was all about escaping, but in this book she’s a bit more conflicted. She still wants to escape, but she sometimes feels as though maybe she should just accept her fate and try to impress the vampires so she can get a better job with them.

All the classes Onyx and the other fae are taking are meant as practice for their Placement Tests so they can see what course of study they will take for the remainder of their time at the academy. Only one fae receives Independent Study, which means they can choose their own course of action. Onyx spends the entire time trying to hide her magical powers because she doesn’t want anyone knowing what she can do. No spoilers here, but in the end, Onyx does something that I saw as extremely dumb! She may have thought she was being selfless, but to me it was a little out of character and just made no sense. Let’s hope that her decision plays out well for her in the next book!

I rated Cruel Elites 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

P.S. I mentioned this in my prequel review, but in the prequel as well as Cruel Elites, Nocturnal Academy was actually called Nocturnal Academy before the authors changed it- so I didn’t make a type there 😉

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