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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Alex McKenna & The Academy of Souls is a young adult paranormal fantasy novel written by Vicki-Ann Bush. Alex McKenna is recuperating after his last paranormal case by spending time with his girlfriend Margaret when he starts having visions of a little girl named Haven. Meanwhile, Haven's sister Ophelia has spent over a century searching for her missing sister in the hallways of The Academy of Souls. Refusing to take the light, Ophelia and her friends, Amry, Kyle, and Bethany, discover a new purpose when Headmaster Abernathy asks them to monitor his wayward nephew, new student Zachary. But an attack on Bethany forces the teens to unite. Additionally, Alex and Margaret arrive at the Academy searching for Haven. Now, they must make a last stand against the Soul Gatherer.
Sky High meets The Good Place in this novel. Author Vicki-Ann Bush crafts an entertaining paranormal tale geared toward young adults filled with romance, magic, and action that keeps you hooked from the first page until the end. The narrative is well-paced, and despite the large cast of characters, Bush provides enough agency to them so that each has an important role in the story. The banter between the students at the Academy and their friendship was one of the book's highlights. I thoroughly enjoyed the team-up between Alex, Margaret, Ophelia, Amry, Zachary, Kyle, and Bethany. Although Alex McKenna & The Academy of Souls is the sequel to the previous installment, it also functions as a standalone. If you enjoy paranormal stories in a high school setting, this is the book for you.