Dallas-Based Author CJ Daly’s ‘The Academy’ Pits Young Love Against a Dangerous Military Institution [REVIEW]

(Photo courtesy Canva)

I always love discovering local talent! There’s something special about realizing that someone in your own backyard has accomplished something as significant and entertaining as writing a book. Enter novelist CJ Daly. Not only has she capitalized on the popularity of young adult series fiction with her Academy Saga, but she proves once more that the genre isn’t just for the kids anymore. In this immersive new epic, she introduces us to characters who catapult off the page and into our hearts. And once you begin reading the first volume in the series, The Academy, we are certain you won’t be able to put it down.

BrandyLight Ink

Cadet Peter Davenport is charming, gorgeous, and has a real way with the ladies, but not so much with Commander General Richard Weston. Still, that hasn’t prevented him from getting assigned to Missions or receiving his very first assignment, even though he technically hasn’t graduated from the Academy yet. And while Davenport would rather be basking on the beach than having to appease the General, too much is at stake for him to shrug off his task. After all, disappointing the Academy is not an option.

At only 17, Kate Connelly is another young person with a lot on her plate. Her mom is dead. Her dad’s checked out. And she’s stuck working in a diner and raising her brothers in the New Mexico scrub. Aside from her responsibilities at home, she is bored out of her mind. At least until two guys show up at her job and later in a dark alley. These two reek of danger and are anything but boring. Still, unsure of who they really are or what they want, she tries to forget about them and get on with her life.

Then she learns that the Academy wants her gifted little brother. Then Cadet Peter Davenport—one of the same guys who she met at the diner—shows up at her school, and she is instinctively wary. Despite her trepidation, the dreamy guy with the dazzling smile makes her heart beat faster, even though her brain tells her to run. Will she be able to save her brother and thwart Peter’s mission? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

If you miss the chemistry between Tris and Four in Veronica Roth’s Divergent or Bella and Edward in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, The Academy is your next favorite indulgence. There are plenty of the smoldering gazes and the sizzling moments offered up here that fans of the aforementioned series came to anticipate. But Daly’s tale is also rife with the requisite tension, unspoken danger, and mysterious mythos that keep the novel from becoming just another swoon-worthy romance.

This is a story that pits young love against an elite institution that is shrouded in secrecy and malice. Every character has their mettle tested, along with their deepest desires and personal beliefs. As if typical teen angst isn’t enough for a young adult to have to deal with, Kate and Pete have so much more at stake, and risk losing everything they hold dear. As such, the characters are vividly written, and readers will find it near impossible to put this book down!

In fact, after reading The Academy, you’ll have three big questions tickling your brain: First, when is the next book coming out? (Good news, you can already order it!)

As for the other two questions? If you’re like us, you won’t be able to resist wondering: When will the movie come out and who should be cast? The possibilities are endless, but we’d love to hear your ideas!

CJ Daly
CJ Daly


CJ Daly grew up on the scrabbly plains of Eastern New Mexico. When she was supposed to be helping her six siblings with chores on the family ranch, she was really sneaking behind dusty haystacks to read. And dreaming about becoming a writer. 

After graduating high school, CJ moved to Big D (Dallas) where she quickly put herself through college while trying to rid herself of her country accent. She had better luck with college, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in English literature. After teaching a few years, and pausing to have back-to-back boys, she began writing in earnest. 

A few years later, The Academy Saga was born. The Academy is her debut novel, and The Academy: Cadet-in-Training is the sequel. CJ is so proud that both books earned Readers’ Favorites 5-STAR seals of approval. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her running from one athletic field to another, feeding the array of wild animals that show up at her back door, or kicking back with her gal-pals to sip cocktails and gossip about favorite books and TV shows.  

To learn more, visit CJ on the Web at TheAcademySaga.com and don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter to get the inside scoop on her books, to enter exclusive giveaways, and get sneak peaks at what is coming up next. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

By CJ Daly
515 pp. BrandyLight Ink. $18.99.

Purchase The Academy Saga direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Walmart.

The Academy Saga is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

5 Responses to Dallas-Based Author CJ Daly’s ‘The Academy’ Pits Young Love Against a Dangerous Military Institution [REVIEW]

  1. Teresa Lopes says:

    I am so glad I found The Academy! These books are amazing! Thank you for sharing your review with us 😍

  2. maryketing says:

    Love this series so much. It is incredible. Great blog post!

  3. Jessica Rush says:

    Love this entire series. Just wait until you get into Books 2 and 3! The story heats up quickly and I am already craving Book 4!

  4. Sara Strand says:

    Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  5. Pingback: CJ Daly, author of The Academy Saga, on tour May 2021 | TLC Book Tours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: