Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blog Tour: The 16th Academy by Spencer Yacos

Title: The 16th Academy 
Author: Spencer Yacos
Publisher: Cedar Fort Press

Eastway Academy, a shadowy organization steeped in espionage, values obedience above all else. Although a well-trained agent in his third year,16-year-old Davy Prince struggles to find his morals when every mission seems to put innocent lives at risk. 
How will Davy react when sabotage turns an already risky job into an all-out struggle for survival?

Check it out on Amazon here.
Check it out on Barnes & Noble here.
"Camelot is ready. The operation is a go," a voice crackled through the
transceiver in my ear. The mission was being initiated and a part of me was
annoyed. Only halfway through my fried chicken, I was still pretty hungry. I
hadn't eaten since the night before, since the plane ride down that morning
served no breakfast. Given that I was going to meet with a drug kingpin in a
few minutes, the last thing I wanted was for my stomach to be growling.

I sat in the first floor food court of the Franklin Building, El Paso's premier
commercial block and the headquarters of the global fast food chain Beef n'
Wings. It was just after noon and the area stirred with visitors eager for their
lunch. From my position I could see two other field agents, the only other two
in the building. Far off to my right, just outside the crowds and colorful
cacophony of restaurants, a hulking teenaged boy seemed to have the same
idea I had as he snacked on a beef hot dog from one of the stands.

 He wore a blue hard hat, with matching blue overalls and heavy-looking harnesses
which clung to his body. At his side he loosely held a squeegee as well as
some napkins, presumably for his meal. After taking a big gulp, his lips began
to move. It was much too noisy in the food court to pick up any word he was
saying naturally, but on the transceiver I could hear him perfectly. Percival is
ready. Let's get this over with."
Jessica's review:
Definitely read this book in one sitting, after saying I would finish it later…After reading The 16th Academy, I can honestly say there better be a SEQUEL!! How do you leave us hanging like that? I mean it was like Wham! Bam! Thank you Mam! I’m stunned that a first time Author Spencer Yacos, was able to make such a strong, and memorable book. This book is a great entry into the YA world, Spencer definitely has a cult classic on his hands.

From the beginning, I had a love/hate relationship with all the characters. The book takes place in a boarding school, setting but with only five students, and one Professor. This is not an average school we learn, there is more than meets the eye. I loved that the Academy had a reputation for being a school for the rich, and privileged but no one knew that the students were badass ninjas.  Just kidding they are totally not ninjas… Overall if you like Young Adult Thrillers/Suspense novels, this is one book that you must checkout! 4/5

(Melissa's review for The 16th Academy will be up at a later date.)

 Author Bio:

Spencer Yacos is the 19 year old author of The 16th Academy published by Cedar Fort Press. He originally wrote thenovel his freshman year of high school at age 15. Spencer takes a lot of inspiration from film and television when writing, with Pulp Fiction being his favorite movie.

 He is currently studying at the University of Richmond in Virginia and, like in high school, most of the time he can write is between classes and late at night. He enjoys theater, R&B music, and long walks on the beach.


Author Interview:

Jessica: Would you rather be an Anti-Hero or Hero?

Spencer:I'd rather be a hero! I know that's a little surprising since the protagonist of The 16th Academy can be about as 'anti' as an anti-hero can get. Regardless, when I think of anti-heroes I think of those brooding, tortured souls who'll do the right thing if they're feeling it that day. I've never been much of a brooder to be honest, so I think I'll keep it positive as a squeaky clean good guy.

Melissa: Best advice you have ever received, in regards to writing?

Spencer:I read an interview once with Zadie Smith who said to work on a computer disconnected from the Internet. As an enormous procrastinator that's probably the best advice I can get. You hear these stories of authors just sitting away in their studies for days on end elegantly crafting their masterpieces - meanwhile you have a guy like me who can barely sit still for five minutes. If given the chance I will spend just as much time watching cats on YouTube as writing the next big plot twist for my new book - that's why pulling the plug is so important.

Jessica: Did you put any of your personality in the characters?

Spencer: When writing the first draft of The 16th Academy I actually tried my best to avoid this and have the characters organically grow into their personalities on their own. As I got around to the second draft, though, and I was working hard to give each character a three dimensional personality, bits and quirks of myself began to embed themselves. I guess it's bound to happen - when a parent raises their kids, those kids usually get some kind of trait passed on to them.

Melissa:  Which of your supporting characters would be perfect a spin-off Novel or a Novela (short story)? 

Spencer:The cool thing about The 16th Academy is that just about every character has their own story to tell. I could see a prequel novel for any one of them - although probably not a sequel, since most of them don't survive the story! Every character has a whole book series of adventures in their past - and not just because they've been going on dangerous missions at Eastway Academy. For instance, one of the students, Ozzy, grew up in China with his family. After his parents were brutally killed, he pledged to avenge their murders by any means necessary - using his new connections at Eastway. All of this, mind you, happens before the actual story even begins.

Jessica, and Melissa would love to know: What is your favorite childhood book?
Spencer: I was a huge fan of The Secrets of Droon series. They were the first chapter books I read and I love each and every one of them to death. My elementary school actually had Tony Abbot come visit and fourth grade me nerded out hard. I brought in all my Droon books and told Tony how I, too, was going to be an author one day. Turns out my dreams came true a little earlier than I expected, because just five years later I began work on The 16th Academy.

For the next stop on this blog tour go check out Bookish Sara’s Literary Meanderings tomorrow!!!!

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