Rating: 4 stars

Dark magic is forbidden at Zodiac Academy. That’s why I hide it so well.

But now I’m supposed to mentor Darius Acrux: the son of the most ruthless Dragon Shifter in Solaria. If he’s caught using blood magic, he’ll lose his claim to the throne.

The problem is? Our families are up to something, and we’re determined to find out what. No matter what dark power we must turn to…

Welcome to Zodiac Academy, where your star sign defines your destiny.

As the Fae of the future, you will soon learn the merciless way to claim your power. Life among the Vampires, Shifters and Sirens is no easy ride, but if you can make it through your exams, you might just be able to harness your inner strength and earn your place among the elite. This is a prequel novella set four years before Zodiac Academy: The Awakening, Book 1 in the Supernatural Bullies and Beasts series.

While I already knew most of what was going to happen in this novella, I enjoyed reading Origins of An Academy Bully. It gave me the perspectives of two characters in this series I’ve enjoyed getting to know from the main books in the series, but at a time before the events in the first book and before Lionel’s terrible reign began.

What I enjoyed about this novella was getting to see Orion and Darius’s friendship prior to their Guardian bond. I knew they both were close before that bond forced them together, but actually getting to see their friendship before was great. You could see how much hope they both had for their futures before it was stolen away from them as well as see them already looking to do the right thing by trying to stop Lionel.

I especially enjoyed getting to see some of Orion’s relationship with his sister Clara. While their relationship didn’t do much to change my thoughts on Clara other than trying to understand why she made the decision to align herself with Lionel (as none of the chapters in this novella were told from her perspective), it did help me understand Orion’s actions throughout the series itself and why he and Darius were working so hard together when it came to going against Lionel.

What I was hoping for with Origins of An Academy Bully was that we’d get more backstory into these characters from before the Vega twins arrived. While I feel like we did get some, I felt like this novella was too short for my liking. I wanted to see more from it besides seeing Darius and the other Heirs Awakening. I wanted to see what their time was actually like at Zodiac Academy when they first started attending the school and see them begin learning the elements they each harnessed. I also wanted to learn more about Clara too before she had become Guardian bound to Lionel. I wanted to find out what started her choosing to work with her mother Stella and Lionel as I feel like we don’t ever get any backstory on her throughout the series. If that meant getting some chapters from her perspective, that would’ve been fine with me.

Despite how short this novella was and what else I was hoping to get out of it, I enjoyed reading Origins of An Academy Bully. Looking forward to reading next The Awakening As Told By the Boys because I know I’m going to get a much better perspective on the Heirs’ actions and the choices they made in the beginning of the series when I initially didn’t like them.