Drake Peters: One Minute to Midnight

Drake Peters.jpg

When a spaceship crashes into his schoolyard, Drake Peters not only discovers that aliens exist but they have been here all along.

Drake is a Mind—one of a select few with superhuman abilities who must join the fight for control of Earth. He is brought to Clover Academy, where a faculty of extraterrestrials teach him how to control his powers and develop into a future leader of humanity. There he meets Ripley, a volatile but brilliant engineer, Ivy, both the looks and the muscles, and Encel, a talented but naïve leader. Together they are put through a series of physical and mental challenges that push them to the edge, and beyond, in order to reach their potential.

But as they join the battle for control of Earth’s future, the question for Drake is—which side is he on?

Genre: Science Fiction

Author: Kingsley Benjamin

Kindle Edition, 242 pages

Published: November 29th, 2018

My Review

Clear space on your SPFBO shelf, there’s a new YA sci-fi fantasy novel that deserves a spot in your reading line-up. Immensely entertaining and a fresh take on the superlative “academy” for kids with hidden talents, unlike the usual trope.

There has been a galactic war between two factions: The Alliance and the Hive. Earth has been heavily influenced by the Alliance’s ideologies like freedom of speech, democracy, and capitalism etc., managed by World Corp. The Hive, a not much known collective consciousness entity is trying to infiltrate the Earth with bad leadership through mind control, backed by HanCorp. Both of them have affected the balance of power in human history throughout and are rivaling in the ultimate control of Earth. As it is, 62% of the UK works for WorldCorp in some way or another.

Drake, your average at everything high school kid, becomes whiteness to a "crash landed" spaceship from the Hive. After that, he gets whisked off via plane by a suited man to a CIA run and facilitated Academy with a secret area located in the US in the interest of WorldCorp. Drake is offered a full scholarship to the “Awakened Minds” program, should he pass the initial 14 week trial of intense training that sorts out all student’s abilities before admittance into the 4-year program.

Despite Drake’s averageness in high school performance back in England, he has augmented his basic education by reading research papers online and contributing to forums on theoretical physics. As it turns out, he had been carefully monitored the entire time.

Clover Academy is a dangerous place. Drake and his new comrades Ripley, the brilliant female engineer, Ivy who is all muscle, and Encel the shy leader are trained in part challenge of the mind as well as in the exertion of physical abilities and the beyond. Their teamwork is constantly required, especially in the Hill challenge, where the recruits encounter giant scorpions, ants, and mecha bots among other clever imagined creatures. Studies continue with classes in “MIND, BODY, MATTER, and GALE”. One of the most important skills to have is the manipulation of matter.

After months of training, Drake has earned and put trust in his comrades and friends. All of them excel in different subjects. Their abilities will be put to the test when the rival galactic factions are at work with an evil plan of destruction and Drake must choose his alliance in order to save his friends and the world!

And as it stands, I have to wait for the next book in the series to find out how everything continues!


This was such an entertaining novel. I have not even touched on half of everything that happens to Drake and his friends in my review. This book is jam-packed with action, endurance, friendship and with sprinkles of political intrigue and world history. The challenges, the creatures and the setting inspired by Eastern cultures were fantastically imagined.

After a bit of a wobbly start into the book, my initial doubts of how this plot will fold out, or my ability to understand the concepts was erased soon after. At the Clover Academy is where all the good stuff happens. The novel is immense is scope and sequence and delivers undoubtedly strong. This is a great sci-fi adventure novel to break into the genre and part one of a 4 part series. I wholeheartedly would pass this on to young adults or reluctant teen readers to hook them on books. But truly, anyone would enjoy this awesome character-driven adventure. That is…if one likes adventure!

I received a digital copy of this novel from the author in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you!