Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an ARC from Strange Chemistry in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Year Published: 2014

Ashley's REVIEW

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. But coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows.  Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

Review: This book took me a long time to finish. It started out really slow for me, and although it did pick up, it still took me longer than usual to finish this book. There are a lot of great things in this book, especially the worldbuilding, but overall I didn't connect with it. I think it may have been that I didn't really like the protagonist. There is also a case of almost instalove. It partially makes sense in context because of one of the character's similarities to another, but I like a more natural romance. 

The science-fiction of this book is so great. There is a parallel universe to our own and the protagonist, Riven, is from that world. It's a world that has way cooler technology than ours, but it has been ravaged by war. And there are reanimated corpses powered by microscopic robots! Since Riven isn't from the world we know, her perspective gives the reader an interesting fresh perspective on our own culture. 

I felt like the title for this book is almost spoilery within itself. I wish the title was different. Throughout my reading, I kept trying to figure out how the title applied to the story and I wish the reveals had more of a natural surprise. Speaking of reveals, I didn't like how much explanation filled the ending of the book. It was a lot of telling. 

Overall, I enjoyed the sci-fi aspect of this story, but I didn't really connect with it. I'm sure others will enjoy it much more than I did. I give my experience of reading this book a 3/5. I probably won't read the sequel, but I will read other works by the same author. 


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