{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Almost Girl
Title: The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: January 7, 2014

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?

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Review

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Caroline and Leah of Strange Chemistry for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I love sci-fi. I know some people from the field of science who can't appreciate sci-fi because they keep on correcting the book when it's wrong. As for me, I LOVE IT. I love reading how the author bends science and it's laws when he/she needs it for the story. I love how they take known facts and use these to inspire them into creating a scenario or even a complete new world. Sure, I still correct sci-fi books in my mind when their concept of time travel/relativity is wrong or when something isn't logical at all. But then, when I do encounter one which is logical and has an amazing world to it, I just can't help but love it. The Almost Girl is just that - a wonderful addition to the amazing YA sci-fi books.

Riven is such a kick-ass and strong heroine that you can't help but like her. Sure, she's prickly and hard to know with all her walls and her focus on getting her mission done. But when she does accidentally shows how human she is, how young she actually is and that she's just a girl, you can't help but realize that she's just like this because in her world, Neospes, this is how to survive.

Neospes is a parallel world to the Earth, one that is infinitely more advanced technology-wise. So yes, people from Neospes are humans too so there's no alien-human romance in here if you are iffy about that. (Why would someone be iffy with that? Haha!) Riven is a general there and the most trusted soldier by Prince Cale. He's dying and tasks Riven three years ago to find his sole brother, Caden, who was brought to Earth to live. One accident gets Riven to Caden, who's your normal high school teenager and who knows nothing about Neospes.

Caden, who prefers to be called Cade, gets interested in this Riven with the "punk hair" who rides a motorbike because she's different and hard to predict. Truth be told, I rolled my eyes in here, because of course, this is how the romance will play out. Riven's reaction to Cade the first time was an immediate foreshadowing on how the romance will play out. And honestly, I stopped reading at that. Because I can already guess how the romance will develop and I've been right. This is also a case of instalove and that didn't help things in its favor. So yes, the romance in here was a bit unnatural.

Don't get me wrong, I like Cade. He's a good person through and through, a very kind and helpful one. He's confident without being cocky and he's also playful, funny and witty. AND HE PLAYS FENCING. Mehehe. That is enough. But I wasn't impressed with the development of their romance. But once the romance was established, I did get fluttery feels with how sweet he is and all their interactions. Hey, kissing after sword practice is hella sexy. However, I can't get past how they made out while in danger/in a mission. Guys, make sure you'll get out alive first before letting your hormones roll! Haha! Anyway, I'll stop with the criticisms with the romance.

So with all my rants about the romance, why the heck am I still giving it four stars? Like The Weight of Souls, which didn't convince me in the romance department as well, the world building, the plot and the action made up for it. More than made up for it. First, Amalie Howard has created an impeccable world in Neospes. Complete with a government, a history, its own problems, its people and its rebels, Neospes was such a rich world to explore. Second, the science! Which actually takes the cake for most of the stars I'm giving this book. Original and highly engrossing, I actually can't peel my eyes from the book when it's talking dirty (yes, science is a turn-on) and explaining how things happen. To travel from the two parallel worlds, they must evert or use an evertion device, where the electromagnetic OKAY, I won't explain it in here. Then how there are these soldiers called Vectors in Neospes that are more awesome versions of zombies. Taking in a lot of science concepts and making them her own, Amalie Howard won me over.

Then couple that with how action-packed and intense The Almost Girl is, it certainly won the action lover in me too. The number of fights, the danger and all the unexpected twists were just so good. Seriously, this book had me reeling and taking gasping breaths with all its surprises. I can't count how many times it takes me aback when something new is revealed. And for all those who hate cliffhangers, The Almost Girl isn't one! HURRAH! In this world where authors pull cliffhangers left and right, it is kind of refreshing to get a finished story. TAG is the first book in a duology and I can't wait for the second book! Apparently, it launches this November and I am waiting for that. 

Oozing with sci-fi brilliance, The Almost Girl is an action-packed novel that will surprise you in every turn. You just won't be able to keep still while reading it because it is engaging to the point that it bleeds over your life. Unexpected twists will surely await you as Amalie Howard seems to believe that pulling out her readers out of their chairs is the best thing to do. I quite agree.

About Amalie Howard

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive. In between writing novels and indulging her love of reading, Amalie is also a books review editor for TheLoopNY, and blogs at amaliehoward.com. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency.

Her debut novel, BLOODSPELL, was selected as a Seventeen Magazine Summer Club Read. She is also the author of The AQUARATHI series from Harlequin TEEN (WATERFELL Nov 2013 and OCEANBORN Aug 2014), THE ALMOST GIRL from Strange Chemistry Jan 2014, and ALPHA GODDESS from Skyhorse/Sky Pony Press Mar 2014.


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4 comments:

  1. I've had this on my to-read list because it looks like a great SciFi read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like an interesting mix of sci-fi & romance!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I need to get the Almost Girl so i can read it, like now.

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