Thursday 2 January 2014

ARC Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Pages: 416
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. 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?

Science fiction is a genre that I happily enjoy, but when it comes to the point where it sounds a little too unrealistic, it starts to form a bitter taste in my mouth. It mentioned that Riven, our protagonist, learned how to hold a sword before the ago of two. Hold on a second, do you know how heavy swords can be? There is no way a two-year old can hold that unless it's a balloon sword. It even mentions that she has had hand-to-hand combat techniques by the age of five and all the basic knowledge of weaponry by seven. I'm sorry, but the only thing I could do right now is eye roll.

The romance between Caden and Riven were bittersweet to me. They shared some cute moments, but overall, their relationship was too rushed. Riven was sent to look for Caden, hoping to bring him to Nesopes so that could use him to save Cale. Though it was quite obvious she was going to fall in love with him, I wished the author would have added a bit of pace to their relationship or rather have their first interaction together not too insta-lovey. 

The downside to this novel would have to be the high school setting in the beginning. I don't think I've ever come across a sci-fi novel like this, but the drama that a school would typically bring doesn't fit this book at all.  Glady, though it does change. When Caden and Riven are out on the run, the author introduces to the world of Neospes. I enjoyed Amelie's world building - quite imaginative and descriptive. 

One of the dumbest things in this book was when Riven and Caden were at Riven's father's house to steal something, they decide to have a hot make out while they're in the enemy's house. River and Caden, you two are both incredibly stupid. Out of all the places to kiss, you decide to do it when you're breaking into someone's property?! Ugh, my frustration with this scene. Where is their common sense? 

Based on the synopsis, The Almost Girl sounds fantastic, but unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. 

I received this book for free as in exchange for an honest review. 


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