The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Science Fiction, Dystopia
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?
In bullet points…
What I liked:
- The main character. Being an ex-general, Riven is a very cold and brutal character. She doesn’t let her walls down most of the time. What I’d like to appreciate is the consistency of her character. When you have this tough kind of protagonist, usually she will transform right away into the typical kind of teenage girl. However, Riven still shows a considerable effort to focus on the task at hands instead of melting to goo every time the love interest appears. She does eventually give in to hormones, but luckily the couple isn’t too lovey-dovey.
- The plot isn’t as predictable as Howard’s other work called Waterfell. Although the beginning didn’t immediately grab my attention, I managed to gradually enjoy it.
- I think the ending emphasizes how responsible Riven is compared to the other female protagonists once they have got together with their love interests. (For those who have read it will understand what I’m talking about lol.)
- I really liked how tense and action-packed the book was. There were plenty of gory and excited battle scenes plus some unexpected twists.
What I didn’t like:
- I found the romance pops out of the blue at first because the two barely interact with each other yet the guy seems to be in love with her after only meeting her for a few times.
- The love interest is pretty bland and it seems like he’s too perfect.
- There is a very confusing explanation near the ending and I failed to understand that even though I read it for a few times.
- Please do not make out when you’re in a dangerous place and need to escape quickly. Duh.
Despite having some flaws I couldn’t ignore, The Almost Girl was better than Waterfell in many areas. Overall, I thought the book was decent and enjoyable, but I would still recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a tense and action-packed science fiction.