The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Publisher: Strange Chemistry, 416 pages
Expected Publication Date: January 7, 2014
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
From Strange Chemistry:
Seventeen-year-old Riven comes from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, a parallel world to Earth. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes. 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 and in a race against time to bring Caden home, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was destined to be?
A compelling sci-fi thriller that's action-packed and filled with political intrigue and romance. Riven is a kickass main character who has grown up in a tough world where children are trained to be soldiers and to believe that love is a weakness. For the past three years she has lived on Earth, hunting a particular boy, Caden. He is her "target" and her only goal is to get him back to Neospes to save Cale (and although we're not told exactly what that entails, you just know it cannot be good for Caden). But there's just something about Caden, and Riven starts feeling emotions that she hasn't ever felt before.
I really liked the character growth of Riven, from an emotionless soldier to a girl who feels things deeply. As the story unfolds and you find out more about Riven, her world, and her family, it makes sense why she is the way she is. The world-building was solid (the technology aspect was interesting, reanimating corpses so they are like robots), there were plenty of plot twists, and you're never sure who can be trusted. Can Riven even be trusted? The romance was a bit too fast, but it was sweet, and I enjoyed how Riven struggled with her growing feelings for Caden. It was a refreshing change that the boy was being protected by the girl (she was the tough one while he was more emotional), and she knew what was going on while he didn't. There's no love triangle (yay!) and although the main plot line wraps up, there is a slight cliffhanger at the end, setting up the sequel. All in all, a fun and entertaining read.
Posted by: Pam