Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Author: Amalie Howard
Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Published By: Strange Chemistry
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
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?
Picture and Summary From Goodreads
**I received this as an eARC through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions expressed here.  I did not get reimbursed in any way for writing this review.**
I feel like the summary of the book gives you a lot to work with in terms of what the book is about so I'm just going to give you my thoughts without the work up.
Riven is amazing.  She is kick ass and tough and has a no emotional ties philosophy.  She does pretty well with that even with Caden falling at her feet in insta-love worship.  In fact when the romance does build between the two of them I accept it because Riven has made Caden work so hard for it.  She has a lot going on and you can tell she's loyal to a fault.  I definitely loved her from the get go.
Caden on the other hand...yes he was super adorable and an all around good guy EXCEPT for the fact that he is a cheater (which isn't even mentioned really) and that he is like a love sick puppy for no reason.  He doesn't even really know Riven when he spouts off how he knows she can't be that bad and is totally interested in getting to know her.  Other than those two things he is an okay love interest.  But in comparison to Riven's badassery he seems pretty weak and I really don't like my guys to be weak although in hindsight it all kind of makes sense that he really had no chance in comparison to Riven.
The action and suspense throughout the book really kept me moving and I was constantly wondering if things were how Riven thought they were.  The twist and turns totally took me by surprise.  I will say I didn't get too emotionally attached.  There were parts that could of had me bawling like a baby but didn't even produce a sniffle.  Maybe it's because of Riven's cold demeanor.  Since she refused to let things get her down maybe it helped me stay detached, not that not crying in a book is a bad thing. 
The end almost left me with a sense of satisfaction.  I was totally cool with where it was going but then it ended kind of open, which I suppose gives the author a chance to do a follow up book.  But I really think this would have worked well as a stand alone if the author had added on just a few more chapters.  Either way the book was a great read and if there is a second book I will most definitely read it!
Overall my thoughts on Almost Girl? A pretty awesome, parallel universe, action packed story. 
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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