Friday, 29 November 2013

Review: The Almost Girl

The Almost Girl

Publication Date: January 7th 2014 by  
~A copy was provided by Strange Chemistry, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.~    
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?
Firstly, look at the pretty cover! Pretty and appropriate to the book. *clap*
What drew me to the book was the infinite possibilities of parallel universes, seriously, I love it. And with infinite possibilities brings so many different versions that is completely fascinating and for most of it The Almost Girl didn't fail. It was completely badass.

That said, I'm not going to beat around the bush. I did not like the first half of it, at all. It was repetitive, cold, a little annoying and it felt like we weren't really getting anywhere, just round and round in circles of fight, flight, fight, kill, distrust and just complications that, although realistic, became like I said, repetitive. Though, if you're looking very hard, some of those parts have key aspects to the future of one of the side plots.

The world building was good, like real good, albeit a bit sketchy and random in places for me, it had questions, but it also had the answers. Everything you need and could want to know about Neospes was there, as scary and intriguing as it was, the little hitch for me, was that it was predictable in the sense of an dystopian setting. The plot was touch and go, and in the end it lacked the strength of the set-up, I was expecting something really brilliant, and explosive, and while it still was pretty badass things seemed a little resolved too quickly, so much setup but without the ultimate pay off.

It took me a while, and I mean a while, almost half of it for me to actually warm up to it, mainly because it's narrated by our main character, Riven. She's harsh, cold, snappy and sarcastic, which wasn't used sparingly and she became completely unlikeable. But, I will say Rivens character growth was done really well, and by the end I could finally say I could respect her for who she was, and for what was done to her. She's still a ball of sharp angles that if thrown at you, will cut you, but she's a nice softer ball of sharp angles.
Caden however,  I wanted to like him like I wanted to like the romance between him and Riven. I did, but Caden first kissed Riven while he was still going out with Sadie, so no matter what, bad move He's a little cheesy, which made it harder for me to take the romance seriously, and the fact that it was a whole lot of insta-lust on his side of things in the beginning, I just couldn't.

Slut shaming time! All right, in fairness, on the slut shaming scale, it was an S, barely there. But, your Honor said Sadie has been judged on her slutty ways and seedy ways. The evidence, you ask? There is no witnesses your Honor, to whether Said Sadie slept with Caden, or schemed over Riven. Or did anything else, for that matter.  Like I said your Honor, it was barely there. Like the character, so I'd like said Sadie to be in more than two scenes of a 416 page book. Your verdict?
Not guilty.

The Almost Girl was an exciting imaginative parallel world,  with a well thought out setup but lacked the explosive ending and shock factor I wanted.
Rating: 3.5/5