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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Title: The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Format Acquired: ARC
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Publishing House: Strange Chemistry
ISBN: 9781908844804
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher


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 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 for defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Prince Cale is dying, and the only one who could find his lost brother is seventeen-year-old Riven, a high-ranked officer of the army. She could take anyone down with a blink of an eye, but what she's not ready for is meeting Caden. Caden whose green eyes throw her off. Caden who doesn't know a thing about Neospes. Caden who doesn't know he has a twin brother who happens to be a dying prince. But when her plan goes awry, Riven finds out that there's more to the story than anyone's telling her, and it may just cost Caden's life.

For someone who's supposed to be a force to be reckoned with, Riven sure spends a lot of her time unconscious. Maybe it's because her energy depletes when she jumps between the universes, but throughout the book, she's unconscious when things take a turn, so to say.  Also, she's supposedly exceptional at being a general, but what is up with having other people save her butt all the freaking time?! And have I mentioned that she is not in the least bit cautious at all? When faced with other teenagers, she brings out the scowls and the attitude. When faced with dangerous missions? Oh yeah, she feels that it is exactly the right time to make out with the dude anywhere, weapons and death and Neospes be damned. 

That's not the only thing I was unhappy about.

Riven and Caden have no chemistry whatsoever, and it came across as random and boring. Caden liked Riven right from the get-go because she "wasn't like the other girls". Despite him having a girlfriend who is the very personification of a valley girl, Caden is very much amused by Riven just because she was different. I wanted to smack him up the head just for that. If he wasn't into his girlfriend, why bother dating her in the first place? Riven is pretty new to all these Earth customs and she doesn't exactly know how to do away with her soldier persona (even if for me, she sucks at it) so I can't really fault her for knowing what to do with Caden's flirtatiousness. 

The plot "twist" wasn't much of a twist, and it actually made the novel come across as a cliched Young Adult Novel, so if you're expecting things to look up, it doesn't. The book actually confuses me because sometimes it's more sci-fi, sometimes more romance-y, that I just wanted to give it a good shake. It's trying to be a lot of things at the same time, so you can just imagine my frustration. 

Disappointingly, The Almost Girl falls victim to the "more talking, less acting" side of the spectrum, despite having an interesting premise.


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