Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Strange Chemistry's tour for The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard. This YA science fiction novel is action-filled with plenty of gadgets and an army of robotic zombie hybrids wrecking havoc for our hero and her friends. As part of the tour, Howard is hosting a huge giveaway to win some other great YA titles. Enter the giveaway at the end of this post, but first my review of The Almost Girl.
The Almost Girl
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.
Releases January 7, 2014
YA / Science Fiction / Action
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?
This book is packed to the gills with action, fighting, science fiction tropes, fighting, zombie robots, fighting, running and did I mention fighting? There is a lot of fighting in The Almost Girl, considering the leading lady is a teenage ninja prodigy super soldier from a parallel world that used to lead an army of zombie robots created by her mad scientist father.
Like I said, this book is packed. Howard has so many great ideas and gizmos and historical background to build her world around that everything feels as though there really could be another world accessible through string-theory level physics travel that is a disaster, chaos-filled version of our own. The author doesn’t lack for details, explaining and re-explaining almost every aspect of her created world, which sometimes assists in adding dimension to her world while at other times detracts from the story itself.
The Almost Girl follows Riven, a child of Neospes (the parallel world) who has been trained from birth to be an emotionless super soldier while her father explored bio-engineering that led to the creation of robotic zombie-esque soldiers that she was given the reigns to control at 14 years old. The opening chapters really reinforce this idea that Riven is a warrior on a mission rather than a normal girl. The prologue is badass with a 14-year-old Riven proving how deserving of the super ninja soldier label as she escapes from the zombie robot horde she used to oversee to escape to the other world.