The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard: Review

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 designed to be?

A mean, lean, Vector killing machine! But there is much more to Riven than meets the eye.
Amalie Howard’s ‘The Almost Girl’ is a fast paced SciFi, with plenty of action (and I do mean plenty)!
Riven’s journey is not of just crossing from Neospes to the Otherworld (Earth), but a journey of heart and mind. An internal battle with who she thinks she is, and what she wants to be, but yet cannot fully embrace.
Throughout the novel the technology of Neospes plays an important part of the story telling, and with each high-tech gadget a new piece of the puzzle is introduced and advances the telling of the story.
Its when the supposedly ordinary schoolboy, Caden encounters Riven, things go awry. Riven has travelled to earth in search of Caden to bring him back to Neospes. At first he is but a target for our highly trained General (Riven), and it is through characters such as Caden and Riven’s estranged sister (Shae), that the layers of Riven’s cold, hard exterior begin to show.

I really enjoyed The Almost Girl. It was a fast, fun and exciting read. But also had some very tender and emotional moments. I don’t want to spoil these for you, but they are written really well and reading how the character(s) deal with them, made me feel even more for their plight. I thought the Vectors were brilliant and the way they worked, kind of reminded me of the movie ‘Universal Soldier’ in the way that they were used to infiltrate and destroy their targets, I would of liked to have seen more of the unpleasant Murek as throughout the novel you are told that he is a rather bad chap (although not in those words), but except for a few parts, his dastardly doings are very little.
The Almost Girl is a duology, but it could be read as a standalone Its worth noting that I don’t read a lot of YA not for any particular reason, as over the past year I have read some fantastic YA SFF, upon finishing The Almost Girl it made me realise that I would like to read a lot more YA especially in the same vein as this rather splendid book. I really loved the way it ended and I’m very much looking forward to the next book. Like I said, a lot happens in this book and I really don’t want to spoil it. Amalie Howard has filled The Almost Girl with twists and turns aplenty with a strong and independent female lead, who could kick your ass before you knew it. A very enjoyable read.

8/10

The Almost Girl is available now from Strange Chemistry http://www.strangechemistrybooks.com and you can find more about the author at http://www.amaliehoward.com you can also find Amalie Howard on Twitter @AmalieHoward.

Thankyou to the publishers who provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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