*Review* The Almost Girl – Amalie Howard

Expected Publication 1/7/2014 by Strange Chemistry
**REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS**

The Almost Girl

Synopsis:

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?

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My Review: 5 out of 5 Stars***** Read 12/10/2013

Holy genetically altered children and babies!! First of all thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for allowing me to read the ARC.

I’m not sure what to start with? I want to tell you so much about this book but I don’t want me review to be full of spoilers! Do I tell you about the double-crossing, lying, underhand and calculating things most of these characters are doing. Do I start with the premise of “What if everything you knew was a lie?” OR do I tell you what a bloody amazing kick ass protagonist Amalie Howard has created.

My thoughts of what to write are bouncing around in my head like they’ve found a free moon walk ride and they can play all day! Okay, lets start with Riven, 17 and she is already a legion general commanding an army of Vectors. Trained to kill, trained to hurt and trained to do whatever it takes to protect Cale the Lord King of her world in Neospes. What she isn’t trained for is feelings, love and happiness.

She is HOT! I had a little girl crush going on with her. She defects….Cale is dying and she has to find the one thing that could save him.

She comes to Earth, she blends in while looking for her target, and she does. Quite by accident! Literally. Enter Caden, a boy so like Cale in every aspect that it starts to unravel Riven slightly. Let me just say right now, the beginning of this book is a little slow, normally that would have me sighing a little, but be warned, nothing in the building of the story is wasted so take notes. If like me, you don’t you will have to get a jaw cushion to save it from getting busted when it falls repeatedly.

So Riven has found her target, she has her plan to return to Neospes. She got it when her sister Shae turns up, Shae, like Riven is badass and she isn’t about to let Riven take her prize. Well, holy moly, batten down the hatches and take cover everything goes to hell in a hand basket. I mean, it doesn’t just go to hell, it takes it over.

There is double-crossing going on, bad family ju-ju and more than enough blood and gore to satisfy that this isn’t your Momma’s kid fight. I actually thought at one point Amalie was going to kill them all and play pipe music for the rest of the book.

No, the book is essentially in 2 halves. Earth and Neospes. The second half didn’t let up either. From the Outers to the deserters it was one turmoil after another. Riven had to learn some hard truths about herself, hard truths about her family and worse some hard truths about her father. She also had some sharp lessons in trusting anyone. No one was what they seemed, everyone had an agenda and nothing was the truth she believed.

In all that mess Riven and Caden were growing closer, this was not Stockholm Syndrome but a beautiful delicate friend to love story, one that had Riven questioning everything she knew and felt. The ending, OMG, I don’t think I breathed the last five chapters. It was intense, scary and shocking but brilliantly woven. Then the end, end……

I don’t know when the 2nd in this series is coming out (well the 1st has yet to come out) but if it isn’t soon I will be hunting Amalie down worse than any Vector can. Brilliant and compelling, lovers of Dystopian rejoice, there is a new girl in town and her name is Riven.

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