Giveaway & Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard – Kickass General from a parallel universe

January 15, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Blog Tours, Books, Giveaways, Reviews

Giveaway & Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard - Kickass General from a parallel universe

Giveaway & Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard – Kickass General from a parallel universeThe Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
Published by Strange Chemistry on January 7, 2014
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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?

“The Almost Girl” is a richly imagined story of defiance, courage, and heart. It is the tale of a girl who finds her own way on her own terms, a girl who won’t let what she is define her, and a girl who will sacrifice everything she is for the ones she loves. It is a story of someone who eclipses her predestined fate to become something more … something extraordinary.

With that awesome cover, a sci-fi story and a kick ass heroine, it was hard not to resist The Almost Girl. Sci-fi seems to be the next big thing on the YA front at the moment, and with words like “android war” and “parallel universe” I had to pick this one up.

If you want a strong heroine, Riven is as tough as they come as a Legion General, sent to Earth to retrieve her target. She has quick healing abilities, super awesome fighting skills, plus endless speed and stamina. Riven kicks major ass, and in this book, she showcases her skills from defeating fearsome Vector soldiers, reanimated corpses who are designed to be soldiers.

Of course things never run as smoothly as expected, as Riven runs into Shae, her sister who is protecting her target. With a complicated past and betrayal in the mix, the two have a lot to sort out the get Cale back to the planet Neospes. Riven also finds herself attracted to Caden, who looks exactly like her lord Cale, and insta-love happens and they are both suddenly in love with each other. I wasn’t really convinced of the romance, especially as Caden’s girlfriend is the blonde mean girl type and Riven is an ice queen with blue/green hair. The two pretty much fall for each other right away, and all of a sudden they are in love which annoying.

The character development also left a bit to be desired and I found myself confused some of the time. I was not sure why Caden was suddenly kicking ass with all these fighting skills that he learnt from Shae, and how easily he accepted Riven and Shae’s explanation from being from a parallel universe. His role further in the book is even more difficult to believe but somehow there was no difficulty accepting it. From the way Shae and Riven were hostile with each other, they were suddenly working together and it seemed like I had missed something again. Riven herself seemed inconsistent, on one hand she’s beating the Vectors but she literally faints 3 times in the book.

What kept me reading was the kickass action and the fast paced sci-fi plot, with the concept of Vectors who are basically reanimated humans being really fascinating and also how they ‘evert’ to another planet. There was also a lot of betrayal, backstabbing and complex family relations between Riven, her family, and even her lord Cale.

After being attacked on Earth and trying to escape from Vectors, the two “evert” to the other planet and the story begins from there. We are then brought to Neospes in the second half which is full of twists and turns. Some I found significant, and others seemed to be randomly thrown in, without any build up of them earlier in the text. I was surprised to find out what an asshole Cale turned out to be, after endless doting and loyalty from Riven.

Overall, The Almost Girl featured some awesome sci-fi world building and kick ass action scenes with a strong heroine, but the inconsistent character development and confusing plot left a few things to be desired.

I received a copy of The Almost Girl from Netgalley and Strange Chemistry in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


About the Author: 

 A rising star among young adult writers, Amalie Howard developed a loyal following after releasing her debut book, “Bloodspell,” in 2011. Now, she is returning with five new books that are sure to excite her devoted fans and catch the attention of new readers.

A bookworm from the beginning, Howard grew up on a small island in the Caribbean with her nose buried in books. When she was just 13 years old, her poem “The Candle” was published in a University of Warwick journal, marking a sign of great things to come. Howard immersed herself into other cultures, globetrotting through 22 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. After moving to the United States, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and French from Colby College in Maine. She also holds a certificate in French literature from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. Traveling around the world, Howard has lent talents as a research assistant, marketing representative, freelance writer, teen speaker, blogger and global sales executive.

Howard lives in New York with her husband, three children and one willful feline that she is convinced may have been a witch’s cat in a past life.

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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47 responses to “Giveaway & Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard – Kickass General from a parallel universe

  1. Oh no! I thought it was going to be super spectacular. I hate confusing plot lines and weird characters. I really love reading science fiction so maybe I will still check it out since the heroine is pretty kick ass. I am a bit worried on the romance part though. I feel like I'm not going to like it.

  2. Yeah Riven was totally kickass…before she meets Caden >< I did find the romance too out of the blue and the thing that irked me the most is when they decide to kiss in Riven's old house despite the situation *cue eyerolls* I think Caden is such a Mr Perfect too — I mean, he's good at combat and he has good looks. Plus, that revelation in the end…. -___- But I do agree that the plot and the sci-fi concept are pretty good and really enjoyable. If only the romance and characters had been better, then I would have been totally in love with this book xD

    • That's right, I hate it when they are kick ass then turn mushy when they meet a man. Look at urban fantasy, now that's how you flesh out a romance even with a kick ass female. Gah Caden was definitely too perfect, I wasn't convinced. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Hmm the character development doesn't sound very consistent and that's never a good thing. I'm a character oriented reader so I need very realistic relationships and character growth. The Vectors concept does sound really neat and it's great that the action kept you entertained. I wasn't a big fan of her other novel so I haven't decided if I will try this one yet or not. We'll see.
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Fake ID by Lamar GilesMy Profile

    • Yeah it's so annoying when a character goes against what they are built up as. Inconsistent and contradictory. Especially when they meet a cute boy. I haven't touched Waterfell, I'm scared!

  4. Eh…I'm not sure if I'm going to read this or not. The plot definitely sounds awesome and original – despite how confusing it sounds it may be at times – but I definitely think the inconsistent character development would probably bother me too. I'm really glad to hear that the action scenes were epic and that there was actually world-building!

    Thanks for sharing Jeann and – as always – fabulous review! 😀
    Zoe @ The Infinite T recently posted…Truth or DareMy Profile

  5. Noooooooooo insta-love *shakes fist at sky*. Hehe.

    Sounds like the characters area a little bland and inconsistent and, really, I can't get into a story if I can relate to or care about any of the characters.

    Sorry this one was a bit of a let down 🙁

    (Oh and lovely giveaway!)

  6. I certainly would be pleased with the amount of action and how fast-paced the plot is overall, but a romance that develops far too quickly is always a turn-off. I totally can see why the characters weren't very good for you. I hate when characters' actions are unexplained and you're expected to go along with whatever's happening at that moment. I may skip this one because sci-fi has never been my forte in the first place, but fantastic review! <33
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  7. Stephanie F.

    I was really excited about this book util I read your review, now I'm kinda up and down. I love sci-fi and the premise sounded good and I love a good action book but I hate books with confusing plots and I have to have a connection to the characters to be able to read it.

  8. Oh damn, 2.5 stars? I does seem like the YA genre is approaching sci-fi a lot more and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I really enjoy sci-fi, but have yet to read a YA sci-fi that I loved. I just haven't found the perfect one yet I guess. I was hoping The Almost Girl would be amazing with its parallel universe and everything. That also intrigues me, but the lack of character development really puts me off the book. And the insta-love is a huge no-no. Thanks for a honest review Jeann! xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica RothMy Profile

  9. Aw! I think Amalie was also the author of that mermaid book entitled Waterfell right? And as far as I can remember, a lot of bloggers didn't like it. Gosh, I think this book also suffered the same fate. Why? Why do authors always feel the need to introduce instalove? Le sigh.

    You know, that premise alone could have already convinced me. I am sorry that the romance and the inconsistent character development made this a flop.

    Here's to hoping that your next read will be better.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts recently posted…Book Review: Into The Still BlueMy Profile

  10. I read Amalie Howard's Aquarathi book and didn't enjoy it one bit. I had too many problems with the characters and the writing just wasn't for me. So, I had already planned on not reading this one and it sounds like that was a good decision.

    Character development is so essential in books like these and it's a shame it's not done well. Plus, insta-love. Ugh. That's all.

    Lovely honest review, Jeann.
    Nick @ Nick's B recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (57) : Forget Me by K.A HarringtonMy Profile

  11. I love Action books, especially with an awesome heroine. But I'm not sure if this is the book for me, I strongly dislike books that are confusing and low on the character development, I feel like its a really important of the book and they missed out on it.

    Thank you for the awesome and honest review 🙂

    • I think the main character is a strong reason why I enjoy action paced books, but it's a shame this one wasn't developed further with the character and the plot. No problems Aneta, welcome to the blog!

  12. Hmmm unfortunately, this doesn't sound like the type of book that would really work for me. I really need my characters to be strong and developed, and if you add insta-love to the mix, it really is the kiss of death for me. Thank you for the honest review though, Jeann!

  13. Desnica Kumar

    When I saw the cover and synopsis for The Almost Girl I was definitely interested in finding out more…after reading your review I'm more wary about it but I'm still kind of curious enough to give it a try…

    Thanks for the review!

  14. Mm, I'm a bit worried about lack of character development and the 2.5 stars. The action sounds good, but I rarely read a book for the action. I like the delicious characters. But, still, I hadn't heard of this one, and I'd be interested to read it if one day. 😉
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