Friday, March 25, 2016

Review- THE ALMOST GIRL by Amalie Howard

Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Pub. Date: March 15, 2016
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Source: Print ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Riven comes from a world parallel to Earth, a world that has been ravaged by a devastating android war. As a Legion General, she is the right hand of Prince Cale, the young Prince of Neospes. In her world, she's had everything: rank, responsibility, and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to rescue his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Armed with the mindset of a soldier and racing against time to bring Caden home, Riven must learn how to blend in as a girl in a realm that is the opposite of all she's ever known. Will she be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Upon reading The Almost Girl, one thing I noticed about the book was that it was achingly slow. It took me a couple of chapters to even get into the story. I don't mind world building or developing characters - they help me understand the book better. But I don't feel like I got that here. There was some info dumping that probably could have worked out a little bit better and the characters at times seemed flat and uninteresting. 

Did I like Riven? For the most part, yes. She's only ever known one thing - fight; after all, she is a general. I thought the concept was cool for involving parallel universes. Riven has come to our world to find her target - Caden, the brother of the King of Riven's world. Well, she finds him alright. But instead of just taking him and running, Riven is met with many obstacles along the way. 

This is a classic tale just told in reverse. Instead of the broody guy who wants to take the girl to her impending death and doesn't "want" the girl but secretly does, we get the broody girl. I thought that was great, Riven is a bad ass. But she's also emotionless at times...but that's not her fault. Caden was an okay character. I didn't love him and I didn't hate him. He was just...okay. 

Will I be reading the next book? Yes, absolutely. The story ended on a sort of cliffhanger and I'd like to see where Riven's story takes her.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About the Author:
AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead.

She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at

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