I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson
Series: Ultraviolet #2
Published by Carolrhoda Lab on March 1st 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
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Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.
Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.
Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.
She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.
Okay, WOW. I commission everyone to go out and read this series. Because… because… because of reasons. Awesome reasons.
Why is it that every time I finish a novel by R.J. Anderson, I can’t find the right words to review it? How can I possibly give someone a run down of a book with so many twists and turns and plain old fashion AWESOME? I can do better than that. Let me try this again.
Quicksilver had me flipping pages as fast as humanly possible from beginning to end. If you are a sci-fi fan and you haven’t read Quicksliver’s predecessor, Ultraviolet, then my question to you would be: DUDE, what the hell are you waiting for?!
Even though I thought Ultraviolet was slightly predictable, I enjoyed every minute of it. Immediately after finishing the last page, I knew I needed a sequel. So I waited and waited. And when I saw Quicksilver appear on NetGalley, I quickly requested it. I hadn’t even read the synopsis because I had made up my mind a year ago that I’d read it no matter what it was about. You know that feeling when you’ve read a book that you’ve been highly anticipating and it exceeds your expectations? Yeah… THAT. And since it’s really hard to review this book without giving away spoilers, I’m just going to tell you three things I LOVED about Quicksilver.
So when I said I didn’t even read the description before starting Quicksilver, I really meant it. I went in expecting the story to pick up from Alison’s point of view and was surprised to learn that it was Tori Beaugrand instead, proving once again that reading is indeed fundamental. And I was initially hesitant to this change because Tori wasn’t a character that I exactly liked in Ultraviolet. But after reading the first chapter and hearing her ‘voice’, I was a fan.
The novel starts with Tori, her mother and father moving to a different city to avoid police curiosity and more questioning. She leaves behind her old life, friends and even Alison, to start over, renaming herself Niki. She hopes that the events that occurred at the end of Ultraviolet are far behind her, but she later finds out she is still in danger of returning to Mathis, the scientist who had originally sent her to earth as an experiment. With the help of the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday and a new character, Milo, Tori races against time to do whatever it takes to remain on Earth.
There really wasn’t any slow moments or down time in Quicksilver. Tori has a very short window to destroy the relay’s ability to beam her back to Mathis and the clock is ticking throughout the entire novel. Quite literally too if you consider the binary countdown clock at the beginning of each new chapter. I thought that was a really nice touch and added an extra level of suspense. I really wish I could say more about the plot without spoiling anything, but I can’t. The plot twists, however, were very well-placed and unexpected.
Anderson really takes her novels to another level with her characters. First it was Alison with her synesthesia and then there is Tori. I can’t really say what it is about her that makes her such an interesting character because it’s a spoiler, but I have never seen that done in a YA novel. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done at all in any book I’ve read. It’s like Anderson picks these different aspects to really make her characters stand out and feel REAL.
These characters have real issue that don’t just get solved with fairy dust by the end of the novel. And in Quicksilver, Tori is put in the worst possible situations to the point where I was genuinely horrified during one scene. I kept thinking that Anderson would save her from such a fate, but that’s what I love about her books. Her characters don’t always get what they want and you can just feel their pain and desire for it. But you also feel their resolve of the inevitable. Just as in Ultraviolet where I was rooting so hard for Sebastian and Alison to somehow get together by the end of the novel and… it didn’t happen. I was flabbergasted that Anderson would leave Alison so broken after everything she had been through and not give her one piece of happiness.
So I was hoping, with all the power that a reader could posses, that they would work things out. BUT UGH, it’s so dang complicated! I was angry, yet I was I happy. Strangely, I sorta love it when an author GOES THERE and doesn’t give her characters and readers what they expect and want. It makes for a more powerful story.
The Last 25%:
W-H-O-A. That was INTENSE. During that scene my heart was racing sooooo hard! If you ever get a chance to read this book, then you’ll understand what I mean. And I really appreciate how things were resolved, but at the same time a small bit of conflict still remains, because there are consequences for our actions, even in the fictional world.
So if you are on the market, looking for a suspenseful sci-fi novel with and engaging plot and fresh characters, look no further. I highly recommend Quicksilver.
ARC was acquired via NetGalley. Thank you!