Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Quicksilver by RJ Anderson

Quicksilver by RJ Anderson
Series: Ultraviolet, Book #2
Published: May 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Orchard Books
314 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult science fiction
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Warning: Will contain spoilers if you haven’t read Ultraviolet
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

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.

Quicksilver picks up where Ultraviolet left off, but instead of getting Alison’s point of view, we now get Tori’s perspective. She and her family have left Sudbury and changed their names (Tori is now Niki) and Niki has to keep a low profile to avoid being found not only by the police and doctors who would like to test her strange DNA, but also from Mathis, the villain in Ultraviolet.

After really enjoying Ultraviolet, I had high hopes for Quicksilver, and while I won’t go so far as to say I was disappointed, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did its companion. I found Alison’s story more compelling and mysterious, and I was fascinated as we learned about her synesthesia. There was something about Alison that drew me in, even though I couldn’t really relate to her, and I didn’t feel that as much with Niki.

That being said, I thought Niki was a great character. She was tough and brave, and, like Alison, she learned a lot about herself and the people around her through the course of the book. Anderson has a knack for writing very well developed, original characters. Neither Alison nor Niki were your typical heroines, and I loved that. The secondary characters are also well fleshed-out and unique. I was glad to see Faraday return, even though I spent most of the book trying to figure out whether to trust him or loathe him (but I loved that - the not knowing; it kept me on my toes). The little bits of Alison we saw made me very happy, and it was nice to see her get some closure after the hell she went through.

I guess my main issue with this book was the pacing. It’s not necessarily that it’s slow, I think it’s more the content that made it a slow read for me personally. I’m not the least bit scientifically-inclined and I know next to nothing about engineering, so those parts (which make up a good portion of the book) were kind of tedious for me, and my attention would start to wonder, and then I’d get confused because I didn’t really understand what Niki was trying to do.

The last quarter of the book, however, was anything but slow. There’s a certain incident that really kick-starts the action, and from that moment on, I was captivated. It was a shame that it came so late in the book, but it ended up changing my overall feelings toward the book (for the better), and I finally became invested in what was going to happen. I’m talking edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting tension that alternately makes you want to scream in horror and squeeze Niki tight for being so incredibly brave and selfless and stupid and brilliant all at once.

Ultraviolet and Quicksilver are unlike anything I’ve ever read. I suppose you could say they were both a step outside my comfort zone, and I’m glad I took that step. Even though I didn’t enjoy Quicksilver as much as Ultraviolet, they’re both books I won’t soon forget. And you know what? Most of the people I know who have read this book have nothing but glowing things to say about it, so don’t take my word just because I didn’t love it. If you’re a fan of very original, well-thought-out stories with plots that keep you guessing, and kick-ass heroines paired with other fantastically three-dimensional characters, give Quicksilver a try. I’m sure you won’t regret it. 

{Read my review of Ultraviolet}

Have you read Ultraviolet or Quicksilver? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for books that you would consider genre-bending?

1 comment:

  1. I'll keep what you said in mind the next time I'm shopping for a read. :-)


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