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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Quicksilver

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Quicksilver

Ultraviolet, Book 2

Author: R.J. Anderson
Pages: 314
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2013
Source: NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:
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.

Prior Books in Series:
1: Ultraviolet (Review|Goodreads)

First Sentence: "On June 7, the year I turned sixteen, I vanished without a trace."

**The following review will contain spoilers for Ultraviolet, but not for Quicksilver.**

Though I did not love Ultraviolet quite so much as I had hoped, I was still curious enough to break my NetGalley embargo to run out and request Quicksilver. I mean, why wait until freaking May if I did not have to, right? Thankfully, I was approved, and I got to reading pretty promptly, because of my resolution to do better about reading series books back to back if I can.

Ultraviolet begins largely as a contemporary, then making a dramatic twist to science fiction. As I said in my review then, I really preferred the first half of Ultraviolet, with its focus on synesthesia and mental illness. Quicksilver does not have this issue, and is a much more even novel without the crazy twist that made the first book so incredibly compelling for many readers.

Anderson switches main characters in the second book of the series, a daring move that she pulls off brilliantly. I enjoy and the synesthetic beauty of Alison's narration, as well as how unreliable she is as narrator. However, Tori's no-nonsense, starkly honest personality captivates me. From Alison's point of view, Tori comes across largely as a stereotypical, popular, gorgeous mean girl. Now, having this window into Tori's mind, it is so apparent how much that isn't and never has been her.

Having made it back to Earth at the end of Ultraviolet, Alison and Tori go their separate ways, trying to settle back down despite the media frenzy at their return. When a lab begins asking questions of the Beauregards about Tori's odd genetic makeup, Tori's parents decide that the family must leave Sudbury. The family announces their move to Vancouver, but heads instead to Southern Ontario with new identities.

Tori, now Niki, gets a job at a grocery store and does her classes online. She remains aloof from others, including the obnoxious guy at the grocery store who reminds her of her slobbery ex-boyfriend. Her goals in life are not to be noticed and to work on her engineering, for which Tori has a passion. I love how this passion is exhibited in the chapter headings, all complex engineering terminology.

As is perhaps unsurprising, Tori's peace cannot last long. Sebastian arrives bringing news of trouble, and a detective is poking around looking for her. A coworker from the grocery store, Milo, gets caught up in everything and becomes her first real friend. Oh, Milo. He's Korean and athletic and such a good guy. Now that's what I'm talking about. He and Tori develop a complex bond, one that I loved to watch unfold. Also, this is the first time I've read a novel in which a main character was asexual, so that's awesome.

I raced through Quicksilver, intrigued by everything. Anderson pulls out all the stops and does not go easy on her characters; I saw that ending coming, but was still surprised when Anderson went through with it. Anderson's series is a must-read for science fiction fans.

Rating: 4/5

Favorite Quote: "'There's no such thing as just a friend, Milo. Friendship is one of the most important things there is.'"

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Blogger The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really enjoyed the more contemporary parts of Ultraviolet as well and am excited to read about Tori's life now! Thanks for the review.

January 26, 2013 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I thought something was going to intervene before the end too...though I should have known better. RJ Anderson is not afraid to do the hard things with her characters.

I loved Milo oh so much.

January 27, 2013 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yes, the contemporary parts were the best part imo.

January 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

MILO!!! He's wonderful.

Guess I need to check out more RJ Anderson, because I like authors that can be cruel to their beloved characters. That ending...youch!

January 28, 2013 at 9:46 AM  

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