Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

Review of Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson

by - April 22, 2018

Genres: Sci-Fi, Mystery
Pages: 375
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: 02/05/2013
Find The Author: (Website/Twitter)
Find The Book: Book Depository/AbeBooks UK/US

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.

I was a bit surprised when I started this and discovered that the point of view had switched from Alison to Tori, or Niki she calls herself in this book - after Nikola Tesla of course. Niki proved to be an engaging, interesting character and asexual too - I was happy to get some representation in YA. However there wasn't something of a spark that Alison had that was lacking with this character.

I experienced a similar disappointment with this book as I did when I read the Chemical Garden series - the first book was easily a 5 star read, extremely well written and a plot that that I'd happily read over and over. The second was cliched, poorly written and I was left with a feeling of disappointment rather than satisfaction.  

‘That’s not what I mean,’ I said, fighting to keep the anger out of my voice. Because it wasn’t Milo I was angry at, it was the whole stupid world. A world where relationships like the one I’d had with Brendan were normal, and the one I had with Milo was not. ‘There’s no such thing as just a friend, Milo. Friendship is one of the most important things there is.’ 

Switching the point of view to Tori/Niki did work as it gave us the opportunity to introduce new characters, like Milo. I really liked his friendship with Niki, plus he added a Korean background and grandparents which I enjoyed reading about. On the other hand, I ended up hating Sebastian (who was on the #2 spot for favourite book boyfriends last book) and Niki's constant hatred of his and Alison's relationship just got tedious after a while.

Engineering plays a huge part in this, as Niki is a talented engineer, something her parents allow, but disapprove of her doing anything bigger for some reason. They're also racist bigots so there's that. Unfortunately it's all about the engineering and not so much about the spaceship we seemed to have landed on in the last book, if you're reading this for that world to be expanded upon you'll be disappointed.

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