Friday, 15 March 2013

Review: Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson

Title: Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2)
Author: R.J. Anderson
Publisher: Orchard Books
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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.

After reading Ultraviolet, I actually thought Quicksilver would be a continuation of Alison's story. I was surprised when I realized that this book is a companion novel that tells Tori's story, and at first I was skeptical. Why? Because I didn't particularly like Tori in Ultraviolet. But believe it or not, I totally loved her in this one! Tori is a completely different person now, because for once she can actually be herself, instead of what her parents want her to be. Tori really spoke to me, and I loved all the science fiction aspects in this book. More so than in Ultraviolet. Tori's definitely one of my new favourite YA protagonists!

Quicksilver starts off about a month after Ultraviolet ended, and Tori and her parents are on the move. Tori's parents want to start over in Vancouver, and change Tori's identity to keep her safe. So Tori now answers to the name Niki, and has even dyed and cut her hair. She's trying to act normal, but her past can't seem to let her go. The relay is still with her, and she gets an unexpected visit from Sebastian Faraday, a.k.a. Alison's sort-of boyfriend, and the guy who helped rescue her from Mathis. On top of that, Tori has to deal with Constable Deckard, who just won't leave her alone. She desperately needs her freedom, and is willing to do whatever it takes in order to gain it.

 I was surprised at how different Tori is in this book from who she was in Ultraviolet. Back then, she was the most popular girl in school, and seemed like such a cliche. In this book, we find out that Tori is actually a brilliant engineer, and that is her passion. I loved the physics in this book! There was a lot of stuff about mechanics and machines, primarily because Tori loves all of that, but also because she's been handed a very important task by Sebastian - to close the wormhole once and for all. I loved seeing Tori's passion for engineering, and it was really cool that she was so amazing at it. I was honestly impressed by pretty much everything she did and said. We find out a lot of things about her in this book; some good and some quite shocking. But I felt glad that she finally found her place and her happiness, because she did seem quite lost throughout most of the book, as if she were missing something.

It was great seeing Sebastian again, but he's very different in this book, just like Tori is. Except not exactly in a good way. He's a lot more closed off, and he doesn't want to talk about Alison at all. Sebastian is so very secretive, and we don't even know what he's doing most of the time, or why he does things that make our jaws drop. It's plainly obvious that he still cares about Alison, and the six months they've spent apart hasn't lessened his love for her. Sebastian does become a lot closer to Tori. In fact, she's described him as a big brother a number of times. He's protective of her and of her friend Milo, who joins them in their mission, and that was sweet to see.

Milo is a new character we meet in Quicksilver, and I liked him almost immediately. He's Korean, which I found really cool. I know a lot of Korean people, but don't often read about Asian characters in YA literature. Milo works at the same place as Tori, which is how they know each other. When Milo accidentally walks into Tori's room and witnesses Sebastian's appearance out of thin air, they have to let him in. But they fabricate a slightly more plausible story than the truth so as to not freak Milo out, and he seems perfectly happy with that throughout most of the novel. Until, of course, they have to tell him the truth. Milo's always seemed quite platonic with Tori, but he hints at liking her in a different way pretty soon. I loved that he's always there for her, no matter what. He even cycles ten kilometres in the dead of the night just to comfort her when she was feeling lost and scared. There's literally nothing that Milo wouldn't do for Tori. Their romance was very slow to appear, but I nevertheless liked their relationship. There was a lot of banter and teasing there, which added quite a lot of humour to the novel.

There's a lot more action and suspense in this book, because Tori, Sebastian and Milo are in a race against time to try and stop the relay from sucking Tori back into the wormhole, back to the planet where she was captured and held for so long. Tori really shines through in this book, and despite her faults, I loved her narrative voice, her daredevil attitude and her perseverance. She's what made me love this book so much, and I have no doubt that a lot of other people will, too. 

The ending is very satisfying, though I'm definitely hoping for another book in this series! I'd love to maybe read Sebastian's story, or even Milo's. Though I'm pretty sure Sebastian's will be a lot more interesting! Alison also makes a reappearance in Quicksilver, which I thought was awesome. She's different, but she's coping. And I still admire her for that. Her reunion with Sebastian was both amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. It was all that I had hoped for! Overall, I really enjoyed reading this, especially because Tori is just so awesome. In fact, all the characters are. And in my opinion, the characters are what makes a book amazing. So kudos to R.J. Anderson for creating such awesome ones!

*Thank you to Orchard Books for providing me with an eGalley for review*

Rating: 4/5

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