THE ALMOST GIRL BY AMALIE HOWARD- REVIEW AND GUEST POST TOUR
17 year-old Riven comes from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, a parallel world to Earth. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory. Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier and in a race against time to bring Caden home, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
Reese's Review:The Almost Girl is seriously one of the best books I have read in a long time. The story had me from page one until the final page and had me screaming “WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!” I am officially in love with this story.
Riven was a General of an epic and terrifying force of soldiers called Vectors. Dead soldiers being brought back to life with technology. Now Riven is on the run from her father and his Vectors trying to find the one person who can save her best-friends Cale’s life. His brother. Cale’s mother escaped into modern day Earth with Caden, Cale’s brother and she’s been sent to find him and bring him back. Except it gets a whole lot more complicated than she ever expected when she finds Caden after 3 years of searching.
I won’t say more than that because I don’t want to give anything away, but there is romance, people die, it’s a race against time and a fight to the death every day. I loved every freaking minute of it.
Riven is just awesome. She’s a totally kick butt character who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She’s been taught to be the best soldier she can be and not to love. Her father is a sick disgusting man taken over by geed and her mother and sister are dead. She’s had a very hard life and was taught not to love. Then she meets Caden and things change more for her. She’s supposed to be an emotionless soldier but after being in her head for more than five minutes you know she’s not. I enjoyed reading about her transformation from afraid to love to willing to do anything to protect it.
Caden is super awesome. I enjoy his character so much. Book boyfriend material right here. He sees through Riven’s hard exterior right away and becomes her friend despite her being kind of prickly in the beginning. I enjoyed reading his teasing of Riven and just taking everything in stride.
The Almost Girl reminds me a lot of two of my favorite series: Project Paper Doll by Stacey Kade and A Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas. If you haven’t read either of these I am so sorry for you and you need to pick these up. Riven does the whole “thousand ways to kill you thing” I enjoy a lot more than a normal person should. Such a phenomenal book and I am counting down the days until I can read book two. If you haven’t read anything by Amalie Howard, that’s okay I hadn’t either until this book. Be prepared to be wowed!
Character Inspiration & Dream Cast for The Almost GirlWhen I was initially doing the character study for Riven (whose name means ripped apart), I knew that I wanted her to be fierce. After all, she becomes a General of an army at fourteen and she comes from a very tough universe, so she has to be the result of that. In Neospes, there’s no room for softness and emotion. Those are the things that can get you killed. As a result, Riven is the perfect product of her environment. She’s a very intense character. I needed her to be powerful, highly skilled, focused, and mature.
My inspiration for Riven’s character came from a few different sources. The first was Max from Dark Angel TV series. I loved the fact that Max was so capable and fierce, but was also so guarded. I wanted my character to be similar—especially as she navigates the new terrain of a parallel universe that is the complete opposite to her own. Like Max, Riven has to learn how to trust and how to love while still being strong and lethal. My second source of inspiration was Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element, one of my all time favs (and yes, I know I’m a total nerd). I love that scene where Leeloo takes out the Mangalores singlehandedly. She, like Max, is fierce, but in a different way. She’s built to be the Earth’s defender—the fifth element—and she has to learn about who we are as humans before she’s able to do the job she was created to do. I liked her inner fragility when it came to learning about love, and I wanted Riven to have the same sort of feel—hard and unapproachable on the outside, yet soft and curious on the inside. Last but not least, there’s definitely some Ellen Ripley in there, but it’s the Ripley from Alien Resurrection, where she has inherited some of the alien traits. She’s so awesome during that basketball scene in the mess hall on the ship. I loved her innate confidence and unflappable nature. I wanted Riven to have some of those qualities. Highly trained, she knows who she is and what she can do.
Like all of these amazing, multi-faceted heroines, I wanted to create a dynamic character who is forced to question everything she is and everything she knows. A soldier first, Riven is hard on the outside but still vulnerable on the inside—I wanted readers to relate to her struggle throughout the novel to let go of all her rules and be a girl. We build so many walls to keep from being hurt that we don’t allow ourselves to connect with others. As a character, Riven has to dig down deep to embrace her emotions against everything she has been taught. In the end, is she brave enough to learn how to trust her heart? Will she always be the tough, invulnerable soldier? Or will she find a balance between the two?
DREAM CASTRIVEN – Astrid Berges OR Imogen Poots
CADEN – Brenton Thwaites or Nicholas Hoult
SHAE – Sienna Guillory
AURELA – Charlize Theron
Riven’s Father – Michael Fassbender
Era Taylor – Famke Janssen
PRAISE FOR THE ALMOST GIRL:
“A high-octane thriller. SF and dystopia fans will be right at home with this book and its fierce, capable heroine.” ~ Publishers Weekly
“Amalie Howard writes a fast paced and thrilling story with a kick butt, authentic heroine and a brilliantly crafted world." ~ Eve Silver, author of Rush
“The Almost Girl is a feminist tour de force. It is filled with powerful, interesting female characters. Riven is one of my favorite fictional characters ever; she is fierce, passionate, funny and smart. This sexy, fast-paced story is impossible to put down. A must read! Fans of Divergent will love it!“ ~ Kim Purcell, author of Trafficked
“A riveting union of science fiction thriller, romance, family drama, and conspiracy theory, The Almost Girl had me wishing I could crawl inside the pages and join Riven on her epic journey between parallel worlds. Amalie Howard’s writing is sharp and smart. I’m definitely craving the next installment!” ~ Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful & The Cursed
AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island (Trinidad & Tobago) where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.
An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie’s poem “The Candle,” written at age twelve, was published in a University of Warwick journal. At fifteen, she was a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed simultaneous Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for research and criticism in Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive.
She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.