Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi Romance
SciFi Element: Psychological, mystery (can't disclose, ruins reveal)
Order Online: Amazon.com
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Digital copy from Netgalley.com for Review
ARC review, June 2011 UK release, September 2011 US release.
PJ's QUICKIE POV:
This one took me by surprise. Not your usual Young Adult novel, ULTRAVIOLET, shook things up a bit with it's not "sticking to the norm" type of plot twists and turns. You definitely don't get any idea of what this book is about from the synopsis and it has me wondering why they put this particular book on netGalley.com, because I think it might be better served with out all of the telling reviews. Well heated discussions might be the aim - so who am I to judge? Aside from my disagreement with the marketing, the book was really good. I enjoyed it and found myself continually thinking about it as I got further into it. Anderson comes at you from all angles, forcing you throughout this book to examine how you view things, than turns everything 360 by the plot-shattering conclusion. I thought it was well done. If you only read this book for how RJ Anderson paints the extra-sensory perception of Allison it is well worth it. From her writing I can actually believe that Anderson can taste colors and see music for how wonderfully she described it. It was breathtaking to think of music in the way Alison felt, saw and tasted it.
Alison wakes to find herself in a mental institution. There are scratches and bite marks up and down her arm and the only conclusion is that she has inflicted them on herself. She remembers nothing and from the comments being made by the nurses and doctors, she isn't sure she wants to remember...but things slowly start coming back to her. A fight. Tori. A girl she has hated since the moment she set eyes on her. Screaming and then hitting Tori -- and then Tori disintegrating. Which is why Alison is in the looney bin, because people just don't disintegrate, that is crazy talk, or is it? Alison has lived in fear of one day going to a mental institution. She has never been what people would describe as normal. She sees things differently, she can feel and taste colors, she can see sounds. She's feared that one day her unusual abilities would get her thrown into the looney bin --- but she never once thought that she might get locked away for murder.
I don't want to go into much detail because this is a book that might be ruined if you read too many spoilers. The one thing I will give everyone is that this is a science fiction novel. A girl disintegrates. To me that was kind of obvious, but it might not be for some. So, if you aren't prone to liking science fiction, don't talk yourself into thinking this might be a paranormal romance.
Now, after that little ditty, I love me some science fiction and RJ Anderson played this one perfectly. The ending wasn't really a surprise to me, but being a fan of the genre I knew what to expect. I thought how Anderson tied it all together in the end was splendid and the characters were excellently initiated. Alison's character was the perfect blend of unknown and her stay in the mental institution was believable and heart-breaking. For the entire novel you do question Alison's sanity and you also question if she is human or not, which is fun and keeps you on your toes. Did I mention that I really liked this novel?
My one hang-up was the sudden insight that Alison had in the end about all people in general. She had this problem of judging people from the get-go, which I thought was odd since she expressed at the onset that her "extra" abilities give her the power to read people better, yet she always boxed people into these preconceived notions. That concept didn't mesh well with me. If was all rather complex and I think Anderson was stemming that Alison, because of her ability thought her perceptions were dead on, but in the end she really didn't understand other people at all, I thought it just didn't flow that well in the end. By the end of the novel her notions of the other people around her are completely turned around and it was this big in-your-face type scene, which I thought was overblown. Epiphanies rarely come so neatly packaged. It did bring up a question that I believe Anderson was aiming for, was it that she didn't understand her powers, or because of the powers she was too quick to judge?
Have you read the book, what did you think about this sudden understanding and acceptance of the people around her?
Other than that specific qualm, I'm all about this one. RJ Anderson is now on my "must check out more" list and I see she likes faeries, all the better.
For fans of Young Adult and science fiction, odd recommendation but fans of the soul screamers books might enjoy this because of the similarity of "I might be crazy" talk.
- RJ Anderson also pens another set of books that are about Faeries.
- Wayfarer (Faery Rebels)