The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard is the first book in a YA sci-fi series The Riven Chronicles. Riven is the Legion General of Neospes, a war ravaged & desolate planet in a parallel world to ours. As the right hand to Prince Cale, she had everything. However, in the midst of a political coup Riven flees to our world to find Cale’s brother, who was hidden away as a baby, and bring him back. Stuck in a world that she doesn’t understand, she must navigate high-school order to get close to her target, Caden, while dodging enemy forces and trying to discover who she really is.
The story started out kind of rough plot-wise because you get dumped in the middle of the action without much background info on anything. As you get further into the book things start to become clearer, but it’s still a little hard to keep up with at times. The plot picks up once they return to Neospes, and the conclusion of the novel is great.
For me, the characterization hurt the story. Riven is completely out of her depth throughout most of the book. She is unable to interact with the general public and cannot seem to blend in at all, despite having spent a great deal of time in our world before the start of the story. She mostly comes off as whiny and childish, making it hard to picture her being this super solider that commanded legions. While I understand that she herself is a teenager, She was brought up in a militarized society & was raised essentially to be an adult at a young age. I expected her to be a least a little more mature than what she comes off as.
Out of all the other characters, it’s Caden that ends up be the voice of reason through much of the story. I found this surprising since he had no idea about his true background until about midway through. He seems to shrug it off for the most part & goes with the flow, which came off as very unrealistic.
The romance angel was interesting, and definitely added a lot of tension between Riven, Caden, and Cale. It’s pretty clear that it will play a heavy factor in the next book, so I’m interested to see where it will go. There was also a lot of family drama between Riven and her family members. You got more of a feel of how conflicted Riven was, especially concerning her sister.
Overall, it’s not a bad book. Aside from some plot/storyline & character issues, it’s a very interesting read and it really picks up steam as you get into it. The book is available on both Amazon and Goodreads. You can keep up with Mrs. Howard by visiting her website, and you can also check out her other novels there as well.
I received this item for free for a review. All opinions are 100% my own.