Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: Quicksilver (Ultraviolet, #2)

Quicksilver (Ultraviolet, #2)Author: R.J. Anderson
Series: Ultraviolet, #2
Published: May 2nd 2013
Publisher: Orchard
Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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.
When Quicksilver was first announced, it was said to be a companion novel to Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson’s unforgettably original novel about a girl with synesthesia. Knowing that, I didn’t expect the two to be so closely connected, but imagine my joy when I realized how wrong I was. Quicksilver is more of a sequel – a continuation of the same story told from a different perspective. I struggled a bit at first because Anderson doesn’t waste precious time on recaps, but I caught up fairly quickly and my emotional attachments were soon reestablished.

Tori’s voice is radically different from Alison’s. For one, she doesn’t have synesthesia so her narration is less colorful and far more composed. She is a very down-to-earth kind of person, which is perhaps an odd thing to say about an alien. Tori is a very competent mechanic and her personality reflects this – she is calm, collected and precise in every situation she gets thrown into.

Now that the chip has been removed from her arm and she can leave town without getting seazures, Tori and her parents are on the run: from detective Deckard, from GeneSystem Laboratories and from the crazy alien scientist Mathis. Desperate to keep Tori safe, they change their names and move to a small Canadian town. But Tori’s past isn’t far behind, and when Sebastian Faraday comes to her with an unlikely solution, she knows she has no choice but to help him.

Despite her loving parents and several other people who care deeply about her, Tori’s loneliness is overwhelming. Hers is a self-imposed isolation, born out of fear of rejections and a strong sense of not belonging, and it was almost unbearable at times. Walls after walls after walls appear, and in many ways, Tori’s existence is even sadder and more solitary than Alison’s.

There is a boy, of course – a loyal, intelligent Korean boy – a friend, pretend boyfriend and quite a few things in between. He is impossible not to like, so Tori decides to do something she’s never done before – be (partially) honest and not give him false hope. She tells him she’s never been attracted to another person in her life, that she’s basically asexual. I loved Anderson’s approach to this. Loved! She never wrote about Tori’s condition as something that needed to be cured or changed, but simply as a fact of life that may or may not be bypassed in the future. Not altered, just worked around. For the millionth time, Anderson did something that’s never been done before, and I applaud her for it.

Alison’s role in Quicksilver is minor, but vital. I’d like to say I missed her the entire time, but the truth is that Tori, Milo and Faraday occupied my every thought and I barely even noticed her absence. When she did join the group, she brought with her the open emotionality Tori sorely lacks, and it was then I realized how different these two books really are.

Enough loose threads were left to make a third book possible, but even if it doesn’t come, I’m happy with where we left things. Once again, Anderson wrote a book that defies all expectations and if we’re lucky, she’ll choose to write another one. If not, we’ll always have Ultraviolet and Quicksilver to remind us that originality isn’t gone, it just hides very well from most authors.


  1. This was very original! I loved how refreshingly different Tori's character was, and not just because of the way her asexuality was addressed here. I still can't work out if I preferred her narration to Alison's in the first book, but both were very well done. Anderson manages to impress me every time, and in ways I don't even expect her to. Lovely review, Maja!

  2. Great review of a great book, I absolutely loved both Quicksilver and Ultraviolet!

  3. I'm really tempted to read this series now, it sounds rather intriguing and well, orginal! I think I was put off before after seeing two DNFs but your review has me convinced!

    Well written review, Maja! <33

  4. I really need to start this series already. I've had Ultraviolet sitting on my Kindle for what seems like months and I know I'm going to love this series, so I just need to pick it up already. Lovely review, Maja, and I can't wait to get to this one soon. I'm so glad you enjoyed these books so much. :)

  5. Quicksilver took me so long to get into, but I loved how much we were able to take away from it by getting into Tori's head. I also loved how much Faraday was around! Brilliant review hun! :)

  6. I really didn't enjoy Ultraviolet all that much so I had no plans to read this. But your review is making me want to. I liked Tori's character though and also Faraday. But I think I would have liked to see him and Alison together. Wonderful review Maja.

  7. I had no idea this was a sequel either! I am glad it lived up to your expectations! I still haven't read Ultraviolet, I have it I believe just haven't had the time to start it. I had no idea you liked it as much as you did Maja, I may have to bump it up a little in my pile now.

  8. I can't wait to read this book! I loved Ultraviolet, and I was really intrigued by Tori's past in there. I hope that you had fun with this one! :)

  9. Interesting.. sounds like it had quiet a bit going on. Glad you were able to reestablish the attachments. I actually never heard of this series before, so its new to me. Great review though!

  10. Wonderful review, Maja. I haven't read Ultraviolet, but both books sound really interesting.

  11. I thought Ultraviolet was original and interesting but I didn't fall in love with it so I'm not sure I'll read this one. Then again, I might just because the author is a fellow Canadian :) Great review, Maja.

  12. I haven't read the first book in this series but I've heard some great things about it. I'm glad that you've enjoyed this one too. Great review Maja :)

  13. I have this book on my e-reader, and am SO excited to start it after this review. I didn't realize this was more of a sequel than a companion. I need to breeze through Ultraviolet again on my Kindle quickly, because it's been too long. But I am thrilled to hear that Alison and Tori's voices are so different, and that you didn't find yourself missing the tone of book one too much. Anderson is clearly a very talented writer, and you're dead right about originality. Lovely review Maja!

  14. I loved the first half of Ultraviolet - the synesthesia and the mental hospital - more than the alien second part, so I've been hesitant to continue this series. Also, I felt like poor Alison was also left all alone at the end of her book, and thought she also had more story, so I was hesitant to move characters. But your lovely review definitely makes this book sound much more compelling. I do like that this author tackles some things that aren't discussed a lot, and the fact that it is more of a sequel and former characters re-imerge is definitely appealing. I will reconsider reading this one!


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