Thursday, February 14, 2013
Carolrhoda LAB, 2013
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
*Light spoilers for Ultraviolet*
In the stunning first book Ultraviolet, we meet Alison, tortured by synesthesia and suffering under the assumption that she has murdered her classmate only to discover a shocking twist that upends her previous knowledge of life. Now we see the perspective of the missing girl Tori and just how extraordinary she is.
The book opens with Tori and her parents preparing to disappear as police and scientists try to probe more deeply into Tori's leaving and returning. They are sure there is more to the story but how can Tori explain that? So they retain new identities but their woes are not over as Tori remains tied to Alison and their shared misadventure looms large in both of their memories.
Going in to this book, I knew we'd be getting a different narrator and I am mixed on that. I liked Tori a lot, especially because she is so brilliant and cunning. She seems to have a natural knack for reading a situation and responding in the best way in addition to her mathematics and engineering talents. But it was also sad to mostly say good bye to Alison because I liked her a lot too. This is the case where both narrations are strong and effective. Although there is also the introduction of a new cute guy, romance is really in the background of these books and I appreciate that the focus is more on strong characterizations of female characters with all their attendant strengths and weaknesses.
This story also fills in gaps from the first book. Remember how things changed at near the end of Utrlaviolet? Tori gives us a fresh glimpse into those events since she and Alison didn't entirely overlap and our knowledge was lacking. These past events were confusingly interwoven into the main narrative. I would like to pull them out and just read them again with the other scenes of Ultraviolet for best understanding-guess I will need to get print copies of both!
Overall: If you enjoyed the excellent writing and twists and turns of Ultraviolet, then you'll definitely want to check out this companion to complete the story. I wasn't sure a sequel was necessary but now having read it, I feel like it really made everything more whole.