Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2)FeaturedHot
Now I am extraordinary.
And they will never stop hunting me.
The compelling follow-up to the bestselling ULTRAVIOLET, this psychological thriller will take your breath away...
Ultraviolet begins largely as a contemporary, then making a dramatic twist to science fiction. As I said in my review then, I really preferred the first half of Ultraviolet, with its focus on synesthesia and mental illness. Quicksilver does not have this issue, and is a much more even novel without the crazy twist that made the first book so incredibly compelling for many readers.
Anderson switches main characters in the second book of the series, a daring move that she pulls off brilliantly. I enjoy and the synesthetic beauty of Alison's narration, as well as how unreliable she is as narrator. However, Tori's no-nonsense, starkly honest personality captivates me. From Alison's point of view, Tori comes across largely as a stereotypical, popular, gorgeous mean girl. Now, having this window into Tori's mind, it is so apparent how much that isn't and never has been her.
Having made it back to Earth at the end of Ultraviolet, Alison and Tori go their separate ways, trying to settle back down despite the media frenzy at their return. When a lab begins asking questions of the Beauregards about Tori's odd genetic makeup, Tori's parents decide that the family must leave Sudbury. The family announces their move to Vancouver, but heads instead to Southern Ontario with new identities.
Tori, now Niki, gets a job at a grocery store and does her classes online. She remains aloof from others, including the obnoxious guy at the grocery store who reminds her of her slobbery ex-boyfriend. Her goals in life are not to be noticed and to work on her engineering, for which Tori has a passion. I love how this passion is exhibited in the chapter headings, all complex engineering terminology.
As is perhaps unsurprising, Tori's peace cannot last long. Sebastian arrives bringing news of trouble, and a detective is poking around looking for her. A coworker from the grocery store, Milo, gets caught up in everything and becomes her first real friend. Oh, Milo. He's Korean and athletic and such a good guy. Now that's what I'm talking about. He and Tori develop a complex bond, one that I loved to watch unfold. Also, this is the first time I've read a novel in which a main character was asexual, so that's awesome.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Alison, the MC from Ultraviolet, comes across as rather flat and weak in Quicksilver. I would have liked to see a bit more of her. This is a minor drawback, though.
The Final Verdict:
I raced through Quicksilver, intrigued by everything. Anderson pulls out all the stops and does not go easy on her characters; I saw that ending coming, but was still surprised when Anderson went through with it. Anderson's series is a must-read for science fiction fans.
Like Ultraviolet, there is nothing typical about Quicksilver. Its characters have many aspects that separate them from the standard YA archetypes, making them that seem much more real. Tori is strong yet flawed, and though she is incredibly brave, she still struggles with fears that everyone has experienced at one point or another. I can’t really say what it is about her that makes her so intriguing without spoiling part of the plot, but it’s something that I’ve never seen in a YA novel before. As a female science student, I really appreciated how Tori’s passion for engineering was used as commentary on what it’s like to be a female in a male-dominated field.
I love how Anderson isn’t afraid to write the story that she wants to tell. Like life, there isn’t always a happy ending, and the characters don’t always get what they want. In Quicksilver, Tori is placed in several horrible situations – one scene in particular had me instinctively covering my face and left me sitting there in shock after I had finished reading it. It was so intense, so unpredictable, and so different from what the readers would have wanted, making it seem even more real.
I’ve avoided saying anything about the plot since it’s very easy to spoil what happens in Ultraviolet for those who haven’t read it and, like its predecessor, an integral part of the reading experience is going in with next to no knowledge about the story itself. I will, however, say that the plot twists are well placed and completely unexpected.
While I am satisfied with how Quicksilver ended, I hope that this isn’t the last we hear of Tori, Alison, and Sebastian. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for another book in this series, but in the meantime, I highly recommend that you give it a try.