Friday, February 15, 2013

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson

Title: Quicksilver
Author: R.J. Anderson
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Pages: 320 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

Quicksilver (Ultraviolet, #2)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.


Ultraviolet was one of the most intense novels I can remember reading, and upon hearing from the author herself that a companion novel was in the works, I kinda sorta died of happy. Then I got better. Friends have been swooning over this novel in the weeks before I had the chance to read it and I see what the big deal is. Quicksilver is more of a typical thriller than a psychological thriller like the previous book, but it's still just as fantastic.

Though I expected greatness from the beginning, I never expected this! Tight plotting, well-developed characters (Sebastian in particular is so complex that it makes my head hurt),  and some very tense scenes will likely make this one of the best novels of 2013. Tori's passion for engineering feels real and her friend/confidante Milo is a welcome addition to a cast I already knew so well. Some of the commentaries offered on sexism in engineering--and in science in general, really--are spot-on and it called for a feminist fist-bump.

You'll never catch me saying I don't think there are enough people like me in books. Upper-middle-class white girls seem to have a hold on the genre, so there's nothing for me to complain about. Still, I want to thank Anderson for writing an asexual character like Tori because I have never seen/met someone else who identities as asexual in real life or in fiction. Now I can take comfort in the existence of Tori when people act like my sexual orientation is nonexistent.

There really isn't anything to complain about concerning Quicksilver, as I've already discussed, but there was never any personal investment on my part. With Ultraviolet, I was unable to let go of Alison, her internal struggle concerning her sanity, and how her synesthesia enhanced the reader's experience. Quicksilver was a whole other monster. Perhaps Tori being a science whiz has something to do with it; due to my hatred of science, I can sometimes have difficulty connecting to characters who love it dearly and whose love for it plays into the narrative.

I don't doubt fans of Ultraviolet will continue to love it, and the investment issue I had appears to be solely my issue. None of my friends have said anything remotely similar, and it seems the nearly-two-year gap between books was worth the wait.

3.5 stars!

What am I reading next?: Fading Amber by Jaime Reed