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Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson
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Quicksilver (2013)

by R. J. Anderson

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****MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR BOTH BOOKS IN THE SERIES, BECAUSE I AM GOING TO FANGIRL AND PROBABLY GIVE AWAY A LOT OF DETAILS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.****

Okay, let me gush about Ultraviolet and Quicksilver for a bit, because this has literally everything I have ever wanted in a book, okay? I'm not even exaggerating. EVERYTHING.

1. Synaesthesia. This was so well portrayed -- probably the best I've seen in fiction.

Dramatic, yes. Confounded with other abilities and quirks, yes. But still so accurate and vivid. (Those tests Faraday gave Alison? I did those in a psych study once. Cue me geeking out all through that scene.)

2. Awesome, well-developed female leads.

I've got to say, I thought I wouldn't like Tori at first. Wow, was I ever wrong. She's probably one of my favourite main characters I've encountered in YA. (I also love Alison, but I did right from the start, so it wasn't as much of a surprise.)

3. The setting. I'm 99.9% sure that Quicksilver is set in the area I grew up, which is awesome (and Ultraviolet in Northern Ontario, which is awesome because when do you ever get sci fi set in Northern Ontario? Answer: not nearly enough).

4. The internet-schooling. This is the first Internet-schooler I've ever seen in fiction. And as someone who did almost all of her high school online, that makes me so. excited.

5. The sci-fi aspect. It was just really cool. I liked the explanation, I liked the technologies. Sci-fi is something that I usually prefer in TV shows to books for some reason, but the sci-fi here was great.

6. An amazing, canonical asexual character. I could gush about this for approximately forever (man, I wish I could post two reviews here because then I would definitely dedicate one to just the asexual aspects because I am SO THRILLED), but I'll restrain myself here.

But basically. The asexual aspect was done so well. And how it ended with the relationship thing? I'm so impressed.

Tori isn't a stereotypical asexual character. The book was respectful, and accurate, and fantastic.

TL;DR: This was AMAZING. RJ Anderson, you have earned my undying admiration. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
Best read closer to the first book in the series.
Tor is now Nikki and she and her family have moved and she's trying not to stand out and to find a lief for herself. It's complicated and messy and she just wants to live a life. To live she has to fight, using science. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jun 24, 2017 |
To prevent the public from learning about Tori's unusual DNA, technology "geek" Tori and her adoptive parents move to a new town and change their names.
  lkmuir | Dec 8, 2015 |
An enjoyable follow up to Ultraviolet, though rather different in tone. I liked the exciting sci fi plot, and loved practical, sciency protagonist Tori. I was particularly glad to read a book with an asexual main character. ( )
  Tafadhali | Nov 18, 2015 |
First thing you should know: Quicksilver is a sequel. It has a different protagonist and shows many of the relevant events from the first novel through flashback, but you’ll still have a better grasp on what’s going on if you read the first book.

Since that’s out of the way, I really loved Quicksilver. Like, really loved Quicksilver. It has so much going for it, and it manages to avoid so many pitfalls.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, because of spoilers for the first book, but I’ll post a sentence in the comments.

The characterization was overall excellent. Tori (or Niki, as she changes to), the protagonist, starts the book on the run from her past life, her mother helping her dye her hair in a gas station restroom. Tori is both smart and capable, with a passion for engineering. However, she’s also realistically flawed. She keeps putting up barriers and not telling people the truth, although it’s often easy to see why. She feels a desire to be “normal” and liked, and this often translates into her feeling like she has to lie.

Also, Tori/Niki is asexual. And she even uses the word! Do you know how rare this is for any book, and especially YA? Oh, and while Tori’s asexual, I don’t think she’s aromantic. There’s still sort of a romantic relationship here, it just is a lot more complex and very different than your standard YA book. If you want to know more about how Tori’s asexuality is handled, there’s an asexual blog that looked at it more in depth here.

Regarding the other characters, they all seemed very life like. I loved Milo in particular, and I was also impressed with the depiction of Tori’s parents. They are not perfect by any means, but they have a lot larger role than in most YA books and clearly love her. Also, Faraday from the first book appeared. He’s still a jerk, but Tori knows it.

Speaking of Faraday, I still don’t like his relationship with Allison. Way too many creep vibes there.

So, I’m not going to lie, I think you should probably read the first book, Ultraviolet, before you get into Quicksilver since it basically revolves around the fall out from the first novel. Still, if you can’t get into Ultraviolet for whatever reason, Quicksilver‘s different in a lot of ways and you may like it better.

Recommended to people looking for a rather genre defying YA novel, particularly if they like science fiction. Also very much recommended if you are looking for an asexual protagonist.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jun 12, 2015 |
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For Nick, who likes to make things
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On June 7, the year I turned sixteen, I vanished without a trace.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.… (more)

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