Genre: Science fiction, Young adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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 unique and unexpected science fiction novels I read last year, and I think I can say the same for Quicksilver. The second book in the Ultraviolet series is told from Tori's point of view, and describes her struggle to continue a "normal" life after the events from the previous book left the police with unanswerable questions.
Tori is an unconventional main character, in more ways than one. [Stop reading here if you don't want to be spoiled about the first book]She's a girl who likes engineering and is good at it too. People don't usually take her seriously, but Tori doesn't take no for an answer and proves her talents admirably. She's also asexual, which took her a while to figure out. She just isn't interested in making out with guys (or girls). Oh, and she's from another planet whose inhabitants share a common ancestor with humans.
I really liked Tori's perspective, and I definitely liked her more than I liked Alison. The unconventional romance in the first book frankly made me a little uncomfortable, although I could see why it happened, and I was glad that Tori shared some doubts as well. Tori is incredibly cynical but also has a very good heart; she never wants to hurt anyone and is willing to take a lot of risks to help others. Sebastian makes a reappearance, and he isn't the godly do-no-evil man that Alison perceived him as. You see other sides to his character, and although he may not be completely evil, he definitely has changed since the last book. I really liked the introduction of Milo, who dealt with a lot of the pressures that my community pushed on me and my friends. I liked that he was such a loyal and understanding friend without expecting something in return. He's just a nice guy who wants to help, and I admired that.
The author isn't afraid to take risks and make tough decisions about the characters, and that really made me appreciate this book more. The ending had me gritting my teeth and clenching my fists with the building tension, and once we finally found out what Tori's solution was, I was shocked.
I'd recommend this to anyone who is bored with the usual YA dystopian science-fiction. This one has a very unique flair.