The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

The Almost Girl - 

Amalie Howard

Actual rating:


ARC provided by Strange Chemistry through Netgalley


I hate writing bad reviews, so I'm going to try to keep this short...

The first problem with this book is the blurb. It promises a heroine who rose to the rank of Legion General and is the right hand of the Prince.
This is YA so, from this description, I was expecting a mature young woman - not a child.

This just isn't realistic - yes, child soldiers are an unfortunate reality in our very world, but this is absurd.

This is a child who claims to have "held a sword before the age of two". Before. The. Age. Of. Two. You know, when the more advanced babies (who don't have to be fed by hand) are drinking from sippy cups because they lack the hand-eye coordination and proper muscle control to drink from a normal glass without spilling everything on themselves. When some of them haven't even learned how to talk. When most of them are still in diapers.
This child was having actual sword fights?
Is this a joke?

You'd expect that, in a highly militaristic society, the great leaders would be hardened warriors who have seen many battles and possess the strategic know-how to win many more. Mature men and women, is what I'm saying.
But she's been Legion General for "the better part of a year" when she's "barely fourteen"?

You can't expect readers to sustain their disbelief for something this preposterous!

But moving on, at least we'll get to see awesome battles, and then Riven having to acclimate to modern day Earth with a soldier's mindset... in high school?

Yes. In high school.
This entire book reads like the dreaded high school AU every fandom produces.

Considering her young (way too young!) age, and her high rank, you'd expect Riven to be wise beyond her years. A master spy, someone practically emotionless, someone hardened into nothing but a weapon.

But not only does she spend the majority of the book fainting, getting caught off-guard, and just generally being inept, when she tries to blend into her high school setting, she draws attention to herself by dyeing her hair green and blue, is hostile to her fellow students, and rides in on a Ducati.

Truly, at this point, I'm going through trying to figure out which fandom this work is ripping off, because this is the worst case of a self-insert Mary-Sue into a high-school AU since Ebony (aka Enoby) Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way.

Sprinkle some slut-shaming on top of this and what you have is a book by an author I do not intend to read again.