06 December 2012

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.

This is not her story.

Unless you count the part where I killed her.

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori—the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?
As soon as I closed Ultraviolet, I realized something: I had just read something that I normally wouldn't have liked, and yet for some inscrutable reason, I did.  I can't explain why, except that maybe I loved the main character, Alison.  There was a random genre hop, the plot got a little too easy to predict, the romance was kinda cheesy... But something about the entire story worked for me.

I loved the subject matter that drove the story in Ultraviolet.  Synesthesia is a natural occurrence, but I loved how there was a sci-fi element involved.  (Although, the sci-fi was where the genre hop came in. We're all meandering along, la-la-lala-la and suddenly there's a portal to the other side of the universe.  Did not see that one coming.)  Also, I liked seeing how Alison's "gift" played out as dementia.  There were a lot of small twists and turns and hidden paradoxes in the world of the mental institute she'd found herself in.  I liked how it was edgy, but not creepy.  I don't do creepy very well, but my interest was piqued by the world RJ Anderson created.

Alison was a great main character.  She was well defined and I enjoyed her narrative: slightly sarcastic, somewhat ragged.  And I liked how RJ Anderson applied definition to each of her characters.  Faraday shifted and evolved throughout the story.  Sweet, unassuming, and intelligent, I found him a very likable character.  And no matter how brief their appearance, each character had a uniqueness about them that made it easy for me as a reader to follow along with the story.

I really connected to Ultraviolet even though I could see things -- glaring scenes that would've had me scoffing and rolling my eyes had it been any other book -- things that should've bothered me, but didn't.  The writing, for example, got a little too rushed in the second half of the book and the lack of description was appalling, but I still loved it.  I was content from finishing a good book when I closed the cover.

I'm so excited for the sequel, Quicksilver, and what new adventures will come next.

Dark chocolate, poured over velvet: that was how his voice tasted. I wanted him to follow me around and narrate the rest of my life.
I heard the universe as an oratorio sung by a master choir of stars, accompanied by the orchestra of the planets and the percussion of satellites and moons. The aria they performed was a song to break the heart, full of tragic dissonance and deferred hope, and yet somewhere beneath it all was a piercing refrain of glory, glory, glory. And I sensed that not only the grand movements of the cosmos, but everything that had happened in my life, was a part of that song. Even the hurts that seemed most senseless, the mistakes I would have done anything to erase--nothing could make those things good, but good could still come out of them all the same, and in the end the oratorio would be no less beautiful for it.
Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 303
  • published - September 2011
  • publisher - Carolrhoda Books
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Ultraviolet
    • Ultraviolet
    • Quicksilver