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Bending the Spine

Friday, June 10, 2011

Early Review: Ultraviolet by RJ 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 wakes up in a mental institution. As she pieces her memory back together, she realizes she’s confessed to murdering Tori Beaugrand, the most perfect girl at school. But the case is a mystery. Tori's body has not been found, and Alison can't explain what happened. One minute she was fighting with Tori. The next moment Tori disintegrated—into nothing.

But that's impossible. No one is capable of making someone vanish. Right? Alison must be losing her mind—like her mother always feared she would.

For years Alison has tried to keep her weird sensory abilities a secret. No one ever understood—until a mysterious visiting scientist takes an interest in Alison's case. Suddenly, Alison discovers that the world is wrong about her—and that she’s capable of far more than anyone else would believe.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2011 by Carolrhoda Books (first published February 6th 2011)
ISBN 0761374086 (ISBN13: 9780761374084)
primary language: English

I was very much intrigued by the description of this book.  I didn’t read anyone’s reviews of the book, nor put much thought into selecting this for review—I just HAD to read it!  And, unfortunately, I wasted my time.

From the moment I began reading, I was hooked.  The vivid descriptions, the word-pictures all had and held my attention.  The teenage angst wasn’t even too bothersome and actually added to the story, instead of detract from it.  I wanted to know what happened to Tori and why Alison was institutionalized.  With an unusual cast of characters at Pine Hills, Alison begins to cope with her unusual sensory-acuteness.

Then enters Dr. Sebastian Faraday.  I don’t know if anyone else saw this, but (and maybe in Toronto Lost did not air), Faraday was one of the characters.  I felt maybe this was ironic and unfortunate, but saw many of the scenarios in the book similar to Faraday-plot on the show.  I wanted to like him, but had to hate him.  I knew right away that he was up to no good, I just had to keep reading to prove it.  I was right and wrong.  And I’m not going to talk anymore about it, because it will ruin the story if you decide to read Ultraviolet.  Even though, I am going to go ahead and tell you now, don’t.

RJ Anderson had a great story, all the makings of a great mystery for the first 200ish pages.  But it went downhill real quick.  At one point, I put my laptop down, turned to my beautiful wife and said, “I hate this book.”  I finished reading it just so I could do this review.  And honestly, should have reviewed it without reading the last third of the book—my review would have been MUCH more glowing.  It sucked that bad.  It would have been a much better story if Anderson had quit writing at page 220 and started over from there.  Ultraviolet has the absolute worst ending of any book I have read this year, and maybe even ever.  It is disconnected from the rest of the story like a movie who’s big twist hits you out of left field, but this is SO far out of left field that it obliterated the plot and left me bewildered and slightly confused.

1.5 Stars: Not quite an epic fail, but not too far from it.

Many Adventures,

*This pre-release was provided to my by the publishers trough netGalley*

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