Thank you, Victoria Scott!
Title: Titans by Victoria Scott
Release Date: February 23rd 2016
Published by: Scholastic Press
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.
She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.
But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.
A very engaging read. That's something I didn't realize I need when I first started reading Titans. I'm in a year long slump, and Titans delivered a very entertaining story that just sucked me in right from reading page one.
I've had problems with female protagonists one too many times, and it seemed like I will have the same problem with Astrid. I feel like authors tend to make their female leads seem stubborn which will make them seem headstrong, but more often than not (and if not written properly), they will just come off as annoying. I was like that at first with Astrid. I was annoyed with her very much, but eventually my annoyance gave way to understanding. She's just a girl trying to save her family from falling apart completely, and she had been let down too many times to try and rely on others so she'd rather do something on her own. That in itself is admirable, and it made me understand her better.
What made Titans more charming for me are the addition of interesting characters around Astrid, supporting her. Her unlikely friendship with Rags and Barney, a pair of old but extraordinary and very intelligent people who can do a lot of great things. And I liked Magnolia from the very start. What a devoted friend, and really a friend to the truest sense of the word and I understand why one of Astrid's greatest fears is moving and leaving Magnolia behind. Where else will you find a friend who not only supports you in everything, despite having her own set of problems to deal with? Her quirky personality, her passion for art and her devotion for Astrid are what made Magnolia such a star in this book. And who can forget Padlock? I loved Padlock! Although I will admit, I thought the Titan's name will be a little more dramatic sounding, but Padlock was more than a horse for Astrid, though it was not like that at first. I liked how Astrid found another friend in him, and he was not just a means to an end, but a companion and a partner for a lonely girl who just want to feel loved, and was trying her best to take action when no one else would.
To be honest, what really made Titans an enjoyable read for me are the races. Victoria Scott didn't hold back and just described each race in such a way that the words swimming inside your head will effectively help you picture the scenes as they happen. What impeccable pacing! I keep on thinking how it would look like in real life. I feel the thrill, the danger, exhilaration and adrenaline through each obstacle and challenge the unlikely pair had to overcome. I was caught in each and every moment Astrid and Padlock push themselves on those tracks, with only one thing in mind: winning. There's more to the story than just racing, and I love how everything was incorporated to the novel. The strain in the dynamics of Astrid's family, her father's old fashion views, the perils of gambling and its consequences, a child blaming herself for a loved one's death, the gap between social classes and the social stigma one receives from being poor... all of these were woven in good timing inside the novel. Also, not every girl needs a love interest. I love how romance is not really a big factor in this, but that did not take away much from the story.
Thoroughly entertaining and addictive at times, Titan is a quick read that provides good entertainment for the readers in a good blend of sci-fi, fantasy, a side of angst and a healthy dose of action. Victoria Scott made it work! I did not let go until I flipped to the last page, and though the ending felt abrupt, this is one good read.
Content (plot, story flow, character):
The ending, as mentioned, felt a little abrupt. I kept on turning my ARC over wondering if I was missing a page or two! I was also able to figure out the ending way before I read the climactic scene.
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!
Perfect visual for what the story is about!
Perfect visual for what the story is about!