Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Titans by Victoria Scott

Titans by Victoria Scott
From Victoria Scott, author of FIRE & FLOOD, comes a thrilling story of impossible odds.
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.

Publishes in US: February 23rd 2016 by Scholastic Press
Genre: ya fantasy
Source: earc from Scholastic via Edelweiss
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.

My review of Scott's other YA series (amazing)
Fire and Flood series reviews
Fire and Flood
Salt and Stone 

Buy it:

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog

    I wanted to read Titans because I loved Victoria Scott's first series and wanted more of her writing, characters and world building.

    Astrid is the main character and she is smart and driven and very interested in the Titan races. it's something she loves because of the horses which are a blend of animal and machine from what I understand that about 10% through. she loves The mechanics, the how and why to things so the build and the computer coding to get the animals to race and be good at what they're doing is right up her alley. it's also something that she hates because she is in a lower class family and it feels like the Titan races are where the rich get richer and poor bet all they have on the races. not only her grandfather has lost catastrophically his way of life, his home where she and her family were staying, he lost everything to betting when Astrid was young, leaving them on the streets. They were slung okay once Astrid's dad found a job at a factory but on top of it all 'dad has just lost his job.

    There is the family dynamics and friendship and it was complex but fascinating to read about. As far as family dynamics go, Astrid's dad is pretty overbearing and he is bitter about not having work and it creates a rift in the family at times. Astrid has 2 sisters Dani and Zara. they all three are pretty different Dani is dating a guy and she is pretty obsessed with him and she uses barbs like he would never let them lose their house or lose their job that he would protect them against their dad. Zara is the younger sister and she depends a lot on Astrid. their mom is both present and absent if that makes any sense. she holds the family together and she make them dinner and keeps house running and listens to them but when things get tough she kind of disappears into garden which is her main hobby. as far as friendship Astrid's best friend is Magnolia and I guess that's the case in some aspects of opposites attract because magnolia is very fashion and accessory oriented but their friendship still makes it because they share an interest in watching the Titan practices and races and they have been next door neighbors for forever so that was also a glue that holds them together. Along with the fact that Magnolia's dad used to work with Astrid dad and they have both lost their job and are looking for new ones now, there is a lot that holds then together, and they know they have someone who gets it.

    I also appreciated that there wasn't romance in this one. Astrid gets more focused on her family, friendship, and the help (from Rags and his friend) that comes from the most unexpected places. Most of all, she gets used to her unique Titan, and wanting to win the races, and therefore help her family and discover a lot about herself. Now, while I love a good romance, it is refreshing to have one without it. There is enough going on with the characters and the action of the Titans.

    I really enjoyed watching Astrid bond with the Titan aka Padlock and realize its limits as well as hers. She wants to believe that it's just a machine and that there's no cognizance or emotions or feelings but the more she's around him the more she begins to question that. There's one moment on their first run where she completely forgets what she's doing and how to do it and they're barely dodge a tree and what she finally gets her wits about her and gets down she says she swears she sees the Titan looking at her with an expression of you're an idiot. The companionship, understanding, and respect that they formed was wonderful to watch. Astrid and Padlock had a one up relationship, they would joke and play around, but then they shared a seriousness and a vision of winning, and of the thrill of the race.

    I really appreciated how Rags, Barney, and Lottie all took in Astrid and Magnolia. They offered their technical help, as well as helping them to learn to be a part of the world. Lottie is a woman that has money, but she has class, and she ended up helping them to have that as well, learning courtesy, etiquette, and also showing them when to ignore what she's taught them and to have inner strength.

   I devoured this one, the alternating action and then the character building, and the family dynamic changing and evolving throughout the story. Realizing when to accept help and when to support and encourage each other.

   I also loved the ending. It all came together well, wrapped up well, and I was happy with it. Some things were sad, others happy, and others hopeful. I love Scott, and will read any future books.

Bottom Line: Couldn't put it down, loved the characters, action, and sense of family and friendship.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you like horses? Would you ride a mechanical one?

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