Titans by Victoria Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GENRE: Young Adult
THEME: Fantasy, Science Fiction
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.
REVIEW:I’ve been a huge fan of Victoria Scotts since I was introduced to Dante Walker, her writing is very character driven and clever. I was super excited to read Titans, the original story line that adds a futuristic feel where real horses aren’t needed but now technology and mechanics are the main attraction. However this is very different from the romance I loved in Dante Walker, as its main focus is the determination of one girl trying to help her family, while discovering her love and friendship for a machine aka Padlock her Titan.
Astrid has had it rough since she was young, her grandfather put them on the streets due to his gamboling debt. And even though they got back on their feet, they were still poor. After her fathers loses his job and loses money to gambling, Astrid is determined to get a job. Astrid is given the chance to do something only the rich have done, join the races, a try a prototype of a Titan. She wants to win, so that she can help her family had her best friend Magnolia who is also dealing with her father losing his job.
What I love most about this story was the friendship and bon between Astrid and Padlock. Who knew you could love a machine so much, but Padlock is very different from other Titans. The races were a huge part of the plot, I really felt like I was in the races with Astrid.
The secondary characters who supported Astrid carried the story along perfectly. Each added a touch of something that was needed to guide Astrid through the races. Her best friend Magnolia was her big supporter. Her manager Rags, who may be grouchy but changes Astrid’s life for the better. And Lottie who is her sponsor for the races, she teaches Astrid about the rich.
Overall I really enjoyed the unique take on horse racing, focusing on family and friendship. I have read its similar to a book called the Scorpio Races, however I haven’t read that so I cannot compare. I have to say that this one is a must read and the characters are what really hooked me. The only bit I missed from Scotts other books, was the romance. I love romance and usually need it in book that I read, but I was still able to enjoy the creativity of the plot and awesome world building.
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Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series, and TITANS published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.
Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.
Find Victoria: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram | Goodreads
Note from the Author:
I predict I’ll receive many questions on why I chose to exclude a romantic story arc in Titans. The answer is fairly simple: I wanted Astrid to focus solely on her own objectives, and the hurdles she’d face in achieving them. Many times, the plot of a young adult novel will proceed at lightning speed only to grind to a halt when a love interest in introduced. Now, I’m usually fine, if not thrilled, with this change of course, because in the hands of a professional, introducing a love interest can be just the thing to invest the reader to an even higher degree. Having said that, it’s challenging to fully explore both a romantic interest and the character’s drive. It can certainly be done, but many times one ends up taking a back seat over the other. And I didn’t want that for Astrid Sullivan.
Because love is an attractive theme in young adult, my editor and I knew we were taking a risk, but so far, the reviews have been positive. Booklist said, “The refreshing lack of romantic subplot allows for greater focus on Astrid’s goals, as well as her relationship with family and friends, and the end result is a solid, exciting story about a determined girl faced with difficult circumstances.” For the record, Titans isn’t entirely without romance. Secondary characters find themselves faced with new, and old, love interests. And if I’ve done my job well, readers will root for these relations.
While Astrid doesn’t meet the perfect boy, she does meet one ornery old man who fills a crucial void in her life, a robotic horse that teaches her to trust again, and she holds on to the best friend a girl could ask for. These are things I wanted for Astrid. May you love her—and her admirable quest to save her family—as I do.
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