Sunday, 10 April 2011

Portal by Imogen Rose

Series: The Portal Chronicles, Book One
Publisher: Unknown
Format: Kindle Edition
Published: 20th January 2011
Number of Pages: 350
Book: Bought
Genre: Time-Travel, Sci-Fi, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 11+
Contains One Incident of Mild Violence, No Swearing or Sexual References

Come Find Me Two Years Ago...
Six words that propelled ice hockey playing tomboy, Arizona, into an alternate dimension.
She suddenly found herself in the past. In one moment she went from being an ice hockey playing teenager in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California. She found herself transported from a happy life with her dad, Dillard, to a new, strange one living with her mother whom she hates. Apparently it's a life she's always lived in.
Everyone knows her as Arizona Darley, but she isn't. She is Arizona Stevens.
As she struggles to find answers she is certain of one thing- that her mother Olivia, a brilliant physicist, is somehow responsible. .
PORTAL is the story of the repercussions of Olivia Darley's attempt at creating a perfect world for herself and her children. Arizona's quest for answers threatens to undermine the seemingly perfect world that her mother has so carefully constructed.
PORTAL is the first book of the Portal Chronicles. Fans of time travel, romance, and the supernatural will enjoy Arizona's quest for answers.

Once again, lots of split reviews over this book.  I can see why, now that I’ve read the book.  I loved the idea of the book, and the plot was good, if a little slow at times.  It was the language that bugged me: it was all overly formal, and didn’t flow at all.  And how many 17-or-so teenage boys say:
“I feel tremendous pressure to do so.”? 
It just didn’t sound right to me, and the language went on like that.  For example:
"She is being taken up to x-ray now. She said that she's absolutely fine, but I guess they want to make sure. She is right there on the gurney." 
Does that sound like part of a normal conversation to you?  To me, it just isn’t how someone would speak casually, or naturally. 
That was my only negative point about the book though.  I loved the alternate world side of it, and how one day our protagonist, Arizona, just wakes up and realises she isn’t in her own universe.  She’s no longer a tomboy, but a cheerleader, she has friends she doesn’t know and no idea what on Earth’s going on.  It was just the way Imogen Rose jumps between the first person told from the POV of Arizona and then third person from her mother, Olivia, which I thought was brilliant and worked incredibly well.  And the way she slowly revealed little snippets of information, mainly through flashbacks from Arizona’s mother was pure genius.  Everything just fell into place slowly, and there were twists that knocked me completely off balance.   
I really liked Arizona: she was strong and believably frustrated at suddenly being trapped in an alternate world.  That was completely understandable, though I didn’t really get why she seemed more concerned with ice hockey that with getting back to her own time.  Then again, we all cope in different ways, and I think this was her way of dealing.  I really liked her, and the way she stood up for herself, even feeling sorry for her, and completely confused with her.  The supporting characters were brilliant as well – Kellan, Ella, Ariele and Harry to name a few – although some of them could be padded out a little more.  As for Arizona’s mother, I started off hating her, because that was how Arizona saw her.  But then, with the help of a few flashbacks, I started to realise why.  It was hard to hate her so much then.
I loved the sci-fi romance and the time-travel, wanting to know what was going on just as much as Arizona did.  It took me a while to get into – mainly because I was reading The Hunger Games, which is completely addictive – but when all the twists began, I was hooked.
Portal was not the best written, but the plot made up for it.  I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending was such an unexpected cliffhanger it’s untrue.  Now, I need the next book in the series, because I really want to know what happens next!
Overall, the plot was slow to begin with, but full of mystery and surprises.  I really liked it.  The only drawback: the writing.  Which is honestly such a shame, because otherwise this would have gotten far closer to a 5 from me.

Star Rating:
3¾ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking
My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking
The Seeker Series (Blood of Gold) by B. V. Larson

Challenges It's Taking Part In:


T.B. said...

This one sounds great! That's very cool with the whole idea of the alternate universe. Sorry that the language bothered you though. Awesome review!

Rockie said...

Great review. Yeah, the language does sound strange. :/ I'll check it the book out those. It sounds good other than that. :)

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Cliona said...

Ugh, I hate that really formal writing in books too. It's SO unrealistic!

I will tell you when I have reviewed Pretty Little Liars, should be soon, I'm nearly done. Thanks for your comments!

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

T.B. Me too! It annoys me when the language lets the books down.
Rockie: It was, other than the silly language.
Cliona: Me too! And soo annoying! Cool, thanks!

Thanks for the comments!