Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: Portal by Imogen Rose

From the back cover of Portal:

PortalCome Find Me Two Years Ago…

Six words that propelled ice hockey playing tomboy, Arizona, into an alternate dimension.  In one moment, she went from being a varsity hockey player in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California.

She found herself with a new dad.  She found herself in a new life.  One that she had apparently lived in always.  Everyone knew her as Arizona Darley, but she wasn’t .

She was Arizona Stevens.

She knew she had to find her way back to her real life, to her real dad…

Then she met Kellan…

*          *          *

Continue reading after the next set of red stars if you'd like to avoid anything that might be perceived as spoiler material...

Author Imogen Rose was very gracious to send this book to me after I expressed an interest.  Along with Jane Austen novels, I go for almost anything with a time-travel motif.  This preoccupation with the genre probably began when I was a child after seeing Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time.  After that I was hooked.  Then Back to the Future pulled me in more as a teen.

So here we have Portal, the first in a series of books called The Portal Chronicles that Ms. Rose is producing.  It’s centered on young Arizona Stevens, who finds herself in a new time and dimension.  Much of her life is the same, but there are many differences that alert her to this new existence.  We later learn that she and other loved ones have traveled through a portal.  She once was Arizona Stevens hockey player, but in this new reality, she’s Arizona Darley, cheerleader and Barbie emulator. She begins making a life for herself in her new reality, but she presses to return to her old life.  Matters are complicated when she meets the attractive Kellan and begins a romantic relationship with him.  She wants her old life back, but in order to get there she must leave Kellan behind.

*          *          *

was not quite what I expected, although I don’t know exactly what my expectations were. However, it was a delightful surprise.  I love the concepts introduced in Arizona’s world, and I came to care about the characters within the story.  While simply written for a young, Twilight-saturated demographic, this adult enjoyed the read.

The technology of the portal is shrouded in mystery—we don’t get much information on what it’s like or how it works for most of the book.  But technological explanations really aren’t the key here—the story is.  And while I found the first 100 pages a bit disorienting, it later enabled me to feel like a part of the story, as Arizona experienced the same confusion herself.  What is going on?  Where am I?  Who are these people?  These were thoughts that ran through my head as I began the novel.  But as things became clearer for Arizona, they became clearer for me as well.

The book ends on a dramatic note, setting the story up for the next book in the series, Equilibrium, scheduled to be released later this year.  I assume that this second title will not be a stand-alone volume, so I recommend that you go ahead and jump into Imogen Rose’s Portal when you’re ready for a light, entertaining, yet thought-provoking read.  I'll be looking forward to more of the same in Equilibrium.



  1. +JMJ+

    This sounds great! =) I can identify with waking up in a life very different from the one you're used to, wanting out of it, and then finding a reason to stay. =)

    Thanks for the review, Laura!

  2. Sounds like Enbrethiliel has a story of her own...

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. +JMJ+

    Well, yes, but unfortunately it doesn't involve a portal and an attractive guy! =P LOL!



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