Title: Portal (Portal Chronicles #1)
Author: Imogen Rose
Genre: Science Fiction
On the way home from the SAT with her dad one afternoon, ice-hockey-playing tomboy Arizona falls asleep…and wakes up at night in a different car with her mother. She suddenly finds herself living the life of a glamorous cheerleader, transported from her happy life with her dad to living with the mother she hates. Everyone knows her as Arizona Darley, but she isn’t. She is Arizona Stevens. As she struggles to find answers she is certain of two things — that her mother is somehow responsible, and that she wants to go back home to her real life. At least until she meets Kellan…
I picked up Portal on a whim. The cover wasn’t the greatest, and the synopsis sounded only okay, but I read the first chapter on Amazon and thought it sounded interesting. So I decided to give it a try.
And am I ever glad I did.
I loved Arizona. Kick-butt hockey player Arizona Stevens is suddenly popular cheerleader Arizona Darley, and I loved watching her adjust. I also loved watching her try to hide how lost she was, because she was afraid of going back to the psych ward (just another layer of interesting to an already fascinating character).
Kellan was awesome, too. He was sweet and considerate, but he wasn’t perfect. He got mad sometimes, and butted heads with Arizona every once in a while. He wasn’t s pushover, but he was supportive, and willing to give Arizona the benefit of the doubt. He was great.
In fact, I loved almost all the characters. Arizona’s sweet little sister Ella, her big brother Harry, her best friend Ariele…even the more minor ones, like Arizona Darley’s cheerleading friends, were fun. The only ones I didn’t love were Arizona’s parents, because I knew they were hiding something.
The plot was awesome. There was the main, how-the-heck-did-Arizona-Stevens-become-Arizona-Darley plot, which could be considered one and the same as the getting-back-to-Arizona-Stevens’s-world plot, plus romance, trying to adjust to her new school and friends, and issues with an angry wanna-be-friend. It was all brilliantly fascinating and delightfully complicated.
If I hadn’t known Portal was an Indie book, I wouldn’t have guessed it. The plot was brilliant, the writing was excellent, the characterization was awesome, the emotion was real. The whole book was strong and professional. I was highly impressed.
When I picked it up, I thought Portal was a standalone. I was wrong. It’s actually first in a series, and I am thrilled. After the awesomeness of Portal, I can’t wait to read book two, Equilibrium.
I received a free review copy of Portal from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.
The Portal Chronicles: