Thursday, July 25, 2013

ARC Review: Heart of Briar by Laura Anne Gilman

The Particulars: Urban Fantasy, Harlequin Luna, available as e-book and in print
The Source: e-ARC from Netgalley
The Grade: C+
The Blurb:

“He has been taken. And you are his only chance.” 
That wasn’t something Jan expected to hear-especially from strangers who’d just rescued her from some mysterious and ferocious creatures. And she really hadn’t expected her rescuers to be shape-shifters….
Now it turns out her boyfriend, Tyler, hasn’t gone missing, he’s been stolen-and Jan’s the only one who might be able to get him back.
From Elfland.
Yeah, Jan’s pretty sure the entire world’s gone crazy. Even if the shifters claim that the naturals (like her) and the supernaturals (like them) belong in this world…but the preternaturals, what humans call elves, don’t.  And the preters have found a portal into our world. A doorway they can use to infiltrate, to take, to conquer.
Jan’s not just Ty’s only hope – she’s got to rescue humanity, as well….

The Review:
I love Laura Anne Gilman's novels, so when I saw this one at Netgalley, I requested it on the spot. After reading it, I am glad I did. Mostly. I had one big issue with it.

This is the first book in the Portals duology, which isn't set in the Cosa Nostradamus world. No, this is a world filled with tension between the non-native Preternaturals and the native Supernaturals. I really liked that the Preters and the Supers behaved very differently. The Preters were cold, and only acted for the benefit of Preters. The Supernaturals on the other hand, were motivated with a drive to save the world.

The characters were intresting. I liked how Jan struggled with the fact that Supers and Preters existed. I also liked the fact the Supers didn't try to hide that the situation was dangerous, and that she shouldn't really trust them.

Jan's, Martin's and to some degree AJ's, search for Tyler was well plotted. I liked how it took Jan from an ordinary life, to a life filled with danger. What I especially liked was Jan's stubbornness. She was scared, but she searched for Tyler anyway. And I really admired her when she faced the Preters.

Despite all the things I liked with this book, I didn't feel the urge to pick it up to continue reading when I put it down. But I still plan to get the second book.

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