Sunday, 8 September 2013

Heart of Briar by Laura Anne Gilman

An interesting and promising start in this first book of the Portals duology by author Laura Anne Gilman.

Unlike what the cover may indicate, this is not a YA book. The characters are in their thirties, with established life's and relationships.

Jan and Tyler have been together for four months now. And they're in love...

But one day Tyler disappears without a trace. Neither of them has any family left, and Jan's inquiries go unanswered .
Four days after Tyler's disappearance Jan is approached in a bus by two strange men. In fact one of them seems to have a a dog...or a wolf...who tell her, that she is Tyler's only hope.

A normal person reaction (and Jan's!): Get away from me!

Yeah, Martin and A.J social skills, kind of suck.."luckily" for them, an attack is made to Jan's life, leaving her more prone to believe... in the unbelievable.

What i liked more about Jan: She's a logical person, so her actions reflect that.
 None of accepting things immediately like some silly characters do: "Oh, you're a werewolf and a Kelpie!! Awesome, lets go to Fairyland and play with the unicorns!!"

No, she's an intelligent person who does use her brain...and you know what?
She doesn't turn into a fighting machine..or discover some magical power (at least not in this book). No, she has no fighting skills, she's fairly good with a computer and she has asthma attacks.

Another thing that i enjoyed, was the way the author managed to balance the more logical situations with magical characters. This can be very tricky....i know, i've read some books who crashed and burned in this discipline.
Then there's Tyler....who has gotten himself into a "bit of a mess" like an idiot (i'm being kind because he does go through hell), allowing himself to be kidnapped off to Fairyland.

But the way the author shows us what he goes through, was heartbreaking sad....and maybe the only reason i'm not rambling against the schmuck.

Then there's Martin. Martin who will be fundamental in helping Jan get Tyler back. Martin is a supernatural. A very different supernatural. He's a Kelpie!
That's right! He can transform himself into a horse...the type that drowns people who are stupid enough to get on this back...he says it's a "thing" he has....

I guess this can turn into a love triangle....there's definitely something starting between Martin and Jan....but she loves Tyler..even though he broke her heart. So, i'm really curious to see, what is going to happen...

The world building was very interesting. The writing dynamic and engaging. The characters appealing (the bad guys infuriating!) yes, i'll be reading the next one in this series. Luckily i don't have to wait all that long for "Soul of Fire" to be released.

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