This was a different read. I enjoyed Esther’s debut book, but I have to admit I didn’t care for this one as much. It’s sort of one of those “what the heck did I just read?” kind of books. I like weird and I love sci-fi, this just was not what I was expecting.
The story is about Aerin, who has some kind of sensory attack while at a lake in upstate New York. She has no idea what happened to her but she knows she is different now. Aerin doesn’t want to risk going to a hospital so she seeks out a doctor/scientist for help. The problem is the doctor is Olivia, Aerin’s ex-girlfriend and childhood best friend. Can they keep the memories of the past at bay to find out what is wrong with Aerin?
For the most part, this book is what I would consider sci-fi lite. It actually might not be a bad choice for someone who wants to stick their toe in sci-fi but is a little reluctant. However, that’s not to say that this book is not weird. And I did feel it became a little convoluted towards the end. It almost felt like Esther was trying to cram too much in and my head was spinning a bit. Which is odd considering this is a shorter book that could have been made longer and is the start to a series (‘The portal’).
This leads me to a complaint, I hated how the book just ended. It didn’t even feel like a cliffhanger (although it is) but more like part of the book’s end is just missing. I hate when books end like that, drives me nuts. I did not realize when I grabbed this book that it was a series with no current ending. Knowing what I know now, half of me wonders if I would have still read this, but then the other half says ‘hey its lesfic sci-fi’, of course, I still would have read it.
Besides the annoying ending my biggest issues were the characters. I really struggled. I thought that Aerin was sort of okay. It was hard to connect to her because I could not tell if she was who she normally was or if she changed because of what happened to her in the lake. Is this her real personality? It made me feel disconnected to her so I felt a little indifferent instead. Olivia, on the other hand, was, in my opinion, awful. She was just nasty to Aerin and was still nasty with only a few chapters left to go. There was no time for character redemption. She was stuck on something that happened when she was sixteen and put too much anger on another child, it just didn’t make sense. All of her feelings were not invalid, but they sure should not have taken a whole book to get over. Maybe her character will grow in the next book, but something big needs to change or I will never believe in a possible romantic connection between the two mains.
Even though this was a weird premise, it had potential. I’m just such a character-driven reader that the characters messed up too much of the book for me. This is one of those books I can’t recommend, but I won’t say stay away either. With as much as I struggled with this, I will still probably read the next book since I want an ending. I’m hoping Esther can really turn things around in the next installment. 3 stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.