This is one of the few books I've read that I liked the beginning more than the rest. It goes off like a skyrocket at the start: you've got your heroine, portals, conflict, drama and a guy with a very strange occupation. Then in the middle of the book in strolls a love interest and our protagonist gets all glassy-eyed and the pace slows down from overdrive to first gear. Then at the end we get a lot of backstory of a seemingly inconsequential character and the focus of the story doesn't return to the protagonist until near the last chapter.The writing is above average but I wish the author had stuck more with the main character. Ever since The Hunger Games the YA market has been overrun with young ladies in dystopian settings kicking ass and taking names. This book has neither of those; points awarded for creativity.I was saved from a 4 star debate by a neat ending twist that I didn't see coming.Overall it was a mild really liked it and I would definitely read the next book in the series.