The Heart of Hannen is billed as an adult Fantasy/Romance. (Adult as in 18+, not “Adult” as in XXX.) I think it falls more in the Horror category. The last thing I read that was this twisted was my last Stephen King novel. Seventeen-year-old Christine is “the town psycho” and can’t find a way to fit in with her family or her classmates. When she finds herself quite literally in another world (Atriia), she realizes that her life was actually pretty good and she didn’t appreciate what she had. She then risks everything to attempt to return to her family.
I haven’t read a horror (I guess you can call it Dark Fantasy, but it’s pretty much the same thing) novel in a long time, and I kept expecting things to be “happy” and that didn’t happen much in this book. This book is well-written and I’m looking forward to reading the next book to see what happens next, because even though there was a pretty major twist that wasn’t fully explained, I’m not really sure where the plot can go from here. It’ll be interesting to see.
Update 6/27/11: It *was* all explained. I asked Ms. Bonning about it and she (kindly) reminded me of all the clues in the story that I didn’t put together. I’m still looking forward to the second book. 🙂
There is a glossary at the end of the book for the Atriian language. You’ll need it. Some of the words are intuitive and it’s pretty easy to pick up the language once you see the words a few times, but you don’t want to try to read this book without the glossary.
This book does contain some sex (though it’s not the focus of the book) and a lot of blood and violence.