Monday, 8 October 2012

Harbinger by Peta Crake

Harbinger is Peta Crake's debut novel out from Penguin Australia's Destiny Romance imprint in August. A copy of the book was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.

Ophelia is a modern Perth girl with a job that sends her travelling a lot: she's one of the messengers of the gods. All the gods of all the pantheons. Mostly, the gods don't trust technology (ever since Loki hacked the internet and bugged their phones), so they communicate through hand delivered messages. Never mind that Ophelia has no special powers and is forced to drive or hop on a plane at their every whim.

For some reason, I was expecting Harbinger to be a YA paranormal romance. It wasn't. Ophelia is in her mid-twenties, hence too old for YA, and while there are romantic elements, they're not central to the main plot. Instead, this is an entertaining read with lots of good banter and mysterious happenings.

There's something going on with the gods, Ophelia soon comes to realise. It has something to do with her, but no one will tell her what or why. Instead she's taunted, tortured and kept in the dark. Eventually all is revealed but in the meantime it's a frustrating and painful world for Ophelia.

I liked Ophelia as a character mostly because she was so (comparatively) normal. She got kicked around by the gods and then she picked herself up and kept going, because what else could she do? My only issue in terms of plot was that it seemed she was a bit too tortured to survive as sanely as she did. It seemed a bit too much at times, although it made sense in the context of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. There were some laugh-out-loud moments coming from the banter and some of the less life-threatening situations Ophelia finds herself in. Although Harbinger stands alone, I would probably read any potential sequels or other unrelated books by Crake. I look forward to seeing what she writes in the future.

3.5 / 5 stars

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