For some reason when I started the book, the opening didn't completely grab me and I put it aside for a few days thinking I probably wouldn't finish it. Then came the line at the dentist's office, and my desperate need for something other than six-month old business magazines to pass the time. I picked it up again, and I'm so glad I did. What a find. I really enjoyed it.
The world-building is great, with plenty of details to sink your teeth into. The book tells the story of Celia, a 911 dispatcher from Tuscon, who falls through a magical gate only to discover a lost Viking tribe. In this new world, each person develops a special magical "Talent," such as finding, persuasion, empathy etc. We also learn that a Native American tribe passed through the same gate centuries ago, which was a seriously cool idea.
Robertson manages the unusual feat of creating a world filled with mostly decent people, but that is full of conflict for genuine reasons. The heroine is especially lovable: she tries hard, makes honest mistakes, apologizes for them, and doesn't give up.
My only gripe is that at times I was afraid the book was veering into horror movie territory: the basic TSTL scenario when the character makes mistakes the reader can see from a mile away. "Don't trust that dude with the mask--he's clearly BAD!" But Robertson manages to pull it off without making the reader too annoyed with her heroine's naivete.
All in all, this was a really fun read.