Free-spirited Annika Brisby has just turned down a proposal that promises a lifetime of security but no adventure. Seeking some distance between herself and her ex-boyfriend, Annika travels to the Balkan Mountains. A day hike gone to havoc sends her through a broken portal to another world. She is discovered by wood nymphs who seem convinced that Annika's presence is more than just chance, and they vow to get her back home with the help of a slightly debauched elf named Talvi. Unnerved at his advances, Annika makes the best of her situation by learning all she can about this dream-like new world. But the more she gets to know the genuine Talvi, the more she wonders if there's a path leading them toward each other. Together they sail over a monster-filled sea, navigate through a forest of flesh eating trees, and encounter a family of trolls, but the greatest obstacle will be Annika's ability to trust her new friends and confront her deepest fears.
I despise writing these reviews, but for weeks I picked this book up and then put it back down again. Unfortunately, Balkan Magic by Emigh Cannaday was simply not a book I could form an attachment to. Annika seemed like an interesting enough character, but when she discovers that there is a world beyond her own—and that she might be a part of it—it made this book fall flat for me. There was simply no conflict and no emotion at all; she was just okay with the fact that she was “different.” The other characters I met along the way were intriguing, but I still couldn’t form a connection to them.
I might give this book another try in the future, but for now I’m going to have to put it away.