The trouble with reading really wonderful fantasy is that for a while afterwards everything else seems incredibly meh. It's like eating a box of chocolates and then having to eat the cardboard box. This is probably an OK sort of book, but I just couldn't get through it. Premise: bloke buys an old house where strange things happen, discovers it's a portal to an alternate reality. The bloke and his modern world life are rather dull. The alternate reality is standard fantasy - there are mages and crystals and warring kingdoms and evil priests and a long-lost heir to the throne. Stop me if you've heard any of this before. There's also an Ethereal, a girl who has to be tortured to release some sort of power, which is (slightly) interesting. But none of it grabs me enough to keep reading. One star.