Impervious by A J Hatley @authorajhartley @publishinguclan @lovebooksgroup #bookreview

Trina Warren didn’t plan on being anyone’s hero.

She planned on going to fourth period as normal. But then there was a bang, and an overturned chair, and everything was different.

Now Trina finds herself in a fantasy world, pursued by a faceless, nameless monster that only she can stop.

Just one second is all it takes for Trina to turn from a regular clumsy high school girl, to a monster-fighting warrior. Just one second is all it takes for everything to change

About A. J. Hartley

I write mystery/thrillers (often with an archaeological bent such as my Deborah Miller or Thomas Knight books), fantasy adventures of the swords and sorcery variety (albeit from the slightly unusual perspective of a smart-mouthed young actor called Will Hawthorne), historical fiction (such as my adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth), and my Darwen Arkwright series for younger readers (or young at heart readers). Then there’s my young adult work: the Steeplejack series, which is fantasy (of a sort), Cold Bath Street and Written Stone Lane (ghost stories), Cathedrals of Glass (science fiction) and Impervious (a kind of fan tase rooted in an all too real ordinary world). It may not make marketing sense, but I write the stories I feel like I have to tell. I have, alas, no brand, though I’d love to be able to live by the slogan “Fun books for smart people” 🙂

I was born in Northern England in Preston, and have lived in many places including Japan. I’m a Shakespeare Professor at UNC Charlotte, and though my Ph.D. was in literature I specialize in performance history and theory. You can reach me through my website (, facebook and twitter. I’m always delighted to hear what people think of my work. Enjoy!



IMPERVIOUS, by AJ Hartley, starts as a great fantasy adventure novel that caught my interest early and kept the pages turning.  Fantasy-loving-book-nerd Trina Warren considers herself to be an unlikely hero when charged with saving her small town in Treysville, NC from an evil entity. Evil, she learns, strikes at random targets because it can and with no other explanation needed. 

The cover is perfect with its daunting font and the shadow image of Trina with her sword. I love her silhouette against the row of lockers. She reminds me of River Tam from Serenity. And Trina is just as mighty. 

Trina’s high school day goes from ordinary to horrifying as the monster she is chosen to defeat weaves her through a series of RPG—Role Playing Video Game—like situations. The author drops many different fanfiction references from Harry Potter and Star Trek to Shakespeare and Narnia. The one Hartley fails to mention is Life of Pi. If you are familiar with that story, be warned—the reference is warranted. If you aren’t, a section of this review at the end will include some spoilers, but ones that a reader might want to be aware of. 

Most of the novel is appropriate for young adult readers. There is no more gore and carnage than the average book. However, there are parts that may be disturbing to some. (See spoiler section). That being said, the novel is important,  well written,  and highly engaging. While Hartley admits his novels don’t follow a consistent brand, I’m certainly going to want to read more!

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