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{November 7, 2013}   {Review} Through the Portal by Justin Dennis

12619949From Goodreads: When Jem and Oliver accidentally fall through a portal to another world just before their first year of high school, they quickly discover that all is not well here. The first person they meet, a creepy old man named Atychis, almost gets them killed by a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon. They’re only narrowly saved when Sierra, a shy farm girl from a nearby town, uses illegal magic to help them escape. Allowed to stay with her family while they try to figure out a way back home, Jem and Oliver begin to learn of magic and the Regime that is oppressing it.

It isn’t until the Regime kills a woman that the three kids realize they have to do something to stop the Regime from taking over completely. After being framed for a crime they didn’t commit and banished from the town, Jem, Oliver, and Sierra take off on an adventure across this strange world in an attempt to defeat the Regime. New creatures and new kinds of magic are around every corner, but so are dangers that could have them wishing they were back safe at home.

Through the Portal is the first book in a planned trilogy.

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This novel’s premise of traveling through a portal through the bottom of a lake is absolutely ingenious.  It really impressed me because it’s such a unique idea that really worked well in this story.  I am always impressed by the imagination of others, mainly because I have none of my own, and after the fact I always wish I had thought of it myself.  In this case, Dennis has done a great job creating the backdrop for his novel and drawing the reader in.  As our heroes travel through the portal, they are taken to a very different world all together, one with magic, dragons, and an intense dictatorship intent on ruling their world.

While I really enjoyed the ingenuity of this novel, I didn’t necessarily connect with the characters as much as I’d have liked to, and I feel that is because they are a bit juvenile for me.  However, I believe that a MG and YA aged readers who enjoyed fantasy and sci-fi will really enjoy this novel as it’s a true escape from our own world.  Three stars.

3 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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This book sounds interesting enough, though the portal at the bottom of the lake is reminiscent of an very old Twilight Zone show about a portal to another place at the bottom of a pool that came up into a lake. No dragons in that one though. Love your descriptions.



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