The Dark Portal by Robert Jarvis

Many thanks go to Net Galley and the publisher, Lawsome Books, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I remember reading The Dark Portal when I was 10 or 11. It terrified me then! Getting the opportunity to reread it was wonderful and I jumped at the chance to see if it still held up. I didn't remember much about the plot at all, but now all the terrors and fears are back in my mind...it's wonderful!

The story follows the Browns, a family of mice, and their friends. After Albert Brown goes missing and is captured by rats, the some of the younger mice decide to try to find him, then each other. Meanwhile, Jupiter, the all-powerful god of the rats, is hunting for something of his own through the rats. The mice must also try to stop Jupiter from getting what he seeks.

Looking back, I remember being terrified of Jupiter. As a ten year old, something hiding in the dark with glowing red eyes is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Now, although I remembered before the end who Jupiter was, I still felt very anxious for the mice. The story holds up well over time and could really be based at anytime in the past or future, as long as there are gas pipes around.

I wouldn't advise this book for anyone under the age of 10, in fact maybe older would be better. The violence of the rats and the fears presented might be shocking for some. However, the book is full of wonderful characters and a plot which is moved along very smoothly by some wonderful story-telling. All in all then, a great book to reread...and there are two more in the Deptford Mice series as well! I think I may have to get those as well!

Star rating: 4 from 5


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