The Portal by Russell James is a bone-chilling horror story about what happens when our sins come back for us. This fast-paced story went straight for the action and mayhem from the very beginning. We shouldn’t expect less when the book is about the consequences of making deals with the devil.
The story starts off in the past. Five young girls in 1720 try to come together for a Mr. Blackwell. They have specific instructions, but before anything major can take place, they are disrupted. You are given some insight as to what their mission was, but you don't know all the facts as to what they were trying to do. The only clue as to who Mr. Blackwell is, is given at the end of chapter one. Through this gripping scene, the book begins and sets us up for the events that are about to unfold in 2020, 300 years later.
The Portal has many points of view, at least eight spread throughout the story. You soon learn that no matter how small the role, each character has a very important part to play in the grand scheme of things because releasing the damned from the bowels of hell takes more than one man! For me, that really added to the story because you were left wondering just what they had done to deserve the damned himself to call on them. As each character came into the story, it added a sense of mystery as you tried to piece together all the parts that were at play.
Three of those perspectives are seen more than the others. The first being our antagonist; Mr. Oates, who you learn fast is not a good man and is more sinister than ever imagined. We also have Scott and Allie, two high school sweethearts that were separated by time and now brought together under horrific circumstances. So, while there is horror laced within the pages, we also do get a reconnection of lost love. These two just must show that the pureness of love outweighs the evil of the world.
I will say, though, that some events left me speechless and utterly in shock (I’m still trying to get certain scenes out of my mind) but I cannot take stars off for that. I knew what I was getting myself into and I knew that sinister events were going to take place and well, consider this a warning.
Since it’s a book about the damned, religion does come into play and that might ruffle some feathers. I did like it, however, because it showed that even those who we view as “good” aren’t always as they seem. We are all imperfect, and we all have sins. This book was about what you decided to do when it came time to pay for those sins. Would you be coerced to make a deal, or would you meet your end to save those around you by doing what was right? This book is one that will have you on the edge of your seat, and though points of view change, the author makes it easy enough to follow and keep up with all events as they unfold.
Five stars for a read that had me up all night and watching comedy movies for a few days after.
The Portal will be available on October 20, 2020.
Pre-orders can be made at Simon and Shuster or Flame Tree Publishing.
Follow HorrOrigins Social Media Pages