Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Through the Portal (Through the Portal, #1)” as Want to Read:
Through the Portal (Through the Portal, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Through the Portal (Through the Portal #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Alternate-cover editions can be found here and here

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
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published August 25th 2011 by Amazon Digital Services LLC
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Through the Portal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Through the Portal

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Chandra Vice
Jul 11, 2015 Chandra Vice rated it really liked it
I think this was a really good story that could definitely have benefited from a good proofreader. There were times I'd be jarred out of the story because, for example, clothes was used in place of closed. There were also a few times the conversations seemed to end in a strangely abrupt fashion that didn't really flow. Still, the story itself rose above all that.

I like some of the parallels drawn to real world issues. For example, one of the animal species in the book has no gender; any of them
Feb 12, 2014 Charlie rated it really liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. What do I mean by that?

This was a difficult book for me to get through. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a wonderful and great story. This book was a very stick-it-to-the-man, defy-the-system type, which little ol’ scrappy me likes, but it was just too slow at the beginning, and about mid-way through it started slacking off again, and then again toward the end. I would fall asleep many nights with my Kindle in my hands, trying to get through a few more pages. The
Nov 08, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good. Downloaded the second in the series.
Cege Smith
Dec 11, 2011 Cege Smith rated it really liked it
The one thing that I want to clarify right from the get go is that this is Jem’s story through and through. Although his best friend Oliver is an important supporting character, Through the Portal is all about Jem.

When we first meet Jem, he’s a quiet, smart, put-upon young fellow who is living his life in the shadow of his wealthy, gregarious, impulsive best friend Oliver. And it’s Oliver’s hijinks that get them both accidentally sucked through a portal into a parallel world to Earth called Call
Dec 26, 2011 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Through the Portal by Justin Dennis is the first book in a fantasy trilogy for young adults. The story opens with Jem and Oliver, best friends who are attending summer school. Jem is smart, shy, poor, and gets teased a lot. Oliver is popular, rich, and has a wild streak. Together the two of them go off on crazy adventures that Oliver dreams up. One night they sneak off and go scuba diving in the lake only to be sucked through a portal into another world.

The other world is anything but ordinary.
Through the Portal was a cute story but I had some issues with it. Overall the editing mistakes were minimal and didn’t take away from my reading experience. I found this book had original concepts I haven’t come across before which was refreshing. I loved the concept of dragonets and how magic behaved in this world. I did have issues with the character development though. In the beginning as the main characters (Oliver and Jem and later Sierra and Maya) were developing and I was learning what m ...more
Mar 02, 2012 Sheila rated it really liked it
Rich-kid Oliver is as quick to help a stranger as he is to accidentally harm a friend in Through the Portal, by Justin Dennis. Oliver's a typical teen perhaps but more thoughtless than those I’ve known best, and in the end he's not the hero of this tale. His friend, poor-kid Jem, is clever, eager to please, and easily led, but that might change. Both boys are sucked through a portal as at the bottom of a lake near Seattle and the story begins.

While I found the characters somewhat childishly anno
Beverly McClure
Oct 30, 2011 Beverly McClure rated it liked it

Justin Dennis

Ebook courtesy of the author

Some kids get teased a lot at school. Some kids defend those that are teased. Friendship is a beautiful thing. Everyone needs a friend they can depend on.

In Justin Dennis’s debut novel, Through the Portal, we meet Jem Surwae and Oliver Pautelle. Jem is poor and often the victim of the bullies at school. He isn’t looking forward to entering high school next year. Oliver lives in a mansion and takes up for Jem.
On the last day of s
Dec 20, 2011 JeanBookNerd rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Through The Portal by Justin Dennis is a brilliant start to a fantasy trilogy. Dennis’ debut will surely become an instant favorite for fans of that genre. It has the potential to become very big with young readers. The story is what makes fantasy books very enjoyable.

Dennis vividly created a masterpiece with a great plot that contained many twists and turns. He introduces two teenage boys, Oliver and Jem, which are the most entertaining characters and easily likable. There are so many duos out
Jun 26, 2014 Stateless rated it did not like it
Had to abandon this one. Three things that really irritated me:
1) two kids not even at high school go scuba diving at night in what is described as a dirty lake. One of the kids is poor but there is a description of a holiday that the other kid's wealthy family pays for him to come along. Is that where the poor kid learns scuba, or do they teach it at the primary school. Or in this crappy lake, the rich kid's family pay for scuba lessons.

2) At the bottom of the lake, the rich kid picks up a tir
A Book Vacation
Sep 15, 2013 A Book Vacation rated it liked it
To see my full review:

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.
Sep 06, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marc Secchia
Dec 11, 2013 Marc Secchia rated it did not like it
Badly needs proofreading. Downloaded Sept 2013 - according to the author's comment on Amazon in March 2013, this was after a professional proofread ... and we have:

"Hey," burst Oliver - Oliver burst? That must have been ugly.
A massive bear-looking creature - some other creature was looking at a bear?
The teacher scrounged his eyebrows - I wonder where he scrounged them from? Scrunched if anything.
The MC manages to kick off a latter - I suppose we mean 'ladder' here. Twice.
Aug 23, 2013 Matt_e rated it really liked it
Really good book. Got it for free from the kindle store after trying to find a new fantasy series. I know it's aimed towards teens but it was still enough to keep me interested as it has a good story with some very interesting and original concepts I did rush to the kindle store to buy the second book as soon as I had finished this one and am a few chapters into it and it was equally as good. As for the previous reviewer commenting issues with grammar other issues but I only noticed one myself a ...more
Apr 17, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
This book is perfect for those who like children fiction. Not because it does not contain topics that are serious for an adult, but because the characters are surrounded by a certain innocence, that is possibly going to change in the next two books as the characters develop.
There are some quite inventive objects in the book. The magic system, albeit a lot more simple than what we got used to in other fantasy books, is a wonderful example. I am really glad that the author did not choose to use st
Feb 10, 2014 Sherdog rated it really liked it
Started off slow for me, but I just kept reading it. This was a book that I didn't have to stay focused or engaged in. Not one that has much reality in it and really is tailored for young adults. It picked up later and now I want to read the next ones so I can see what happens next. Good book for getting my mind off of work and other stuff and just unwind.
Erin Brooks
Apr 04, 2016 Erin Brooks rated it really liked it
New world

Jem is a boy who has no reason for. . .

Oliver is a boy who has every reason to . . . and . . .

When they fall into a strange new world, there's nothing that will prepare them for what they find. But there's trouble brewing in . . . and . . .

Will they stay or will one have to leave the other for. . .?

Jul 06, 2016 Zoë marked it as maybe-for-laughs
I'm afraid to read anything from this author, considering how he's a huge bigot, specifically towards men, white people, thin people, etc. But so long as those views aren't shoved into this book, MAYBE I can enjoy it.
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
Mar 30, 2012 Emily (Heinlen) Davis rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I thought it was very well-written and engrossing. I loved the characters and the concept and I just couldn't put it down. The characters were well-fleshed out and realistic as were both worlds. This is a great YA or adult book. I highly recommend it!
Carol Bosselman
Aug 14, 2014 Carol Bosselman rated it really liked it
Interesting. Timeless, a parallel world not necessarily the future or the past. Great concept, look forward to the others.
Jan 27, 2015 Yaara rated it really liked it
Was quite a roller coaster while reading, but I think overall, story told well, good mix of action with plot and character development.
Alejandro Pérez
Dec 09, 2011 Alejandro Pérez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-p
This book is amazing, the characters are very easy to relate to, im looking forward to read the whole trilogy. This book deserves more exposure!
Kath rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2015
Patricia Smith
Patricia Smith rated it did not like it
Jan 05, 2017
Daniel A McCrea
Daniel A McCrea rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Sofia Alves
Sofia Alves rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2013
Sophie Fieldhouse
Sophie Fieldhouse rated it liked it
May 27, 2013
Becky Matthews
Becky Matthews rated it did not like it
Jan 05, 2015
Billie Jo
Billie Jo rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2015
Robert Crabtree
Robert Crabtree rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
  • On Dark Shores: The Lady
  • Unnatural Law (Darwin's Children, #2)
  • The Search for Artemis (The Chronicles of Landon Wicker, #1)
  • The Advice Girl (Dalara, #1)
  • The Fate of the Muse (Marina's Tales, #3)
  • War of the Witch (Legacies of Talimura, #1)
  • Reawakening (The Passage of Hellsfire, Book 3)
  • Daughter of Lions
  • Billy Purgatory: I Am the Devil Bird
  • Amber Passion (The Enchanters, #3)
  • When Fully Fused (Schasm, #3)
  • Prototype D (Prototype D #1)
  • Rock 'n' Roll is Undead (Veronica Mason, #1)
  • Living With Your Past Selves
  • Destruction from Twins (Lor Mandela, #1)
  • Veiled Innocence (The Soul Cycle, #1)
  • A Shadow's Light (The Shadow Series, #2)

Other Books in the Series

Through the Portal (3 books)
  • The Phoenix Glove (Through the Portal #2)
  • Switching (Through the Portal #3)

Share This Book