The Dark Portal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Dark Portal (The Deptford Mice #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,149 ratings  ·  62 reviews
The first story in the breathtakingly original and utterly captivating Deptford Mice trilogy by bestselling author Robin Jarvis. In the sewers of Deptford there lurks a dark presence which fills the tunnels with fear: Jupiter, an evil being who aims to take over the world. Worshipped by the fearsome rats, Jupiter's dreams could well come true. Can the mice ever survive aga...more
ebook, 183 pages
Published March 19th 2012 by Acorn Independent Publishing (first published 1989)
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 The Dark Portal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dark Portal

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,275)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Qt
An interesting, unique, and original book; I liked the backgrounds, customs, and stories of the mice, and the rats made perfectly evil villains. It's darker and a bit more violent than I had expected (though not as much as the Wyrd Museum trilogy.....at least not yet) but I found it quite engrossing and entertaining.
Starslug
The Dark Portal is an enjoyable mixture of cutesy mice, bloody death, and black magic. All in all, a unique mixture that combines to give this book a certain deliciously dark character.

The horror in this book is a little stronger and far more grisly than I expected: perhaps if I'd chosen the edition with the realistic rat's face, rather than the cutesy-poo anthropomorphic mice on the cover, then I would have been better prepared. What other book about talking animals would include demonaic rat g...more
Nix
Mar 25, 2012 Nix rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who liked Redwall
Recommended to Nix by: Pvmom
Shelves: animals, fantasy
Despite my disparaging status updates, this book wasn't bad.

It took Redwall to darker places. It reminded me of Gregor the Overlander (and not just because it was underground and involved bats).

The characters were a bit too simple for me. I liked Audrey and Twit, though. They weren't so bad. Oswald was fine as well, but Arthur didn't have enough character development and neither did Piccadilly.

I think I will read the rest of the books in this series, though this book definitely isn't on the s...more
LH Johnson
I'm on a bit of a Robin Jarvis kick at the moment, and it was when I reread 'The Dark Portal' (the first in the Deptford Mice series) that I came to realise something.

I think that Jarvis taught me the concept of story, in a way. I think he taught me the concept of telling a single story within a greater whole. I am a fan of him, avowedly so, and love his work from the Whitby series to the Deptford books; from Aufwader to Green Mouse and everything in between.

His books are big books. They are un...more
Paula
A great Young adult anthropomorphic adventure story appropriate for all ages. Its a little tough to put my finger on exactly why I enjoyed the book so much, apart from the authors skill to appeal to all audinces. It reminds me a little of the Secret of Nimh- a favorite from my own childhood, and even a bit of Harry Potter feel in the set up and adventures. It flows smoothly and quickly with a little bit for everyone.


I commend the author for writing a children's adventure appropriate for all age...more
Chris
When I was a child I did not read much, my brother was a different kettle of fish and read quite alot (although these days the roles are reversed) I mention this because I remember him reading this one what must be 15 years ago so when I stumbled across it by accident I decided to give it a try.

I was anxious that perhaps this would read lke a childrens book (a reasonable assumption) however I am pleased to report that although it is clearly aimed at young people it is certainly a book that can b...more
Leslie D. Soule
This is a novel about anthropomorphic mice, in the same vein as the Redwall novels by Brian Jacques. It is also reminiscent of the Borrowers. However, it is certainly dark.
As with the Borrowers, we are introduced to a family living in a house, right under the noses of the main human family. As with Redwall, the mice are the good guys and the rats are the bad guys.
This one's not for the faint of heart, but it's excellent!
I happened to pull this book from a box of freebies. Why is this the fir...more
Katie
I first read the Deptford Histories Trilogy when I was ten and loved them, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover the first book in the Deptford Mice Trilogy was just as enjoyable now that I'm a bit older. The characters were well created and individual, the story moved along at the perfect pace and it was exciting to read. The pictures from the author really brought the story alive and I found myself looking forward to the next one eagerly.

The thing that I remember most about these books tho...more
Jenny
I read this a very long time ago and remember enjoying it. I managed to get hold of the series again recently and re-read this first installment. It was like reading a new book. I couldn't remember any of it which was brilliant! It was just as good as I remember and the rating will stay on 4 stars.

I can't remember at what age I was when I read this but I'm suprised it didn't give me nightmares. For a children's book it is very dark and quite gruesome!

As the rat struggled for breath Jake snatched...more
Erica Dietlein
*Not a 4 Star book...yet*
Aw what the heck. I'll give it that extra star. I could see this being a first draft... and the author later going back and saying "dear god, this dialogue right here is terrible" and "gee, I could actually tell the reader what I want them to see here." This book would have been AMAZING had the author gone back and did the ENTIRE book as well as he did some of the more descriptive, darker parts. I mean really amazing. It lacked flesh, flesh he obviously already knew how...more
Tiffany
This is nothing like Redwall. I mean, this book isn't bad. It's just kind of creepy. When I was little, I had the second book on my bookshelf (I think I won it in a book raffle or something) but I was always too scared to touch it. And when I had mustered the courage to take down the book and read a chapter of it, I'd be to scared to continue. I haven't re-read the book yet so I don't really remember much of the details, but I recall the book being pretty good. In a really creepy disturbing way....more
Aeturnus
It's a good read, and I would recommend others to check it out. My biggest problem has to deal with the amount of errors the story has. I've noticed there were a lot of missing quotation marks and misspelled words. Hopefully the other books don't have the same kind of problem.
Summer
Rating this book was a little complicated for me. I really like the rat society and all the little horror bits in the sewers and stuff.... but I feel like the stories with the mice and the bats, a lot of it just felt really off topic and I had a difficult time following what was going on most of the time. The ending is a little sudden too; it almost feels like Jarvis forgot the book needed to end some how and the entire thing is wrapped up in like 3 pages. I closed the book with the feeling like...more
Shannon
You haven't lived until you've read Jarvis's Deptford Mice trilogy!
I'm telling you... this was awsome.
I started reading this book last summer out of utter and complete boredom... I ended up reading the entire trilogy before school was back, falling in love with the characters. When you read the books through from start to finish 1-3, it's amazing what sort of... err... "relationship" you can form with the characters that Jarvis developes.
You laugh when they laugh, become depressed when they c...more
Dayna Smith
Book One in the Deptford Mice Trilogy, this is a fascinating tale in the mold of Watership Down. Albert Brown is a married mouse with two children, Audrey and Arthur. He takes a trip into the dangerous sewers where the rats live. The rats who worship an evil god called Jupiter. Albert discovers Jupiter's evil plans and sets in motion a series of events that could destroy his entire family. Will Jupiter succeed or will the Brown children stop his evil plans? A fantastic story! Jarvis has invented...more
Amy Jennings
Having read the "Whitby Witches" trilogy I went into this novel with high hopes, despite being aimed at a younger audience. Instead I got a slow-paced read that I struggled to find much joy in. Surprisingly dark for it's target audience. Not an awful read, but not one I'd recommend to fans of the Witches books.
Jorden Birch
I loved this book as a child and found the villain Jupiter very scary!
Gretchen
This series is written with a really truly interesting premise. The mice make for wonderful, charming characters and the rats create great villians, as well. I think it's a really interestign read, but it's waaaaaay more vilent and gorey than I would have ever guessed. Technically these are children's books, but I'd recommend the series for a slightly older audience. Some of the plot an details make more sense when you're older (I read this book once as a kid and once when I was 16) and the viol...more
Cornmaven
I gave up on this book after about 25 pages. It started out OK, but then quickly morphed into a British fantasy with way too many Britishims for my taste. Too much cutesy talk, and not enough sustained action. The cover is really cool and that drew me in. Sometimes I think Brits are more patient, or they like the conversational stuff better than Americans. The conversation to me didn't set anything up, and when I have more books to read than time, I decided not to waste anymore. Too bad, I was l...more
Colby
Not actually completed, I stopped at page 50 because I was rather bored with the book. I may try again at another date.
Mary Kay
This is a completely absorbing fantasy. Mice are personified as everything that's sweetness and light about the world, and the rats who live in the netherworldly Grill are the opposite. When a few mice get drawn down into the Grill, nonstop adventure -- sometimes grisly and horrifying -- ensues, as the mice are forced to confront and defeat the evil Jupiter, lord of the rats. The ending is shocking, violent, and delightful.
Jacob 706
I think this is another of Robin Jarvis's master piece because the book zooms in on the life style of mice and rats during the 1600's and I kind of fell bad for Jupiter because ever since Leech pushed Jupiter off the roof into the fire in the first book he became hidoues and grew 2 heads and all he wants to be is loved not feared. I also wonder is Leech still alive somewhere like Jupiter survived.
Logan Mcguire
So far, this book is very interesting. Talking mice, murderous rats, evil rat gods, bats that can see the future. Very complex, but that doesn't make it worse. It perfectly fits the writing style and gives it an intriguing story. Very good book and deserves high praise.
Josie
I am torn about what to give this series, because on one hand, I read them all (a sure sign of me liking them), but on the other, they completely FREAKED ME OUT when I read them (which was at about 11 or 12 years of age)! For a young adult novel about mice, it's very dark and grim, and the evil characters are so perfectly nasty they'll probably give you nightmares.
Ryan
What is it with authors and books about mice? Are rodents really that interesting? I could barely get through the first Redwall book, so of course I couldn't stomach this one. If I come across another book with giant enemy rats, I think I'm going to declare war on anthropomorphism. Simply turning your characters into animals does not make them interesting!
Yvonne Mendez
This book was so cute! It's a lot like the old-school fairy tales, with innocent but brave children (little mice) going on a quest and defending themselves from the perils from the bad guys (rats) with lots of supernatural witchy things going on. As the fairy tales from back in the day, several scenes were pretty brutal. I loved the dialogue, very British!
Edward Davies
A great introduction to the Deptford Mice, with a fantastic twist at the end that is up there with the best of them. The characters are likeable and surprisingly believable and will no doubt appeal to both young and old.
Becky Boylett
my mum bought this book for me when i was in my teens but through one thing or another i picket it up when i was 24... i really enjoyed, its well writen and has an end no one expects, i would never have guessed what was lurking in the dark, i owuld almost say i think i enjoyed it more now than i would have done as a kid.
Karen
This was a really fun read. Someone likened it to Watership down, but I think this was a lot scarier! The characters are cute and have their own funny way of talking, which did at first take a bit of getting used to, but it all added to the fun story. I'm looking foward to reading the next in this series soon.
Haley Grizzell
This book is taking a strange turn... The plot doesn't excite me, really. The "rat gangs threatening to take over London" didn't put enough character in the book and weren't talked about much. All the book was about was the girl mouse, Audrey trying to save her captured father. It falls a little flat.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 75 76 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles, #1)
  • Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles, #1)
  • Hunter's Moon
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood (Farthing Wood, #1)
  • Raven Quest
  • The Tygrine Cat
  • Journeys to the Heartland (The Wolves of Time, #1)
  • Sword Quest (Swordbird, #0)
  • Scream of the White Bears
  • Ragweed (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #0)
  • The Magic World
  • Darkwing (Silverwing, #0.5)
  • The Wainscott Weasel
  • A Mouse Called Wolf
  • The Wild Road (The Wild Road, #1)
  • The Peppermint Pig
  • One for Sorrow, Two for Joy
  • Birth of the Firebringer (Firebringer, #1)
15016
Robin Jarvis (born May 8, 1963) is a British children's novelist, who writes fantasy novels, often about anthropomorphic rodents and small mammals – especially mice – and Tudor times. A lot of his works are based in London, in and around Deptford and Greenwich where he used to live, or in Whitby.

His first novel – The Dark Portal, featuring the popular Deptford Mice – was the runner up for the Smar...more
More about Robin Jarvis...
The Crystal Prison (The Deptford Mice, #2) The Final Reckoning (The Deptford Mice, #3) The Alchemist's Cat (The Deptford Histories, #1) Dancing Jax (Dancing Jax #1) The Woven Path (Tales from the Wyrd Museum, #1)

Share This Book