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The Dark Portal (The Deptford Mice #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,407 ratings  ·  69 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)
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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 least not yet) but I found it quite engrossing and entertaining.
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
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
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
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
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
I remember reading a Robin Jarvis book when I was a lot younger and being transported into an exciting fantastical world, so with the Deptford Trilogy on my bookshelf I thought I'd work my way through them to see whether the author could work his magic on adults too. I think the book I read as a kid was The Alchymist's Cat - aimed at a bit of a younger audience as I didn't remember it being quite so gruesome, evil and gory as these books. As an adult I loved it, but I'm not so sure I'd want to i ...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
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
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
Andery, a young mouse, just wanted to live happily in her village in the countryside. But one day her dad is drawn to the sewers by a mysterious dark force and gets lost in the complex maze of pipes. So Andery takes the trek into the sewers. Then when she is searching for her dad Andery stumbles across and ancient evil rat god and an epic battle erupts between rats and mice. The Dark Portal is about love, perseverance, and trust.
I remember loving the hell out of this series as a twelve/thirteen-year-old--I'd like to revisit sometime soon. (I probably donated the books or something when I was seventeen in a fit of "I HAVE OUTGROWN THIS." It has taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I LOVE STUFF LIKE THIS AND THAT IS OKAY.)
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
Having childhood attachments to 'The Secrets of Nihm', I harkened to that story with this, but also felt its freshness. There were vivid gothic as well as horrific anthropomorphic elements and adventure. My only regret was its brevity.
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
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.
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
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
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.
More Savage than redwall. Intresting plot set up. Though I love the idea.
Jorden Birch
I loved this book as a child and found the villain Jupiter very scary!
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
Read for Children's Book Challenge. Fun re-read.
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
Not actually completed, I stopped at page 50 because I was rather bored with the book. I may try again at another date.
Ultra Violet
I enjoyed this, the mice are sweet little characters and the rats are nasty villains, there's a good fast paced story.

I read this for the YA task for read harder challenge.
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.
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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 about Robin Jarvis...

Other Books in the Series

The Deptford Mice (3 books)
  • The Crystal Prison (The Deptford Mice, #2)
  • The Final Reckoning (The Deptford Mice, #3)
The Crystal Prison (The Deptford Mice, #2) The Final Reckoning (The Deptford Mice, #3) Dancing Jax (Dancing Jax #1) The Alchemist's Cat (The Deptford Histories, #1) The Woven Path (Tales from the Wyrd Museum, #1)

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