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Through the Portal

(Through the Portal #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  243 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
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 Sierra, a shy farm girl from a nearby town, uses ille ...more
Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Published December 2016 by Amazon Digital Services LLC (first published August 25th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Chandra Vice
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Teena Evans
I found this a little bit hard to read... The language was quite simplistic and I felt like the story was lacking a bit for me.

It seemed to have some exciting moments but then took ages to build momentum again.

I also found it unrealistic right at the start when two boys seem to stumble in to another world but seem totally ok with it. How do they immediately know they're not on earth? From what is described to us, they could still be. They just seem to immediately know they aren't, so I felt th
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good. Downloaded the second in the series.
Cege Smith
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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

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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marc Secchia
Dec 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. . .?

Rants and Bants
Jul 06, 2016 marked it as maybe-for-laughs  ·  review of another edition
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
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. Timeless, a parallel world not necessarily the future or the past. Great concept, look forward to the others.
Chelle Peters
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoying this series. Looking forward to reading more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2015
Patricia Smith
rated it did not like it
Jan 05, 2017
Daniel A McCrea
rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Sofia Alves
rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2013
Sophie Fieldhouse
rated it liked it
May 27, 2013
Becky Matthews
rated it did not like it
Jan 05, 2015
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Riley J. Dennis is a writer and YouTuber just trying to change the world. Her named used to be Justin Dennis (she changed it on August 7th, 2016).


Other books in the series

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

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