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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,945 ratings  ·  85 reviews
From Britain's acclaimed master of dark fantasy comes this terrifying new novel of an epic struggle against evil in the midst of environmental catastrophe.Around the world, forces of unimaginable violence are being unleashed -- earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, deadly hailstorms -- all signs of a coming titanic struggle between the forces of darkness and light. This is the ...more
Published (first published 1992)
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,945 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you like your biblical end to the world stories then this is a great book to visit. No I am not giving anything away as its actually not related to biblical events more the reference to the sheer scale and number of catastrophic events that occur in this book.

Now lets step back - I often go on about how James Herbert's writing style changes and develops through this career - I resist the urge to say matures as that implies that his work started as immature which honest I do not think so. More
Shawn Thornton
I love James Herbert but this one was not for me. I really enjoyed the description's of storm's and tsunami's but the story between these excellent action pieces just didn't hold my attention. You can't win 'em all.
Joe Stamber
I enjoy end-of-the-world type stories and this was no exception, almost worth 4 stars, but not quite. I have mixed feelings about JH, having loved his old horror novels when I was in my teens and early 20s (yes, I'm getting on a bit!), but losing interest when he started trying to be more serious and writing longer, wordier novels. This was the first book of his I've read for years, and has made me want to check out was he's being doing since we were last acquainted.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
James Herbert’s worst novel is THE SPEAR. An overblown international thriller about a private detective taking on Nazis which is preposterous at every level (If memory serves, it has a sentient tank). PORTENT is nowhere near as bad as THE SPEAR, but as I trudged through its 400 pages it became clear it shares a lot of the same flaws.

From reading both, it’s obvious that trips aboard really scuttled James Herbert as a writer. Here he manages to conjure foreign locales with all the depth of a holid
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went so long between my last James Herbert book and this one that I had forgotten how much I loved his work.

To be honest, I should probably give my mother a massive thank you for that. Were it not for the fact that I harassed her for some of her older books she probably never would have found this little gem hidden away and it would have taken me even longer to get around to another Herbert book. In fact, I should probably go and pick up some more before I forget again.

Alas, I am running off
Looking at the other reviews of this novel, I feel rather alone in not really enjoying it. I've read a lot of Herbert's work and feel that this is by far his weakest offering. Herbert has proved that he is a master of suspense and has an outstanding ability to create a truly dark and creepy atmosphere. Yet here Herbert seems to have by-passed such talents and put together a novel that seems to float through a thread bare plot that never really seems to develop itself. The ending just wanders int ...more
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
He did his research. This book made me really think about what we are doing to Earth, though I must say that I was really taking the side of the planet in all of it's killings. There are way too many people doing way too many destructive things.
J.F. Penn
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
Not my favorite Herbert but some good bits including Mama Pitie and New Orleans dark occult stuff
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The synopsis on the back of the book caught my interest, because I'm a meteorologist and like end of the world stories. This book takes James Rivers on a search to find out why the Earth is going through this apocalyptic change...first by surviving a plane crash after flying through Hurricane Zelda! Busy year for the Hurricane Center. It seems that balls of light, sometimes one and sometimes many are preludes to disastrous events. Plenty of destruction, from volcanic eruptions and explosions...h ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
Horror novels about serial killers or disturbed humans don't do it for me. Ones with scary monsters and supernatural events are usually a great read and might keep me awake in the dark. But this book? This book terrifies me!

In the real world, people face natural disasters all the time - the news is full of them - and this book recreates some of that helplessness in facing such force and being able to do nothing about it. But this book gives it a twist - there is a deadly purpose behind every eve
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This book is about a weather specialist, James Rivers, who is on a search to find out why the Earth is going through an apocalyptic change. James first survives a plane crash that occurs while he is flying through Hurricane Zelda! It has been a very busy year for the Hurricane Center.
It seems that balls of light, sometimes one and sometimes many are "portents" to disastrous events. There is plenty of weather destruction in the book, from volcanic eruptions and explosions...hurricanes, tornadoes
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
James Herbert's "Portent" is the story of climatologist James (Jim) Rivers, eccentric researcher Hugo Poggs, Hugo's daughter-in-law Diane, her two adopted (seemingly telepathic) Romanian twins Eva and Josh, and the leader of a strange New Orleans cult Mama Petié.

Even though it taps into the world of the paranormal it raises philosophical questions about the devolution of mans telepathic connection to each other as a result of evolution, and how that dormant power is used to understand the fragil
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a quest to read Herbert, this book sounded interesting, different, but interesting. Either I really wasn't in the mood for it or I couldn't reconcile this one with what I've come to expect from Herbert based on the other books of his I've read recently. This is more of an enviromental thriller/drama with slight supernatural elements than a more traditional horror books by the author. It's got a moral, at times a bit heavy handed. It's got some incredibly vivid scenes of when nature attacks. N ...more
Adam Wilson
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Portent by James Herbert was a blast to read. I love disaster novels and movies, and this was a disaster novel like none other that I have read. Any kind of natural disaster that can occur on Earth happened in detail in this book. I read this book in two sittings and hated to put it down even once. The story is fascinating and Herbert’s explanation for why things are happening is worthy of Crichton in my opinion.
The only thing keeping this from five stars was the section before the ending which
Noella  Van Looy
Het verhaal gaat over de ondergang van de wereld, veroorzaakt door de moderne mens. De aarde protesteert tegen de vervuilende en verwoestende aanslagen die op haar gepleegd worden, op de enige manier waarop zij als 'levend organisme' zou kunnen reageren: door natuurrampen van allerlei aard. We maken kennis met twee kinderen van een nieuwe generatie die bovennatuurlijke gaven, zoals telepathie, het vermogen om te genezen, enz. bezitten, of zijn het krachten die onze voorouders lang geleden ook ha ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

Not a bad book, just kinda repetitive. He spent probably half a dozen pages (small type, mind you) to describe Rivers moving along the moors. Alright, already, we get it!!

His descriptions of the events occurring was top notch; his interactions between Rivers and Diane were a little wonky. the end seemed to come out of nowhere.

I may try another of his books, since he's primarily known for horror and this really wasn't.
Brian Taylor
Portent was my first read by legendary author James Herbert. While I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of his work, Portent was a mixture of good and bad for me with a direction that pulls readers all over the place while never really coming to a logical, and believable, conclusion. The premise seemed top notch–the world’s weather takes a turn for the worse and her citizens must scramble to understand why. It’s too bad Mr. Herbert seemed to zig when he should have zagged as the second hal ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i didn't think I was gonna make it threw this book ! this was story about pollution and how the earth went about correcting its self along with some help from a few humans , whom have a type of power that connects them all together in a way. during this time earthquakes floods and hot springs along with other things of nature are happing all over the world and the weird part is ,where they are happing they aren't so post to. rivers is a weather person who studies the weather and all its glory. h ...more
Jo Woolnough
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book for me was ahead of its time - we do take the Earth for granted we do not value what we have and with pollution &destruction of our ozone layer is beginning to tell.

This book tells of the fight for survival about the good & bad in the world - and how psychic abilities are still within us if we can remember how to use them for the good of mankind and not our own ends.

We follow James Rivers a man who witnesses a Portent first hand in devastating circumstances leading him to a fam
Rebecca Spruce
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Herbert’s 18th novel. I adored this. This time we have James Rivers and the very intriguing Romanian twins, Eva and Josh.

James meets the twins via their adoptive mother, Diane, a relative on the eccentric Poggs. Poggs invited James there to share his discoveries into the possible reasons behind these apocalyptic climate changes.

I was so excited throughout this book, especially how the story of the twins would unfold, but felt the end was a little disappointing.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Whilst has a great concept and lots of great vignettes the central story is some what lackluster and whilst Rivers is good his relationship with Diana doesn't have the same impact as relationships in Herbert's other books
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. Obviously, a book written in 1992 about ecological disasters is either prophetic, outdated or a combination of the two. Throw in GAIA and that's pretty much what one has here.
Spoon Shaw
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my favourite book by Herbert! Just was not my cup of tea. Saying that if you enjoy supernatural/disaster books it would be worth a read. Bit repetitive and drawn out in place but not terrible.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kay Smillie
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the very best from James Herbert but still a cracking take which is a battle between good and evil whilst the world is suffering from all sorts of unnatural events. Has the planet finally got scunnered with humans destroying the Earth? Will good triumph over evil? Read on.

Ray Smillie
Sridhar Babu


World is disturbed with Natural calamities..Where ever they happen whether it is great tidal wave destroying the Fort St.George(Grenada West Indies),Forest fire in New Orleans Louisiana, Falling huge rocks of ice over Harbor Freeway Los Angeles waterspout Varanasi India..people happen to witness a strange vision of a white light, a shape of a base ball shining in all these places prior to t
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I discovered James Herbert completely by accident,in ship's library - his "Nobody true" was actually genuinely interesting,original and enjoyable thriller told from a point of view of murder victim who is watching everything from above,unable to actually react or help anybody. Than I did some research and found that Herbert is actually very famous in UK and sort of local Stephen King,I read several of other novels by him but nothing left deep impression on me like the very first one.
Now again -
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having read a couple of James Herbert Books previous to this, I had developed something of a mixed view of the author. On one hand, here was a man capable of writing scary masterpieces such as ''The Secret of Crickley Hall'', but on the other hand was a man capable of writing a so called controversial (but bit of a garbled mess) book such as ''Ash''.
''Portent'' has done nothing to change my mind about Herbert and his work. The plot revolves around what is essentially a good idea. It involves the
Samuel Tyler
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The great thing about horror is that you get the vicarious thrills, without the danger. Who really believes that giant rats will swarm out of the sewers or a knife fingered maniac will haunt your dreams? You basically know that you are safe, but what would happen if Mother Nature turned her ire onto the human population? This is the basis of James Herbert’s ‘Portent’, a book about how the Earth itself has taken the role of cleansing the planet of the human menace.

There is something far more fore
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million
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