The Open Portal

Michael Scott

EPIC FANTASY/MAGICAL REALISM:  Mona is a sweet girl, stuck in circumstances beyond her control. She lives with her foster parents where she is basically ignored by everyone except her younger brother, Joe.  Lady Anne, the rich girl in her class, bullies Mona at school. This girl does everything to make Mona’s already miserable existence even worse. When Lady Anne is caught, she enlists the aid of a drug dealer/classmate to scare some sense into Mona. The prank goes horribly wrong, and Mona is struck down by his car while pushing her brother out of harm's way.  Now Mona is introduced to an angel who shows her a whole other life, if she will choose it.

This book is two stories in one. There is Mona's story, set on what the reader will recognize as Earth and the story of Prince Tal on the planet of Miranda. The chapters alternate between them. The author does a fantastic job of capturing the reader’s interest with both stories and keeping it page after page. The downside of this book is it feels unfinished. The stories, while compelling, leave many unanswered questions, which pulls the reader from what could be a truly wonderful storyline. The ending of the book is unsatisfying as the reader is left with more questions than answers. This may intrigue some to want to read the next book to get those answers or it could have the opposite effect and cause so much frustration that the reader simply gives up. The book is well written and easy to follow allowing the reader a nice escape into fantasy.

Carly Fulmer