3 out of 4 stars
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Portals in Time: The Quest for Un-Old-Age written by John Joseph Teressi and edited by Verlaine Crawford, is an intriguing sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thriller. This amalgamation of genres is bound to appeal to many readers. As the title suggests, the storyline involves time traveling. The author employs this ‘time-worn’ concept to write an entertaining and thought-provoking novel.
Follow the adventure of the ten Gripps of the Eye of Time Exploration Team in Acronos, a place beyond time. The team is on a mission to find a cure for aging prematurely, a disease that has plagued their home, Grippland. The ten Gripps are placed in a hierarchy (numbered 1 to 10 from highest to lowest position) by High Command (Grippland government) based on the perceived importance of the Gripp’s professional knowledge with regards to completing the mission. Going from top to lowest ranked their professions are as follows: military commander, a politician, businessman and publicist, an engineer, doctor, biologist, geologist, psychologist, and anthropologist. Ironically, these potential heroes of their land were all incarcerated by High Command for breaking one of the many rules that they enforce for the “greater good” and are on this mission with the hopes of gaining their freedom and a new identity once they return to Grippland with the cure.
I recommend that readers, take notes while reading this book. This story is very complex. The story is told in the third person throughout, but the focus is switched from character to character from time to time. Also, four of the Gripps have very similar names (Grist, Gritt, Grimm, and Grind) and even though their characteristics are very different, I know many readers can easily get confused. Fortunately, there is a section at the back of the book that gives us a brief profile on the different Gripps. There were also a few other characters in Acronos, that were central to the story. The author developed all the characters splendidly There were so many events that occurred in this book that I can see it easily getting an animated movie adaptation or even inspiring a short-animated cartoon series.
What I most enjoyed about this book is that Teressi wonderfully utilized his study of psychology and metaphysics to teach us several moral lessons. The entire story is an allegory to how we have neglected to protect nature and have become blind to the lessons that we can learn from it. Most of the lessons are delivered in nursery rhyme like poems. I was really impressed by how well the poems were weaved into the novel.
I would love to give this book a perfect score but unfortunately, there were a few demerits that I identified in the book. There were some grammatical errors that I could not overlook. They were not enough to take away the pleasure of reading the book, but they could have easily been noticed and removed if the editor had proofread the book one more time. For example, there was an instance where a few sentences were repeated, obviously mistakenly typed twice. There were only a few grammatical errors and since the novel was over 400 pages long this is quite commendable. Also, it was great that the book was full of suspense, so I expected that the book would have a conclusive ending, but it ended in a somewhat cliffhanger manner. I realize many persons may not mind the inconclusive ending but to me, it was a letdown. Overall, I enjoyed reading Portals in Time so I am awarding it 3 out of 4 stars.
Portals in Time
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