3 out of 5 stars
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Retirees Frank Netherwood and Grant Bjornson have been best friends since childhood and recently bought a beach cottage in Florida together. One night, they are relaxing after a day of fishing at the cottage when, suddenly, the lights go out and the temperature drops. Frank and Grant are stunned when a glowing door then appears on the wall. After deciding to go through the door, the men find themselves in the middle of a forest where they meet a man named Thorulf Petersson, also called Ralf. After talking to Ralf, they discover that they are in Scandinavia in the year 964 during the time of the Vikings. When Ralf takes them to meet his king, Yngvarr Tostesson, Frank and Grant realize that they have been brought to the past for a reason, and their actions will shape history. Discover the impact Frank and Grant have on history in The Portal by Russell Cederberg.
The Portal was a compelling and intriguing read. It wasn’t full of action, but there was plenty of adventure. I liked the characters, and I enjoyed reading Frank and Grant’s perspectives on everything they were seeing and experiencing. Their feelings came through really well.
My favorite thing about this book was the breadth of activities that Frank and Grant experienced. They met kings, witnessed incredible events, traveled by foot through the wilderness, and sailed on a viking ship. Nothing felt repetitive.
There were some negatives. The thing I disliked the most was how little was revealed about Frank and Grant’s personal backgrounds. For most of the book, I just knew that they were childhood friends, and they are both retired, like to fish, and have Scandinavian ancestors. Near the end of the book it’s finally revealed that they’re also married. I just would have preferred to have gotten to know more about their lives. Another negative was that every once in a while the phrasing used by the characters, besides Frank and Grant, would strike me as being a bit too modern. And there were more than ten editing errors, mostly punctuation.
After considering the negatives, I decided to rate The Portal 3 out of 5 stars. Although, I would have given it 3.5 if I could have.
I recommend this book to those who like adventure and historical fiction, as well as anyone who enjoys stories with time travel. Christianity is an important aspect of the story, but due to the historical aspect, I think it can enjoyed by anyone of any religion.
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