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Posted March 24, 2013
Horror can be many things. It can be shocking or terrifying but it can also be creepy and atmospheric like Portal Arcane 1 Reversion by J Thorn. The story begins in another world with a man name Samuel who has amnesia and a noose around his neck. He doesn't have much time to think before a pack of wolves finds him. Samuel escapes into a tree and is saved by a man called Major. He then finds out that the wolves were the least of his worries. The world he's in is being destroyed by a giant cloud which is preceded by an undead army. Samuel and three others must find a way to escape.
J Thorn does a great job of bringing his story to life by describing everything in great detail. The opening scene is excellent with Samuel waking up and looking around at the forest. He is happy to be alive but the mood changes quickly as he hears the howls in the background. I like how J Thorn doesn't set up the story right away. He puts his main character in a dire situation and you get to see the tension build. The opening scene was almost like the author was painting a picture. I liked how the wolves stalking Samuel were described along with the terror as he realizes he can't fight them off forever. At this point you don't know what is going on, but you see Samuel's situation and you are forced to root for him.
I also liked the description of the army of zombies that comes before the cloud and the reason why they are there. The use of flashbacks in the story was well done. Your not sure what you're going to get in the beginning of the story, it's almost like Portal Arcane 1: Reversion starts in the middle. J Thorn hooks you in with some eerie moments of terror and then delivers a good tale of dark fantasy.
Portal Arcane: Reversion is very reminiscent of Stephen King's Langoliers. The characters aren't really alive but there not dead either. Little by little you learn why they are here but where is here? Throughout the book there is a feeling of dread and the atmosphere is one of impending doom. Despite the story being very dark, I felt compelled to read on because I liked its theme of redemption and I wanted to see if the characters could make amends with what brought them here.
If you do decide to read this book pay close attention, because everything in the story is a metaphor for something, such as the Reversion cloud, personal objects that disappear and reappear and how nothing looks quite like it should. You could compare this story to a Twilight Zone episode because you have to pay attention to get the most out of it, in fact you might want to read it twice. Things aren't exactly what they seem and its very much a tail about morality. My only complaint about the story was the way it ended. There are some unresolved questions but I wondered if that was by design. This is the first of a series and the second book is available. Portal Arcane 1: Reversion is a great read if you like psychological horror.