Kid’s Book Review: The Dark Portal

Kid’s Book Review: The Dark Portal

About the Book and Author

The Deptford Mice live a cosy life in the skirting boards of an abandoned London house, with no humans or cats to disturb them. But something lurks in the dank sewers beneath the city – a mysterious, powerful being, worshipped by a horde of bloodthirsty rats who cower in its presence…

When a brave mouse ventures down into the sewers, he uncovers a terrifying plot to awaken an ancient evil. Soon his family and friends must summon all their courage to confront treacherous enemies and foul sorcery in a battle to save London and the world from eternal darkness.

Robin Jarvis is a British children’s author who has entertained (and pleasantly terrified) generations of children with his brilliantly imagined dark fantasy stories, including the Deptford Mice and Whitby Witches series.

Robin studied graphic design in Newcastle and then worked in television and advertising making model monsters and puppets before writing The Dark Portal, the first book on the Deptford Mice series, which was the runner up for the Smarties book prize in 1989.

Book Review

I think that the moral of the story is that no matter who you are you can make a difference

I thought that the characters were described in great detail and helped you see what role they played in the story. The author showed exactly how someone as timid as Oswald can be a brave hero and how someone like Morgan can show just how he can force the other rats into submission.

The plot started off slow when the mice were celebrating the start of spring but swelled into adventure as the mice slowly started drifting into the sewers where the rat’s evil god Jupiter was hatching an evil plan. As the mice started to work it all out the rats were putting the plan into motion util there was an epic final battle.

The setting was described really well and showed exactly what was going on when. The setting also helped to show you what the mood was like. For example, when they were in the sewers the story was dark and gloomy whereas when they were in the garden it was a happy part.

The prologue set the mood for the story and helped you to imagine what the story would be like. The epilogue was also good because it gave you an insight as to what the next book would be like.

I felt that the illustrations worked alongside the authors words to help you picture the story unfolding in your head. The illustrations were really detailed and showed you what was happening at the time.

The layout of the story was written in such a way that hopped between characters in different places that made you want to read more of the book.

I think that the moral of the story is that no matter who you are you can make a difference. I would recommend this story to 9-13 year olds who like animals

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Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Akiko
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: Books, puzzles and Girlguiding
  • Dislikes: Loud noises and rude people
  • Favourite Book: Mia and the Traitor of Nubis by Janelle McCurdy
  • Favourite Film: Johnny English
  • Favourite Song: Face in the Crowd by Freya Ridings