About this book:
Title: Portal Aracne I (Reversion)
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror
Author: J. Thorn
This is my first indie book review on this blog, and this is something I hope I can do from time to time (on a once or twice a week basis). There are a lot of hidden gems out there that don’t get discovered. Trust me, there’s a lot that’s bad as well, but sometimes you find something that’s really cheap yet good.
Portal Arcane really is that. I should preface this by saying that this isn’t for everyone. It has a slower pace, but I still found myself getting sucked in. The beginning is dark and somber, starting in a dark forest with dozens of ropes hanging from trees. We follow Samuel, the amnesiac protagonist, as he goes on a quest to discover who he was – and where he is – and why he’s being hunted.
The writing is clear, and there is always the hint of danger looming – it makes for a very dark, spooky vibe, where the fear is more in the anticipation of danger than the actual danger itself (though that danger is always there, like a cloud).
Portal Arcane was a short read, or at least it felt that way to me. As you go through the story, Samuel discovers bits of his past through flashbacks, very Lost-like. I am not a fan of flashbacks, as I think they ruin the pacing of a story, but here they worked rather well. The mood is dark, and it’s a bit esoteric – but at the same time, I found myself really getting into this story. For an indie book, the errors were very low – so if that sort of thing annoys you, fear not, grammarians.
My main critique is while the dimensional concept of the book is fascinating, it is never fully explained. Perhaps this is intentional, and perhaps it is answered in a sequel.
I’d recommend it for anyone who’s a fan of gloomy stuff, where the fear is more in the impending doom than the monster in the closet. I never really found Portal Arcane scary, but it also takes a lot to creep me out – this book’s dark flavor comes from its psychological, relentless nature.
Also, the ending – the ending was amazing. Maybe not the perfect tie-up, as it leaves unanswered questions (which may or may not be answered in the sequels), but it does well enough. It’s only $.99, and probably should go for a little more, to be honest, because it’s worth it.