Author: Meredith Stroud
Portal 24 is a Young Adult sci-fi novel which plays with the idea of time travel. The story is set around the life of teenage con-artist, Darius, in the city of Memphis. On the hot streets he cheats tourists out of their money to make a living for himself. When a mysterious woman starts following him in her car he thinks he might just have been caught for his trickery, but she turns out to be quite the opposite. She comes with a dangerous message and offers to recruit Darius into the world of Project Oberon - an organisation capable of time-travel in order to save disasters. Though there is a limit to their time travelling: they can only go back by twenty four hours and then time is up.
After having a read through Portal 24 I had mixed feelings over the plot. I thought some aspects were intriguing whilst I felt other aspects could have been further explored. In my opinion, some of the supporting characters such as Constance, Leon and Malik could have been further developed because by the end of the book we still don't know a great deal about them other than their fighting abilities.
The whole concept of Project Oberon and time-travel came across perfectly in the book. The time-travel involves one huge action-packed climatic experience for the reader which I really enjoyed. I especially liked that the chapters towards the end all included a countdown from twenty-four hours which turned the suspense right up!
However, I did feel that some things were missing and this led to parts of the story becoming confusing. Only Darius and Bianca's past experiences ever seemed to get returned to and I would have liked to discovered more about Oberon's base before they all got sent out on the mission.
This book is definitely aimed at younger teens who have only just started to get into reading Young Adult fiction. It's a nice, quick and easy read for those of us looking for something to read between heavy-going books.
Overall, I think you have to really love the sci-fi side of the story to be able to truly dive into the world of Portal 24.
Thank you for reading.
Let me know in the comments if you have read or are considering reading Portal 24.