Review: The Keeper of Portals by V.S. Nelson || Plus Interview!

The Keeper of PortalsTitle: The Keeper of Portals
Author: V.S. Nelson
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, [Middle-Grade]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 320 pages, Ebook
Published: January 28th, 2017 by Matador
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

3 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

‘All I have to do is think, walk through a door and I come out another. There is nowhere I cannot get to, nor any lock that can deny my passage.’
The Keeper of Portals lifted a hand and stroked the ancient black wood of the door.
‘I can do all that and yet, after 400 years, I still cannot open this door.’

Everything in the universe is maintained by its own keeper, from the most insignificant insect to time itself. When 15 year-old Martin moves into a stately home that’s dangerously overhanging a cliff, he meets the Keeper of Portals and learns of the mysterious door at the end of his bedroom.

One morning, Martin wakes to discover the Keeper of Portals is missing and the door at the end of his bedroom is open. Martin steps through the door to find himself in the 17th century where he meets Isabel, the house’s maid. Upon discovering two imprisoned keepers, Martin and Isabel gain the ability to control time and travel through portals.

After being attacked by hordes of brainwashed villagers, Martin and Isabel learn that the master of the house has a devious plan, one the keepers are powerless to stop. Martin and Isabel must jump between the present day and the 17th century in order to hide from the twisted master, avoiding past versions of themselves, as powerful keepers thwart them at every turn. But as items from the future begin to bleed into the past and the present day is plagued by malfunctioning portals, Martin and Isabel’s only option is to confront the master – the Keeper of Questions.

My Thoughts

This book was really fun to read, though it had its ups and downs but I loved the overall journey and I’m glad I got to read this book.

Martin has just shifted to his ancestral home with his mother where he meets a strange creature who calls himself the Keeper of Portals. He has the ability to open all the doors in the universe, except the one in Martin’s room. When that door finally opens and Martin steps in, his whole world turns upside down. Will Martin be able to return to his home ever again or will he get stuck in the past forever?

The plot was really interesting but a little confusing at times. I liked how the author didn’t waste much time and plunged directly into the action. This book narrates the story of Martin, a 15-year-old boy who has just moved into the massive new house which belonged to his ancestors. As he begins exploring the house he discovers a strange voice who reveals himself to be the Keeper of Portals. I liked the concept of the Keepers. There were so many Keepers for every little thing.

I enjoyed Martin’s adventure. I felt like I was there with him. He was such a caring and sweet character. Isabel on the other hand, I was not much of a fan of her when the story started but she slowly warmed into my heart. I hated The Keeper of Questions who was Isabel’s master as well, he was really twisted. The world-building was the one fact that disappointing me a little, I wished it was more concise and clear because it was really getting confusing to understand what was going one when Martin and Isabel were jumping from one portal to another.

Martin and Isabel formed a great team. I enjoyed how they tacked everything together. There was barely any romance in this book but I didn’t mind the attraction that shimmered between the two characters. The ending was bittersweet and I really wished it was different but that made this story more realistic and rooted to the ground.

Overall, The Keeper of Portals was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the plot, though it was complex at times and the characters were really well written. I liked the adventure and the action! The writing was easy to read and the pace was even throughout the book.

Recommend it?


I also got the opportunity to interview the author which was a lot of fun! So without further ado, here’s the…


1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m married with two children and live in the English city of Winchester.

2. Describe your story to the readers in not more than 140 characters.

Two teenagers learn to step through portals and control time while battling the Keeper of Question in the 17th century and modern day.

3. Which authors were your inspiration?

I have a lot of favourite authors, but I’m unsure any have really inspired me. Story-wise, there are similarities between Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, but I wouldn’t say they inspired me to write the story, I just decided to do it.

4. What do you love the most about our protagonist, Martin?

Martin is a snarky, reluctant hero whose people skills need a little work. What I love the most about him, though, is that he’s not particularly good at being the hero in the story. For the majority of it, Isabel is the one solving the problems and leaving Martin in her wake. Martin may be the protagonist, but really, it’s all about Isabel.

5. How do you develop your plots and characters?

Bit by bit. My plots and characters are like towers made from Lego bricks. I’ll work on them a bit, put them away from a while, then come back to them and build them up a bit more. Even when I think I’ve finished, I’m still adding bits while at the same time taking away other bits. Things never BANG! and appear for me, it’s always a slow creation process.

6. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

Not at all! How dull… I write at my desk in the sweet time in the evening after my children have gone to bed and before I need to do the same. Like all authors, I have written on planes, trains, in hotels rooms and airport lounges, but most of the time I’m reclined in my chair, feet on my desk with the keyboard on my lap.

7. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t be shy about your work. Get as many people as possible to read it and listen to their feedback. A book is rarely the product of a single individual. Also, writing is not going to make you rich; so if you’re young and thinking of becoming a fiction writer, make sure you have a separate career to focus on as well!

Lets Chat

So guys, hope you enjoyed the interview! What do you think about this book? Do you want to read it?