Land Beyond the Portal by J. S. Bailey



Title:  The Land Beyond the Portal
Author:  J.S. Bailey                                                                                                                            
Pages:  252
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC
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J.S. Bailey’s debut novel The Land Beyond the Portal starts with a teenage girl who has fallen down stairs and bumped her head, which caused her to lose her memory.  The only thing she has figured out is that her name is Laura.  As she tries to figure out who she is and where she is at, she makes her way to the basement of the house that she is in.  She stumbles upon something unseen and the next thing she knows is that is suddenly lost in a forest.  Nothing is familiar, but two children find her and take Laura to their home.  
Throughout Bailey’s novel, Laura meets many people who are friendly, but live a primitive lifestyle unfamiliar to her.  With the help of the local leader and his family, along with the family’s servant Rochelle, Laura adapts and makes friends; however, something is not quite right in the village.  A mysterious deity is revered, but is he what he appears to be? 
Laura searches for clues to her identity as she uncovers one mystery after another.  She discovers that she has travelled through a portal into another world or dimension, but she may be closer to her home than anyone had thought.
J.S. Bailey does a wonderful job creating fresh and lively characters that interact well with each other, and the setting is familiar yet alien enough to keep readers interested.  As her protagonist ventures to discover herself, more questions are raised through brilliant plot twists and turns.  Although the last chapter picks up the pace to reveal the mystery a little faster than and without as much buildup as expected, the story does end happily for most.  This novel is perfect for young adults and fans of several genres—history, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and crime drama.  There is something for everyone in this fascinating tale.  I highly recommend it!
  My rating is 5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

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