David D. Bernstein
Outskirts Press (2017)
Reviewed by Marten Weldon (age 12) for Reader Views (09/17)
“The Portal: The CORT Chronicles Book 1” by David D. Bernstein, is a book about a 13-year-old boy named Zack, who tries to find his 11-year-old brother Andy, who disappeared by jumping into a time portal during a baseball game. The New York Zack found on the other side of the portal was not the same as the New York he left. It was now the year 2110, and the city was a war zone. The only people Zack could see were between the ages of twenty and fifty and they were mind-controlled minions. There were no children or old people. The city was run by robots that were controlled by CORT, the company running the city.
Zack soon finds his brother Andy, who was working with the resistance movement, fighting against CORT. They were not together long before Andy was captured by CORT. Now Zack will have to rescue his brother. The book ends rather abruptly at that point. To find out what happens next, we’ll all have to wait for the sequel.
I think the idea of kids fighting against a robot-dominated city is an interesting story. For me though, the story was not totally believable as I wanted to see more development of the plot and to know more about the characters so I could relate better to them in their adventures. Plus, the characters didn’t talk like normal children, or at least any of the kids I know. Their speech was more formal–they never used contractions like don’t or won’t, so the language seemed kind of stiff.
There are a few illustrations in the book, which are very good, but I thought they made the kids look about half their actual age.
“The Portal: The CORT Chronicles Book 1” by David D. Bernstein, is a quick read at only 78 pages long. Overall, I found the concept of the story to be interesting and really liked the action. I think it is a story that will be enjoyed very much by readers just a bit younger than my age group.