• CK Sorens

Book Review: The Portal by Shana Dow

How is it the end of April already! I know I'm not alone in feeling like this month in particular sped by. What happened?? There is some good news in the speed, though - one of my most anticipated books of the year releases TODAY!!! Congratulations to Shana Dow for completing this wonderful set of books.

I'm so excited to share that The Keepers of the Balance trilogy has come to a close! Last year I reviewed the first two books, The Keeper and The Meadow. This year I signed up for the ARC of The Portal, and we were not disappointed! I say we because these are book I have read aloud to my three boys - ages 6, 10, and 12 - and they all find something to love in Marston's story.


About The Portal

His family has vanished. The Balance is threatened. Time is running out.

Marston has been given a chilling ultimatum: Join me or they die.

Devastated by recent events, Marston is pushed to his limits. If it wasn’t for him, would his family had been targeted? Now he faces an impossible choice.

The countdown is on to rescue his family and he must depend on the Light like never before. However, a shocking twist may jeopardize his plans, forcing him and Olivia to seek help from an unlikely source. The weight of responsibility lies firmly on his shoulders and the choice of who to trust becomes more important than ever.

In this thrilling conclusion of The Keepers of the Balance series, the final clash between the Light and the Darkness will determine the future for not only Marston and the Keepers, but for the entire multiverse!

Find The Portal on Amazon (not an affiliate link).


My Review

This novel has been one of my most anticipated new releases of the year, and it did not disappoint - and the book hangover is real! There is so much emotion in this last installment of The Keepers of the Balance trilogy, which made it a challenge to read-aloud to my kids, but I did it.

Marston has to face his biggest challenges in this book. What I love the best is that Shana has created this male main character with emotions much like the ones they struggle with. That she has provided him with an environment where he knows he can talk to people. He's taught mindfulness and coping techniques in order to help battle the fear, doubt, and uncertainty that want to take him as he struggles through some truly challenging life experiences.

I love that these books are available for my three young boys to read and get excited about. That they have a role model in Marston in understanding we all can have overwhelming, unhappy thoughts, but they don't have to control us. We can look without at our family and friends, and inside at our own strengths and love, and be able to make it through to the other side.

I highly recommend this trilogy for young adult readers and beyond. The story is full of adventure, and the lessons are timely and important.


About the Author

Shana grew up reading and writing short stories. Whenever it was her turn to read her creative writing in class, everyone knew she would read a story way beyond the required one to two-page maximum.

She met and married her husband and they have four boys. She put her dream of writing on hold while her sons were small but continued to study the art of writing and read as much as she was able.

Shana is a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy. She also enjoys delving into the world of dystopian novels. She finds the themes represented in these genres universal and inspiring to the human condition. She always roots for the underdog and understands that some stories may not end ideally, although she prefers a happy ending.

Several years ago, she had a dream about a boy and his discovery which inspired the story for her debut novel. Years would go by, but she said that the dream remained vivid and she remembered every detail as if she had just dreamt it the night before. (She will not share the details of the dream here – spoilers!)

She always wanted to be a writer and when the time came, she dove in and didn’t look back. She has plans for one more book in the Keepers of the Balance series and has a plethora (one of her favorite words) of ideas for other books in the future.

Find Shana at:







A note from C.K. Sorens

If you would like to keep up to date with what's going on with my author side, please sign up for my newsletter newsletter! As a thank you, you'll receive an exclusive prequel chapter to the Trimarked Series. You can find me on Instagram or Facebook for regular week day posts.

If you're ready for Trimarked, check out this link for a short list of retailers or ask for it to be ordered at your favorite bookstore. And bonus: It's now an audiobook that can also be found at the link above!!

As for book two, it's now avalable at this link! Audiobook coming soon!

Happy reading!

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