ARC Review: The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow
Title: The Portal to Kerberos (Elementals #4)
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Publish Date: September 10, 2016
Genre: YA Mythology, Fantasy
Synopsis: She will venture into hell to save the one she loves.
After being betrayed by one of their own, Nicole watches helplessly as Blake is snatched into the prison world of Kerberos—along with Medusa’s head, which is the one item they need to stop the Titans from rising again. Now Nicole and the other Elementals must enter the portal, find Blake, and bring him and Medusa’s head back to Earth before the deadly monster Typhon returns and wreaks havoc on the world. But there’s one catch—their elemental powers don’t work in Kerberos. In a dimension designed to make those within it lose touch with reality, and that’s filled with dangerous creatures who want to stop them from completing their task, will they make it out alive?
In this penultimate book of Nicole’s story, join the Elementals as they journey through hell to save the world… before it’s too late.
I received a free copy of this book via the author in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.
THIS REVIEW WILL NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK BUT WILL TALK ABOUT SPOILERS FROM THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES. DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST THREE BOOKS IN THE SERIES!
I love how these books always jump right into the story line feet first. It's like I haven't missed a thing and am picking up right where I left off. I love this set of characters because I've got to see their journey as they saved the world. I feel as if I know them, and I love it when that happens.
This book picks off where The Head of Medusa ended. Kate was still turned to stone, and Ethan had just stolen the Medusa head and took Blake hostage into the hell hole known as Kerberos. I'm pretty sure Kerberos is the same place as Tartarus. Basically, it's where all of the creatures that are too evil for Earth spend out there eternity. It's a prison world for the baddest of the bad monsters. And Ethan willingly went in there to stop the Elementals. And he had Blake.
Talk about drama.
The remaining Elementals quickly go to Kerberos right after to save Blake and win back the Medusa head needed to close the portal. Right before they go through the portal, the god Apollo makes a guest appearance! I was so excited for this! Apollo is one of my favorite Greek gods and it was interesting to see how Madow portrayed him. He only appeared to be a few years older than Nicole so it was a bit awkward. A twenty-something guy with a seventeen year old daughter? Cringe.
It was the first time Nicole ever got to meet her dad, so it was a bit awkward. There wasn't a lot of interaction between the two so I hope to see more action in the next (and final) book. Apollo gave them a few weapons and tricks so that they could survive hell and sent them on their way.
I loved how in this book Madow dived deeper into the primordial deities. Nyx didn't make an appearance, but Erebus does. He's never been mentioned in any Greek mythology books that I've read so it was pretty cool. I really enjoyed his character. This book was more realistic in the sense that the trio survived Kerberos because they had a primordial deity as a companion. It probably wouldn't be possible for three teenagers to survive the place that preyed on the worst monsters.
Kerberos was definitely dangerous and deathly. There were a lot more instances with monsters and mythological creatures trying to kill them. I feel as if the concept of everything being deadly was explained very well. The environment sounded awful, which was exactly what Madow was going for.
Danielle actually got a bigger spotlight in this book. I feel as if she actually know has a personality instead of just being a prop in the background. She was essential to the story, and it was shown because Blake and Kate were out of the picture. Madow got to focus on her as a reader. (Plus, I did like the hinting at a new relationship development.)
As always, these books were extremely fast-paced. I read it in two sittings. The story just flows very well which made it easy to read. I loved how The Portal to Kerberos had a bit more action. I loved the fight scenes (but I did think Nicole wasted her arrows). This book was the best one I've read so far. I didn't have a fault with it. I'm really enjoying the direction this series is going in.
I'm going to leave you all with a teensy spoiler: Chronos (or you might know him as Kronos) made an appearance at the end of this book, and given the title of the next book (The Hands of Time), I think he's going to play a bigger role in the last book of this series. Time is of the essence.
About the Author
Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!
She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.