Book Reviews for 'Portals of Hope'

Cynthia A. Morgan

Reedsy Discovery Review

Being a Star Trek fan, I’ve gone down the road of alternate universes several times, and each time I found the journey intriguing and thought-provoking. What if the exact opposite of myself exists just half a second behind me? What if every possible outcome of every choice I’ve ever made has its own reality? What if we really can step through the looking glass and find a place that’s similar, yet vastly different?

Cate Hallahan’s Portal of Hope sent me, and will send readers, in another direction along the same path of parallel universes. Her lead character, Hope, finds herself in foreign, alternate, territory after an accident that causes her slightly inept….or perhaps just cunning….spirit guide to shift her existence from our reality to another.

Complex? Yes. In fact, I found myself re-reading sections from time to time just to make sure I knew which reality I was in, but I’ve always enjoyed a read I have to work for a little. The characters were dynamic and unique, not always opposite in the way I might conceive opposite to be. Not only were the characters dichotic, but the cultures of the alternative realities as well. Clever? Absolutely. So much so, that I once again found myself wondering who resides on the opposite side of my mirror.

Portals of Hope opened not only polar spheres of reality for the character to traverse, but it led me down multiple metaphysical paths where I had to pause and give my ruminations the opportunity to express themselves. When an author can not only weave a complex and beguiling tale that draws you in and gets you to invest, but also succeeds in making you wonder about things you rarely, if ever, considered, that author has struck the perfect balance between reality and ….well, the alternative.

Cynthia A. Morgan is an award-winning author of Fantasy, Dystopian Action, Romance and Poetry. Morgan’s captivating tales serve as a backdrop for messages like ‘show thankfulness through kindness and appreciate blessings through generosity’ and ‘the only way to achieve peace is by becoming peace’ Official Review

Official Review: Portals of Hope by Cate Hallahan
Report Post by Christieee » 26 Aug 2020, 15:13
[Following is an official review of “Portals of Hope” by Cate Hallahan.]

4 out of 4 stars

Do you believe in alternate universes? Can you imagine the possibilities that lay beyond your understanding? If not, then Portals of Hope by Cate Hallahan will stretch your imagination to its breaking point. This book shows what can happen in an alternate universe where all leaders are honorable, and the masses being led are conscientious. With this piece, Hallahan shines a light on many deep issues that plague our world, through the fictional story of the life of Hope.

Hope is a regular girl who lives with her boyfriend, Colin. Their world is the third-ranked dimension of earth, where there are many other alternate dimensions. Hope, however, is oblivious to this fact and that there are other “Hopes” in those alternate universes. On the morning of the anniversary of her parents’ death, she gets a rude awakening. Somehow, she is accidentally transported to one of the worst-ranked dimensions! In this bleak world, there is tragedy after tragedy. It is such a sharp contrast from what she is used to, and so she struggles to come to terms with the horrific events that are unfolding. Hope soon finds out that she has a spirit guide called Emma. With Emma and some new friends, Hope must battle certain horrors that are thrown her way. One question remains: how will she get back to her dimension? But before then, can she really make a difference in a world that seems hopeless?

When I read the description, I was a bit skeptical because of the talk of “alternate universes.” However, I decided to pick this book because the author said that it was most suitable for women that love to read about strong women, and I thought it was a good fit for me. I was not disappointed. The story was divided into 23 parts, each part indicating the dimension that was in focus at a particular point, so I was not confused at all. The story flowed seamlessly, and I found myself eagerly flipping the pages to discover more. Hope’s character was strong and so endearing that I became her fan. Even though Hope was the main character, the author developed other supporting characters properly. I must also warn you of the many surprises along the way; no one could possibly guess the ending!

I found it delightful that the author was not merely telling a pointless fictional tale of different worlds. Hallahan drew from the tragedies of our present world, including natural disasters, police brutality, racism, healthcare malpractice, and so on. The author offered a meaningful glimpse into what the world could look like if everyone worked together to make it a better place. However, I found many blank pages, which were unnecessary. I discovered only 3 minor errors that did not detract from my enjoyment of this piece. Hence, I rightfully conclude that the editing team did a splendid job. I did not find anything to dislike about this book; I absolutely loved it and could hardly put it down once I started reading.

I recommend this book to people interested in mystery books that focus on alternate universes. Romance lovers may also find this book interesting because there is a beautiful love story included. Just like the author, I wish women would read this book. However, because of the profanity, slightly erotic scenes, and extent of malice and violence, I strongly discourage children from reading it. Over-analytical people may want to skip this one because it can drive them nuts. I, for one, have nothing but high praise for this piece, so I have decided to rate it 4 out of 4 stars.

Nancy Baker, Author

Sep 25, 2020
Nancy Baker -Author

Rated 4 stars

I was lucky enough to read the early drafts of Cate’s novel and see it take shape. Each time I received a new version, I was happy to rediscover the characters, the humour, and the compassion in it. The book takes the tried-and-true SF concept of multiple universes but spins it in a new and interesting way that makes the reader think about both the virtues and failings of our version of it. Hope’s struggle to get home – and to do the right thing in the world in which she finds herself – makes a compelling story

Indie Reader Review

April 12, 2021 Posted by IR Staff

Cate Hallahan’s beautiful novel PORTALS OF HOPE both encompasses and defines alternate reality genre to create a web of interconnectedness across planes of existence. Social worker Hope Wells is nearly killed by a truck while riding her bicycle. Saved by the intervention of her spirit guide, she’s accidentally forced into another dimension and changed places with the Hope Wells of that reality. Many of the same people inhabit both, but their relationships to Hope and each other are different, as are the social, economic, and political realities of each world. Each Hope has to learn how to navigate the dangers of the reality she now inhabits while working with the shared spirit guide to get home. Complex and engaging characters, strong writing, and excellent world building keep the reader turning pages, rooting or both Hopes to find their best paths.