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Portal wraps up Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor’s hard sf trilogy [1], and does so in style.

For a late night read when I was recovering from a cold this was exactly the book I wanted. I knew who the characters were, I more or less knew the rules of the universe, and I knew that there would be a few surprises coming.

The familiarity with the characters is essential for Portal; this is an ensemble novel that only works if the reader already believes that this team is a family forged in fire. It makes the critical parts of the novel sing, and that’s as much of a spoiler as you’re going to get here.

I did feel that one of the later elements [2] was perhaps a bit rushed, but I’m prepared to forgive that as the price of a very tightly edited book. Portal is only about 300 pages making it a short(ish) novel for the ground it covers.

If you enjoyed Boundary and Threshold, you will find Portal to be a satisfying conclusion to the stories of Helen, A.J, Joe, Maddy, and Jackie [3].

[1] The first two, and thoroughly recommended, books are Boundary and Threshold. I haven’t reviewed those, so there may be a reread coming up.

[2] The novel was released this year so spoilers are just not happening. Deal with it.

[3] The TV Tropes page for Boundary needs more love, but I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t include a 5 Man Band entry…