Book Review: The Portal & The Panther by R.A. Marshall

PP - FINALTitle: The Portal & The Panther
Author: R.A. Marshall
Genre: YA Fantasy / Science-Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The only thing seventeen year-old Jon Parker wants is to escape his sleepy hometown of Mecksville, Arkansas. But everything changes when Jon stumbles into the boys’ bathroom and transforms into a black panther.

Without choice, Jon is thrust into a world where parallel universes are real, shapeshifters exist, and dangerous “intruders” can control the elements with a mere thought. Jon learns he’s inherited his shapeshifting ability from his long-dead mother, and now, like it or not, his mission is to protect our world from invaders from other worlds.

But is it a mission Jon will accept? His decision will determine the fate of the people he loves — and our whole world.

In The Portal & The Panther, Jon Parker is seventeen years old, and has lived a pretty normal life so far. That is, until one day he starts feeling ill at school, escapes to the boys’ bathroom, and transforms into a panther. His entire world is turned upside down when he realizes humanity isn’t the only group populating earth. Shapeshifters exist, and he’s far from the only person who can change into a panther or another animal. Apart from shapeshifters, there are also “intruders” who can control the elements with just a thought.

Layla, a fellow shapeshifter, helps him adjust to his new world, and his new powers. Along with her help, Jon must protect the world from aliens invading it from other worlds. Then a girl from his class, Kristin, who he’s always had a crush on, gets involved, and suddenly his mission turns a lot more dangerous and he risks hurting the girl he loves.

There’s a bit of a love triangle going on between Layla, Jon and Kristin, but I didn’t mind that much. Each character is likeable in their own way, particularly Jon. He’s flawed, suffers from a less-than-perfect childhood, and he’s easy to relate to. Layla is tough, but at the same time she had a vulnerable side too. And Kristin seems like your typical girl next door, but she has more courage than you’d give her credit for at first.

The story is engaging and well-written, and the characters shine on the pages. The world-building is impressive, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.


  1. Thanks for the review, Majanka. I’ve enjoyed the book tour thus far and I’m glad you seemed to like the story. PS, I personally think the second book is better than the first! 😉

Speak Your Mind