The Vending Portal

Seventh-grader Mel and her sister Sage begin an average walk home from school. Taking a detour through Old Town and out into the rice paddy fields, Mel and Sage discover an old vending machine that is much more than it seems. Suddenly thrust into an alternate world, the sisters find a strange world where everything seems utopian…or is it? With high technology, free food, and smiling faces, the world Mel and Sage have entered looks a little too perfect. Encountering new friends and enemies and discovering their own unique connection to this strange parallel world, Mel and Sage must use their wits to survive. And as the cracks in utopia widen to reveal the ugly secrets beneath the surface, the sisters fight for the world’s fate as they struggle to find a way back home.

The Vending Portal by Judy Liu is the chilling tale of two sisters entering a terrifying dystopian universe. I loved the culture in the story and the beautiful descriptions of the rice fields. Clear-headed Mel and spontaneous Sage are as different as night and day, and I love the interplay between the sisters as the plot progresses.

Enigmatic Romilda and savvy Lewis add depth to the increasingly complex story, which has as many intricate layers as a chef’s prized recipe. The setting is so well-thought-out and immersive that it is easy to lose time in the parallel world alongside Mel and Sage. With twists and turns, and a deadly threat more perilous than anyone could have imagined, this intense story of heroism in spite of tyranny is one of the best I have had the pleasure of reading.

The Vending Portal is a through-provoking coming-of-age science fiction novel that young adults and teens will be whisked away into. The gripping story will have readers questioning what the perfect society is and what the cost of such a society means to those that live in it. This fascinating story is ideal for opening up the discussion with teenagers about how they want to impact their own society and community.

Pages: 234 | ASIN : B0BCH7FL9S

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 19, 2023, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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