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Iona Portal: Book One of the Synaxis Chronicles Paperback – December 4, 2011

148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert David MacNeil is an author, wine-lover, and investigator of things supernatural. Over the last twenty years he's traveled to 31 nations teaching on angels, demons, and supernatural encounters. His travels have taken him from the steppes of Mongolia to the jungles of Thailand, and from the Eskimo villages of Northwest Alaska to le fin del mundo, the “end of the world,” at the tip of South America. Robert loves science fiction and suspense thrillers, and is a student of history–especially ancient Greece, Rome and medieval Europe. He's particularly fascinated with Patrick, Columba, and the ancient Celts of Ireland and Scotland. The Celtic monks had a very special relationship with the angels. They also loved beer and invented whiskey. The Irish really did save civilization. Robert has authored five non-fiction books under a different pen-name. IONA PORTAL is his first novel. He's presently working on the sequel, IONA STRONGHOLD.
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Product Details

  • Series: Synaxis Chronicles
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467992542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467992541
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,356,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author, wine-lover, and world-traveler. I've traveled to 31 nations, from the steppes of Mongolia to the jungles of Thailand, and from the Eskimo villages of Northwest Alaska to le fin del mundo, the "end of the world," at the tip of South America.

I love scifi, suspense-thrillers, and the study of history. I'm particularly fascinated with the ancient Celts. The Celtic monks had a special relationship with angels. They also invented whiskey. The Irish really did save civilization.

I've authored five non-fiction books under a different pen-name. My first novel is the SciFi Thriller, IONA PORTAL. I'm presently working on the sequel, IONA STRONGHOLD.

For more information on Iona Portal, visit my website at IonaPortal.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dawn A. Lajeunesse on September 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I haven't been this blown away by a book since the Steig Larson trilogy.

Maybe it was because I don't usually choose books in the fantasy/sci fi genre. Maybe my expectations were low, as they often are with self-published books. Maybe I really wanted to be able to say something positive about an unknown writer's work, since I'm in the same boat.

Or maybe it's just an excellent read!

I was hooked from page one and found myself sneaking in an extra chapter when I should be getting back to work - and contemplating turning on my kindle and adjusting the print size to make it readable on my long drive home. (I didn't.)

What I know was I was drawn to all of the characters as they were introduced. I mentioned before that it is not a genre that I normally would seek out, but the way the story unfolded made it all so believable! I actually forgot that it was fantasy.

I recommend this to any avid reader, regardless of genre preferences. It has something for everyone!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By BJP on September 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This new Fiction Author has created a masterpiece of suspense in the first of his series of Sci Fi books. It is definitely a must read if you enjoy being swept away from the first page and held spell bound until the last. MacNeil showed great skill in weaving the multiple characters, plots, and events all together. In fact, he easily paints mental images of his characters and plots causing the reader to feel as if they are watching the events unfold before them.

Personally, I liked the inclusion of historical areas along with its history. I also felt the author gave validity to the plot by discussing the science behind his story. He apparently has a gift of explaining science in terms that even the youngest of readers could comprehend. He also blended both of these elements in the right proportions thus keeping the focus of this novel as a Sci Fi book.

My desire upon completing this book was to immediately pick up book two in the series and continue reading. My hope is that we don't have to wait too long to do just that. In the meantime, don't hesitate to join me in becoming a fan of Robert David MacNeil's book, Iona Portal. You will not be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Madame X on September 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Iona Portal is a fast-paced, exciting novel that will make you think. It blends historical fact (in recounting the legend of Iona island as well as depicting ancient rites) with situations that make you keep turning the pages toward an astonishing finale.
The author did a great job of maintaining converging storylines and keeping each character distinct. Every character was fully fleshed out, each with their own personality and history. The descriptions of settings were also evocative and vivid.

What I appreciated most about this novel was the way it made sci fi situations believable and made me suspend my belief system. The story was well-plotted and generated tension with every page, leading toward a thrilling conclusion. While I don't read this genre often, I found this book really interesting; the unique blend of fantasy, realism and the supernatural definitely has me reaching for the sequel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Garcia on October 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The French surrealist poet Paul Éluard once remarked, perhaps figuratively, "There is another world, but it is in this one." Robert David McNeil would agree, literally. In his thriller "Iona Portal" he has conjured up worlds within worlds whose fates are intimately linked with that of our own, and he uses science, history and psychology effectively to argue for his vision.

Iona Portal is a science fiction page turner in which the author mixes fantasy and reality in just the right amounts. He includes maps of the locations where the story takes place as well as handsome illustrations of some of the events, which makes the narrative much more engaging and believable.

Robert centers his epic on a real place, the mysterious island of Iona, which for centuries has been a destination for pilgrims who are willing to traverse the Scottish lochs, glens, and bogs in order to gain enlightenment and perhaps witness some of the enigmatic things that allegedly happen there. Iona Portal is the story of one such pilgrimage, but with the fate of humanity at stake.

In many ways this is a classic tale. However, the author gives the story the necessary twist that makes it original, while at the same time linking it to rich historical traditions. The pilgrims are stalked by the evil Archons, who due to their large numbers are winning the war. But the Archons are hypersadistic, disorganized, and invariably overplay their hand. The pilgrims are protected by the Irin, who are benevolent and brave, but due to their few numbers, are losing the war. The pilgrims must reach their destination and learn to use their gifts to tilt the balance of the conflict towards the forces of good.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book that you just can't put down! Be ready for some late night reading, if not ALL night! The author's way of writing puts you right there in the middle of the action as if you are there as it happens. His knowledge as well as experience in foreign lands really opens up new worlds to explore! I found myself wanting to pack up and travel right along with the characters! I highly recommend this book and am eager for the release of his next offering...He has just made it to my "buy whatever he publishes" list!
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Iona Portal: Book One of the Synaxis Chronicles
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