In the eleven months since its publication, Iona Portal has received 92 “5-star” reviews on Amazon, and equally positive reviews elsewhere.   For nine straight months it has been listed among the “top-twenty” best-rated Science Fiction books on Amazon.  Here’s a sample of what people are saying

Iona Portal is a Must-Read!  By Dawn A. Lajeunesse (Chestertown, NY).  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!

A Must Read!  By ScifiFanGuy (Seattle, WA)  This is an absolute must read for science fiction/fantasy/supernatural thriller fans. MacNeil crafts a compelling, unique story that grabs your attention from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the memorable closing.  For a first time author, MacNeil shows remarkable skill at weaving a story that stays true to the genre while still adding a distinctive new voice. Through meticulous character and plot development and a wealth of historical and setting detail, the reader is immersed in a new world and a thrilling journey that takes you to, and beyond, all corners of the globe.  Don’t miss this great read!

A Captivating Read, By B. Post. 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 spellbound 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.  My desire upon completing this book was to immediately pick up book two in the series and continue reading.

Wanting More! By ROBIN SHRYOCK (Denton, TX)  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!

The beginning of a great trilogy, By Watchman.  I enjoyed Iona Portal immensely. MacNeil writes with great visual detail. A supernatural thriller that grabs the reader at the start and does not let go until the wild ending.

A True Gem, By Susan Stanfield (Colorado Springs, CO)  I am a not generally a book reviewer, but I am an avid reader of mysteries, sci-fi, stories with adventure and intrigue; MacNeil’s Iona Portal has hit the mark in all these areas. It is a true gem of a find. My only question is this: when can we have the next book??

Thrilling, By Germaine.  Looking forward to book 2 in this series. Was drawn in by descriptions and history that was woven into the plot. The characters are believable and I now consider them my new “friends.” Germaine Copeland, Author

A Must Read! By C. Robertson, Miramar Beach, FL.  I have never written a review before..but, Iona Portal deserves one..the book was thrilling..I couldn’t put it down until I finished it..A good read for anyone who enjoys scifi and suspense. I can’t wait for the next one in the trilogy.

Intriguing and Unique. By Fun Mom of Six (Michigan). A must read for science fiction/fantasy/supernatural thriller fans. This is a unique story with a very effective opening that grabs your attention from the very beginning and doesn’t let you go until the unforgettable closing. Great characters and excellent plot development.

Can’t wait!!!, By Bishop. This is such an exciting book. I could not put it down until I had finished the whole thing. I would come to the end of a chapter, and have to keep reading to see what happened next. The end of the book is awesome and I am longing to see what will happen next. Hoping there is another to follow!!!!

Join the Pilgrimage!  By R. Garcia.  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.  The book is well written and has an interactive table of contents, which is important due to its size. I found a formatting error in one page, but that did not detract from the reading experience. I recommend reading Iona Portal. It is science fiction, but next time you have a string of bad luck or watch the nightly news, it will make you wonder.

Captivated,  By Rroyce. As I read this book it played like a movie in my mind. I could see each character and the battle he is describing between good and evil. Infused with history and actual places it was the ‘whole, meal deal’. I would recommend this book to the sci fi reader and to those that generally aren’t. It will captivate you from beginning to end.

A Great Read, By L.S.  I just received the book and read it in one sitting on a snowy, relaxing day at held my attention as I loved the sci fi aspect of the story as well as the conflict between good and evil! I can’t wait for the 2nd book of the series to come out.

Great Read!, By DesVDP (Waterloo, Belgium). Thoroughly enjoyed this book with lots of twists and turns! I also really loved that it had so much background and historical info. Made me want to go and visit Iona myself!

UNFORGETTABLE!, By Sharon. Robert MacNeil weaves a tale of suspense, intimacy, and history that won’t be forgotten! WELL DONE! It would be GREAT to use for book-club discussion groups. I will look forward to each of his books!

Amazing read!, By iringirl.  From the first scene Iona Portal grabs you and doesn’t let go. A compelling story of good vs. evil, with just a little history, fantasy, and romance thrown into the mix. With vivid descriptions of places from Hawaii, to Scotland, and even other deminsions this book will transport you from beginning to end.

Gripping story!, By Debra Fleming “nursegal”.  I love reading and thoroughly enjoyed MacNeil’s first book, Iona Portal! Sci-Fi is a new genre for me and this won’t be the last I read in this genre. Robert did a great job of character development in the story, the characters were very real and believable. I had a difficult time putting the book down, i kept reading to find out what happened next…I have enjoyed the works of Ted Dekker and find many similarities in Robert’s skill of storytelling and suspense.  I am anxious to read the next in The Synaxis Chronicles!

Iona Portal – couldn’t put it down, By Rita Summers (St. Helens, Tasmania Australia).  I started reading this book last night, and only put it down to get some sleep … this morning, I kept reading over breakfast and was almost late for work. I then read the last 2 chapters during some quiet moments. Yes, I’m a fast reader, but the story was enthralling and really well-written. I was moved to tears several times.  I did find a few typos, but I guess these will be ironed out as the book keeps being published!  Highly recommended.


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