Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review | The Gates by John Connolly

The Gates is a YA horror/fantasy by John Connolly.

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe. A gap in which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out...

Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?

Bursting with imagination, The Gates is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy. It is about a quirky and eccentric boy who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power.

John Connolly manages to re-create the magical and scary world of childhood that we've all left behind but so love to visit. And for those of you who thought you knew everything you could about particle physics and the universe, think again. This novel makes anything seem possible.

I didn't realize going into it that The Gates was YA, but since I happen to enjoy YA and any other "age group" really, I was good to go.

First I want say that I love the entire dust jacket on this book. It's great. You might want to keep an eye out for a print copy.

The story is pretty great, too. Here is where I confess this is my first John Connolly book. Is he always this humorous? I had a good time reading this.

There's a lot of science (big bang, particle physics, what have you) to explain the gates of hell. At first I thought the science and the story weren't connecting very well, but once I realized how YA The Gates was, I thought it was perfect.

So basically Samuel Johnson is out trick-or-treating early when he happens upon some folks who are summoning the devil and opening a gateway to hell.

The Gates is a fun read. It's set during Halloween, it's full of scary neighbors and adults who don't listen, there's demons run amok and friends you can count on, and it's laugh out loud funny.

7/10: Recommended Read


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  1. I think I've read another book from him that was quite humorous as well, but can't recall off the top of my head. I really need to pick up the rest of this series. He really is a prolific writer and I believe he has a lot of books out. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  2. I love books that can take a dark subject and make it hilarious. I've not read one of his books yet but I'd like to.

  3. The Gates was full of some great stuff and is written in a light hearted manner than makes everything funny, even when Connolly is conveying complicated scientific processes.


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