Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Which We Review "The Gates"

Read 1/09/10 - 1/12/10
5 Stars - Highly recommended

It's 4 days before Halloween. The neighbors at #666 are bored and looking for a way to spend the evening. Donning black capes in their basement, they recite a spell from an old book they found. At the same time, CERN's LHC (Large Haloden Collider) surprises the scientists by firing off "a bit" of energy they cannot account for. 11 year old Samuel, and his little dog Boswell, just happen to be peeking in the neighbors basement window when a portal to Hell opens up and let's a lot of evil out... Are the Gates of Hell going to open? Are the Neighbors or CERN at fault? Can Samuel stop the end of the world as we know it?

John Connolly, known for his Charlie Parker series and Book of Lost Things, gives us a dark and humorous peek at what the world might look like should the Gates of Hell open and allow demons and evil spirits to enter earth through a portal - that may just be a blackhole with wormhole-like qualities.

Our 11 year old protagonist - accompanied by a few of his friends, his brave little dashund, and Nurd (the misplaced, not so evil, demon scourge of five deities) - tackle slimy blobs, flying skulls, and the very evil Mrs. Abernathy, who is paving the way for The Great Malevolence.

A cross between YA literature and your typical A.Lee Martinez/ Christopher Moore urban sci-fi fantasy, Connolly did a great job of grabbing hold and refusing to let go. Infusing a lighthearted look at Hell on Earth, while still managing to maintain that creepy, crawly undertone, he is sure to please anyone who picks this up! Not to mention the added fun of mixing it all up on Halloween of all nights! A definite must-read, do not let this pass you by.

Many thanks go out to John Connolly and Megan at Atria, who so selflessly shipped me a copy of this novel for review.


  1. I've been curious to see what you thought of this--I loved The Book of Lost Things, and now it looks like I'll have to go and pick this up!

    And just out of curiosity, how do you get such great ARC's?! You said that John Connolly sent you this, and I saw that you're reading Joe Hill's Horns...I'm so jealous! :P

  2. Nice review! I'll have to check this one out. You recommended The Book of Lost Things to me a while back and I was not disappointed.

  3. JessiKay89 - Running such a large group on Goodreads, and now having this blog, twitter, and facebook to support it... I use these and my powers of hypnotic persuasion to convince authors and publishing companies.

    I feel honored to have received them!

  4. Thanks Jesse. I really loved this book. It reads so quickly and was so much fun... which surprised me, because who would think that a book about the end of the world, and hell on earth could be FUN???