Thursday, February 10, 2011

review: The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card

pub date: January 4, 2011
publisher: Tor
pages: 384
audience: adult
source: free from goodreads First Reads
appeals: fantasy, magic,
content: sexual content for older teens and adults, some swearing,

goodreads blurb:
Dan North knows from early childhood that his family is different — and that the differences are secrets that can never be told. This contemporary Urban Fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here.

The first 30 pages were interesting. The whole premise of Danny's family's history and what their 'talents' are, it was cool stuff. I liked it. 
However, sometimes Card goes a little overboard in describing how the magic (or science) in his fiction works--at least for me. And that is what happened here. WAY too much of Danny figuring out what he can and can't do and how he does it and why it works. That is so BORING to me. I want plot, action, growth. I don't need to know how it works, I just want to see it work.
I kept slogging through only because I got the book from Goodreads in exchange for a review and I felt like I should finish before reviewing it. I was not liking what plot there was, or even Danny for that matter, for most of the book. Which was very disappointing.
However, it did get better. On page 206. Before this page Danny goes through this phase of being a thief and it was SO BORING AND POINTLESS. Once he ditched Eric (a thief who was Danny's teacher in all things illegal) and grew some brain cells, the plot picked up and things finally happened.

But really the best part of the book was the story of Wad. After every few Danny chapters we got a chapter about Wad. He had nothing to do with Danny, he lived somewhere else and did his own thing. His chapters were short and super interesting and such a nice break from Danny. I liked Wad! One of the reasons I liked his chapters was that I didn't get long (boring) magic lessons. He just did what he did--the plot moved! It was his story that kept me engaged while Danny was being a 13-year-old idiot.

The ending was really fascinating. It made me rethink how I felt about the rest of the book because it was so cool. How things come together, the hint of what's to come. Though I was sad how Wad's story ended. It is a series, so maybe happy things will happen later. Though I wont find out for myself. As fascinating as the ending was, I wont be picking it up.
It is an interesting premise and cool magical world Card created, so if you don't mind 13 year old boys who aren't all that likeable and long described discoveries into magic, pick it up.

No comments: