Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: The Lost Gate

Goodreads Summary: Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them.  While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.

He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins, and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father.  Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.

There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow.   There is a secret library  with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English — but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books.  While Danny’s cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see.

Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny  as well.  And that will lead to disaster for the North family.
I've had this book sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a little over two years. TWO YEARS. Which is utterly insane knowing that when I got it I was in the high of my Enderverse craze [don't get me wrong, I'm still an Enderverse fangirl] and that it was another book by Orson Scott Card only this time explicitly young adult. How I let it sit that long is beyond me. But I challenged myself to read it this year as part of the TBR Challenge and so I read it I did. 

My initial reaction to this novel was confusion. The reader is kind of tossed into this world with all of these mythological families, gigantic extended families mind you, that you know little to nothing about. I felt lost but I forced myself to push on mostly because I absolutely hate to DNF a title especially one that I had been so looking forward to.

The novel is told from alternating character POVs, normally Danny the character mentioned in the summary but also Wad a character who is a world away from Danny. Generally I preferred the chapters revolving around Wad as Danny came across as arrogant and annoying for the most part. Suffice to say that Danny was just plain obnoxious. Wad was more quiet and the characters that were involved in his storyline interested me as well. Wad's story was more mature than that of Danny though. Also, I was just generally curious to see what his role in the story was.

Also on the note of Danny and his obnoxiousness there is this sexual harassment trick he pulls off a few times in the novel that kind of irks me. I mean, maybe it was clever the first time [a really iffy maybe at that] but considering he's made out to be some sort of kid genius I think he could have come up with a better way of getting out of everything then stripping and basically yelling "I'VE BEEN SEXUALLY HARASSED!" over and over again. Really and truly it just made me feel like a creeper even just reading about it. Can you say, AWKWARD? And on that note, there were other awkward/creeper scenes that I really just don't even want to go into. Scenes that really did not even need to be included.

The mythology is interesting but I found myself googling things often to get a better feel for them and what the "original" stories were before coming back to the novel. That could just be the literature major in me though, the side of my brain that wants to know how authors came up with their storyline and how it relates back to what has been penned for hundreds of years. And, you know, the fact that I'm obsessed with mythology in general. 

I think that The Lost Gate could be one of those novels that would resonate more with boys than girls, but it could be just this one girl [AKA moi] reading it that didn't feel the connection. Danny wasn't the type of narrator that I find myself fond of and because of that I didn't really care one way or another what happened to him. For the most part this one just irked me and I can't, with good faith, recommend it to those of you that possess a reading palate similar to my own. However if you really want to try it, I'd say grab it from a library.

Rating: 1/5


  1. Good to know! I loved Ender's Game and was wondering about his other stuff. I think I picked up one recently, but not this one thankfully.

    1. I'm a huge fan of Ender's Game too. This was nothing like it. At all. -.-

  2. Wow, this one sounds like it had a lot of potential and I totally would have tried it, but you're right, creeper central and confusing as hell!

    1. Glad I could pass along a warning at least. [: