THE LOST GATE By Orson Scott Card [Review]

The Lost Gate

Orson Scott Card is one of the undisputed masters of science fiction currently writing. With an impressive catalog to his name, it seems remarkable that he can continue to turn out fresh ideas and engaging characters, and yet he does, time and time again. THE LOST GATE is no exception.

In The Lost Gate, Danny has been raised in a group in Virginia, all descendents of Norse Gods, but Danny seems to have been left out when they were handing around magical abilities. Looked down on, and even a little bullied, Danny seems almost hopeless until he discovers he is a gatemage, gifted with the ability to open gates between our world and others. Suddenly Danny goes from powerless to powerful and he is feared, and on the run. In a desperate attempt to find help, he ends up in Westil, an alternate plane, where he meets another gatemage, a young man with very little memory of his own past.

The Lost Gate is a solid offering by Card. If you’re familiar with his work, you know he spins a tale that’s complex and tends to set up a story intended to stretch over several books. This one seems to be headed that way. Although it stands alone, there is definitely the set up for a series here, and I don’t have any complaints, the complexity to the worlds he has created is certainly worth returning to at least once or, hopefully, more times. His idea that “gods” were mages from other world was interesting, and as a fan of the TV show Ancient Aliens, I must admit it is a theory I’ve heard more than once. Still, it worked well in the confines of this book.

There were drawbacks. The biggest single one is the mesh of his technology and magic. He does get a little over-involved in describing the technology of his gates. In fact, I did find myself sneaking a little fast through a few passages to get back to the story. Although, what’s an issue for me I know is a geek-point winner for other readers. I just like the technical or magical portions of the sci fi/fantasy novel to mix in a little easier. I actually felt like there was a pause then “here is the explanation” then back to the story. One of the other things that bugged me is sometimes the characters are a little too much to take. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I wanted to smack Danny at least twice.

The Lost Gate, even with its few drawbacks, is pure Orson Scott Card. It’s a great story, a complex creation with enough threads to keep even the pickiest reader entranced until the end. I sincerely hope it marks the beginning of a long line of stories about the gatemages and their worlds.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Tor Books | Pages: 384 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon

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