Book: The Gates
Author: John Connolly
Publisher: Atria Books
295 pages (Hardcover)
Samuel Johnson is ready for Halloween—so ready in fact that he and his dog Boswell have gone trick-or-treating a few days early. The first door he knocks on is the Abernathy house and he is rudely sent away. Little does he know that strange things are afoot at the Abernathy house and that all Hell is about to break loose. Literally!
I have never read John Connolly before and I don’t know much about him, but I have to say, my journey into YA has been quite fun because The Gates was AWESOME. I am not sure how to tell everyone that a book about the Gates of Hell being opened and demons wreaking havoc in England could be fun and hilarious, but this book was just that. Samuel is a really clever little boy and has the obligatory adorable and faithful dog, and his friends are pretty cool too. The book is a little reminiscent of The Goonies with the kids running around and having a great adventure, but instead of pirates, they are battling The Great Malevolence.
I like that the kids are at the forefront of the adventure and are basically put in place to save the planet because kids suspend disbelief more often than adults. This was pointed out to me at my book club and I wish I had thought of that while I was reading the book. There is a faith in children that adults just don’t have and The Gates truly showed that adventurous and creative spirit that kids have.
I didn’t find any of the demons to be scary. Some of them were downright funny. I don’t want to give any of their antics away, but there was one demon in particular that was a major character in the book that I feel ok to write about. Nurd, The Scourge of the Five Deities is the demon with the heart of gold. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he means well despite being a demon. He is the most loveable character in the book and he really is competing with Hellboy for my favorite demon of all-time!
In all, I thought this was a great book to read during Halloween or really any other time. It has more humor than horror and recommend it to people who want a light hearted, quick read. I will definitely be picking up more of John Connolly’s books in the future!
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Man of la Book's review of The Gates
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