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The Gateway by Glenn G. Thater
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The Gateway by Glenn G. Thater is the first of a trilogy of fantasy books also contained in a single volume called The Harbinger of Doom. In the Gateway, we are introduced to a coterie of brave knights from the House Eotrus who are investigating the mysterious disappearance of their lord and his army. Along the way, they discover a mystical gateway through which the forces of evil plan to enter the world. It is up to Lord Theta, Sir Gabriel, Brother Claradon, and the rest of the Eotrus Knights to stop this otherworldy invasion. Failure to do so will result in the end of the world as it is plunged into darkness by the hordes an unholy army.

Glenn Thater uses many tried and true plot devices to tell his story. However, although there are some memorable moments, The Gateway seems to miss as often as it hits. I find that Thater's writing is inconsistent in his use of dialogue. Characters inexplicably slip in and out of colloquial modern slang to poorly written archaic speech. I'm a little confused as to why the author sees the need to allow his characters to indulge in the incorrect use of 'thees', 'thys', and 'thous' when his story works just as well without them. This could be overlooked by most readers since they may not be familiar with archaic English. Yet, I am at a loss to understand why Thater's characters choose to speak in archaic English when most of the time they speak in ordinary diction. Confusing to say the least.

I also find the occasional shift in point-of-view to be disconcerting. Since this book is mostly written in the third-person, there really is no good reason why certain passages are written in the first-person. However creative it may seem, this is an unconventional method of writing a story that is ultimately distracting.

As for the story itself, The Gateway isn't really a book as it is a short story with chapters. I had some trouble reading the opening chapters due to being bombarded with too many characters at once all engaging in lengthy dialogue. To be fair, it is very difficult for any author to engage his reader with an opening that consists of a large number of characters we don't know or care about (yet) discussing a problem that they don't understand. The characters are confused. Therefore, so is the reader. Just trying to sort out who is who, when there is no physical description of them in the text, just makes the challenge of following the story even more difficult.

Fortunately for The Gateway, the story does eventually get better. In particular, the conclusion was quite exciting and made up for the lackluster opening chapters. In fact, although my opinion of the book wasn't high when I began to read The Gateway, I am now compelled to seek out the sequel to see where the story goes from here.

In conclusion, I would recommend The Gateway to readers who like their fantasy tales gritty and action-oriented. 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  kevishendrickson | Apr 13, 2010 |
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