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Hell's Gate (Multiverse #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,429 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Union of Arcana has expanded through the portals linking parallel universes for over a century and a half. In that time, its soldiers and sorcerers have laid claim to one uninhabited planet after another—all of them Earth, and in the process, the Union has become the most powerful, most wealthy civilization in all of human history. But all of that is about to ...more
Paperback, 1236 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Baen Books 2008-04-29 (first published October 31st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,087)
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Ron
This one had four stars in the bag and blew it. How? An ending which left the reader not hanging on a cliff but tumbling over it.

That said, the universes (yes, more than one) involved were well conceived and developed. That the geography of all of them is identical with the Earth helped the reader locate the action somewhat. The humanoid cast was large and sprawling, and not well enough differentiated from one culture to another. In fact, the bad guys tended to blur regardless of which side they
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Lin
Dammit, Dave, would you stop writing new universes and finish... nevermind. Some of those universes you'll never finish. *sigh* First in a series, not a stand alone, so be prepared to get sucked in. And get the next book lined up now.

Openings from one parallel universe to another let the inhabitants of what seems to be the only human-inhabited universe spread out across the multiverse. Until they run into another universe's worth of humans. Even seeing the stupidities coming, it's how the good g
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William Bentrim
Hell’s Gate by David Weber and Linda Evans

Book one of the Multiverse series is a most engrossing 1200 pages. Evan’s and Weber portray two unique civilizations on a road to conflict. Arcana bases their technology on magic. Sharona has psychic talents but bases their technology on science. The multi-universal aspect is that both civilizations have discovered portal to alternate earths that have no populations until they confront each other.

David Weber and Linda Evans do a superb job in describing
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Ruth
Two empires meet on a deserted world... Sharona is an emerging techno-culture that relies heavily on wide-spread psychic "talents". Arcana is a "sword-and-sorcery" culture that relies heavily on widespread magical "gifts". The tragic meeting of an Arcanian exploratory platoon with a Sharonian civilian survey team sets off a long-burning fuse which is leading to war. So are the spell-casting Arcanians, backed by dragon cavalry, ready for the machine-gun toting Sharonians, backed by ground artille ...more
David L
This book is unusual. It has a totally original basic premise. That is so rare in SF now that it would make this book worth reading for that reason alone. In David Weber it has one of the best authors in current SF, and Linda Evans though not first rank is a very good author as well.

So why only three stars? Because unfortunately they have ruined a great book, and turned it into a moderately good book that barely rates those three stars, with some basic errors. The book has far too much expositio
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Kathy Davie
It’s the start of a new military sci-fi series, the New Multiverse. I know, it sounds like a working title but it is accurate.

The Story
Two separate universes exploring portals, which take them to unexplored universes until, inevitably, the two exploring parties meet by accident, in accident. A scout from each side manages to kill each other in a way that terrifies their own teams leading to a cockup of massive proportions. It certainly points out the stupidity of promoting people based on patron
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James Hein
This is a long book that tries to be a space opera but is like two books in one. The first book is thew core story about two civilizations meeting.

The second story is the socio political backgroud of everything. I suspect that these two parts were written individually by the two authours and merged into the final product. The result is a book that some will flip through to find the next piece they are interested in (like I did) which I why I only gave this book 3 stars and it could have easily b
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Lindsay Stares
Ah David Weber. How much I used to like you. At this point I think I've just read too many of his books. I was really enjoying this one most of the way through, but then it just kept playing the same kind of scenes that I've seen in too many of his books already, and there isn't any good climax to the book at all. Disappointing.

Slight Spoiler follows:
It was an intriguing idea on the surface (Science world and magic world run into each other at the end of a long chain of portals, misunderstandin
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Jeff
I enjoy the ability David Weber gives me to immerse myself in his novels. This series pits magic vs technology multi-verses as they meet in the boonies and the shooting war begins. Let the cultures clash!
Bob
Mar 25, 2008 Bob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF fans AND Fantasy fans
Hoo boy! Weber once again makes clear that he OWNS the military science fiction novel! How he came up with this idea...does he ever sleep?

Good analysis of people's reactions to events, and like a few other authors (David Brin, Anne McCaffrey), he manages to make each character distinct (Brin is perhaps superior in this ability). But he has SO MANY characters in this series! I keep having to backtrack to reread who he's talking about. At least the second book (currently reading) has a character l
...more
Michelle E.
Mar 08, 2014 Michelle E. marked it as advised-against  ·  review of another edition
Per another user in one of my groups, this "trilogy" only contains two of it's promised 3 books, as in no plans for a third; readers are left hanging.
Dr.
I have to give up on this book because it is total crap. It's really disapointing because I like some of the ideas in the story and I think better writers could make a decent book out of it. I got about 600 pages into its 1200 pages and really not a whole lot had even happened yet. I was just slogging through reading about all these two dimensional characters who I could give a damn about waiting for the moment when maybe something would happen in the plot to justify it. Frustrating. So if you s ...more
R. Michael Litchfield
Magic based society fights tech based society (steampunkish level w/ psionics) over stupid avoidable issues arising from first contact. I liked this better than I rated it, love the way Weber & Evans made the societies complicated, riven with disagreements and internecine complications. Getting a bit tired of his penchant for oligarchical systems (does every society have to have a good and beneficent monarchy?) and his super detailed rifleman squad combat is fantastic but a little tiresome.

I
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Ian
I actually think the multiverse books are Weber's best. The whole story idea is a little silly, I'll admit, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well Weber and Evans pulled it off. I found myself really caring about the characters and their relationships, cheesy though they may be. This book is not full of profound ideas, but it does pose the challenge of making both sides of a violent conflict seem "right" in their own ways and sympathetic to the reader, and Weber and Evans pulled it off.

This
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Michael
I don't know why I haven't read this book long before now. As I have stated many times I am a huge David Weber fan. I can only figure that because this is a multi-universe book that I equated it with a time travel book. I don't like time travel books for the most part with some notable exceptions. This book however is a very good read with a good story line, plenty of action and interesting characters. I highly recommend it. I am immediately starting on the sequel "Hell Hath No Fury"!
Abby
Jul 14, 2008 Abby rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of military sci fi
The beginning is annoyingly slow, because they are setting up two entirely different cultures on two separate other-universe earths, and each has multiple cultures. The complexity is realistic, as (I think) are the military issues, and once the story really got under way, I was completely sucked in. It's an interesting combination of military sci-fi, anthropology, and politics.

Now, if only Evans would write the sequel to "Far Edge of Darkness!
Nihonjoe
This is an interesting mix of fantasy (very interesting magic system, too) and military science fiction. The only thing which was very confusing at the beginning (and still is to a lesser extent by the end) is how the POV keeps jumping from character to character (and there are a fair number of "main" characters, too).

Outside of that, I'm enjoying the series quite a bit, though it's not my favorite collaboration by David Weber and company.
Iain
I got half way through before I was heartily tired of the massive amount of idiocy, hypocrisy and tub thumping jingoism displayed by all the characters on both sides. I made it another 33% on momentum and the fact that I normally love weber's work. But I've now given up, it's on the not finished pile and will most likely stay there.
Janice
magic, dragons, technology, multiverse, military SF, clusters of transit portals - looking forward to reading this and the next book in this series by David Weber with Linda Evans (tho book #3 is not yet published)... not a part of the Honorverse but the same strong and in-depth character development.
Trip
Yep, it's Weber all right, noble monarchs and all. On the other hand, it's an interesting setup, and unpleasantly plausible in the way one screw-up can lead to potentially millions of deaths. I think I got enough hours of entertainment from it to justify the $7 I paid for it used.
Chris
Enjoyable, but it suffers from the same problem as David Weber's other series, such as Honor Harrington -- he spends large numbers of pages on the characters' desire for peace, but we all know that he'll never allow them to sustain peace, because that's not what Weber writes.
Paul Byer
Boring as heck. I'd write a more in-depth summary but really. Folks will still buy it simply because it's David Weber and he's a bloody genius but obviously it's not his natural style. I will no be reading any more from this union. I consider this a failed experiment.
Janne Frösén
Disappointing. Boring ~1200 pages, supposedly "military scifi" but very naive and not realistic. Neat concept, but nothing new, if this was meant for grown ups, I think I'll pick another teenage (young adult) book next, they have been a lot better lately.
Lou
I wanted to like this book so very very much! It's a great premise, and sounded like something that I'd particularly enjoy... but reading it felt like slogging uphill through liquid clay. I don't know why, but it's just not for me.
Maladjester
The only book I've ever read that seemed longer than The Stand. Interesting mix of technology and magic, with capabilities spread evenly between the two factions.

Supposedly there will be additional volumes to follow.
Tom
I'm a big David Weber, especially the Honor Harringtom series. This is the 1st of a very different series about two human cultures clashing in alternate universes. It is very good but lots of charaters to follow.
Bevan Audstone
Ehh,
It's OKay

I skimmed major 'social interaction, societal studies, personalities' sections.
The battles were typicaly David Weber excellence...but the story didn't sustain the book
Jadon
I finally gave up on this book after 800 pages. It's a very long buildup, reasonably well written, with interesting concepts, but damn 1200 pages is too much.
Aaron Anderson
A very cool idea for a series but the actual writing was poor. I'd still continue the series if they ever write a third book.
Barbara
Hate to admit that I could not finish this one. I tried, but I just couldn't get into it. Interesting premise though.
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David Weber--yet another fine series! 2 20 May 04, 2009 09:11PM  
  • Exodus (Starfire, #5)
  • Yellow Eyes (Posleen War: Sidestories, #2)
  • One Day on Mars
  • The Creatures of Man
  • The Tide of Victory (Belisarius, #5)
  • Northworld Trilogy  (Northworld, #1-3)
  • Trigger & Friends
10517
David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name
...more
More about David Weber...

Other Books in the Series

Multiverse (2 books)
  • Hell Hath No Fury (Multiverse, #2)
On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington, #1) The Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington, #2) The Short Victorious War (Honor Harrington, #3) Field of Dishonor (Honor Harrington, #4) Honor Among Enemies (Honor Harrington, #6)

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