Kim 's Reviews > The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
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's review
Mar 08, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011booksread, steampunk
Read in March, 2011

This is a reread. I read this years ago and since I've been reading lots of steampunk books recently, I wanted to revisit this one. I had forgotten how genuinely scary and horrifying this book is. Not the best thing to be reading at night right before turning out the light. The book has some huge strengths, but it also has its flaws. The plot is so complex and convoluted that, to be honest, the author does a great job making it as readable and comprehensible as it is. But the book is full of unexplained events that don't make any real sense. Not just some massive time-travel paradoxes, but then all the mysterious magic elements that are never explained or justified. Including a rather massive and literal Deus Ex Machina at the end. But the things that bothered me the most are when he doesn't explain little things like "How can he understand Arabic all of a sudden? When did that happen?" The pacing of the book is furious and I think the author doesn't want to stop the runaway train to explain things, but those things stick with me and keep distracting me from the text. Overall, it's definitely a recommended book to read, obviously I gave it 4 stars. And it has been very influential over the past almost thirty years. But I find myself frowning about it on having finished it. I've tried to read a couple of the author's other books and found them quite disappointing. On a second reading of this one, I can see some of the same flaws here.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Pat (new)

Pat I really liked Powers' "Last Call" (about arthurian legend-ish stuff, tarot, and poker), "Drawing of the Dark" (semi-historical but mostly about beer that may or may not be brewed with Finn MacCool's bones) and "Three Days to Never" (about... well, a lotta stuff, including as I recall Einstein and Israeli psychic warriors) but was utterly uninterested/unmoved by "Expiration Date" which I've tried to read like six times since I bought it years ago and just... can't. Most of his stuff is good, but there are a couple that just fail to work.

Kim I finished Expiration Date and yeah, wasn't impressed. I own some of his other books, but I'm not sure which ones. I think I tried Three Days to Never but didn't get into it.

message 3: by Pat (new)

Pat Remind me next time I see ya, I'll bring back your copy of Prague (A. Phillips) and I'll bring you my copy of "Drawing of the Dark" (powers) because that one's fun.

Kim I don't want Prague back. Sell it or something. ;)

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