Ulrich Krieghund's Reviews > The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
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Jun 18, 11

Read in November, 2008

This time travel adventure begins in 1983, the year the book arrived. The protagonist, Brendan Doyle, is a professor and an expert on the English Romantic poets of the early 19th century. He is summoned by a rich eccentric to a remote location and grilled by the wealthy Mr. Darrow about his knowledge of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

My overall grade is a B, or 4 stars in Goodreads rating system. I did not find Romany as interesting an antagonist as Dog-face Joe.

Plot spoilers and discussion follow

The primary antagonist is Doctor Romanelli and his doppelganger (called a ka in the story) Dr. Romany. I would have preferred the story have more to do with Dog-face Joe.

Conflict: Brendan Doyle is trapped in 1810. Strangely enough, he doesn't seem to be working all that hard to get back to 1983.

Other characters

Horrabin: a disfigured man who has a grotesque face of a clown and always walks on stilts. He avoids sitting on the ground whenever possible. Horrabin is the master of a guild of beggars. Thoroughly evil, beneath the Rat's Castle are bizarre mistakes that have been experimented on. In a brilliant scene in the climax of the story, these mistakes escape and kill Horrabin.

Jacky: A wispy rapscallion who is actually a woman masquerading as a male beggar. She is a master of disguises. Later Powers reveals her as really Elizabeth Jacqueline Tichy and her driving force is to find Dog-face Joe, the body-switching werewolf who killed her husband.

Dog-Face Joe: This is another great character. Joe can switch bodies with anyone with whom he has spent time. Once he possesses a new body, that body slowly starts to be covered with hair all over. When the body starts to resemble a hairy ape, he chews up the tongue, ingests some poison, and switches to another body. When the original owner of the body takes back possession, the tongue is too mangled to explain what happened and he quickly dies from the poison.

The Spoonsize Boys! I loved these magical little assassins.
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