Shannon's Reviews > The Lost Gate

The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
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Jul 31, 13

bookshelves: supernatural, bekah, anna
Read in December, 2011

The Lost Gate is a fascinating concept that ended up in a book that could have used a bit more editing. If I were able to give stars based on the idea, I'd give this book 4 stars. But the writing itself? A mere 2 stars. So I settled on 3. I did enjoy this book. Here's why:

Danny North is a believable character, if not an inherently likable one. Perhaps inevitably, I compared him to another Orson Scott Card youngster - Ender Wiggins. Danny is from a family of gods who live in isolation in Virginia. All of his life, it's been assumed that Danny had no magical gifts. While this could have gotten him killed, his parents held out hope that Danny did have magic - of a special and forbidden kind. When Danny discovers who - and what - he is, he runs away. He meets another group of gods (the Orphans) who are not from one of the magical families, but have powers nonetheless. They help Danny uncover his power and how to use it.

Danny is a bit of a brat - precocious, a prankster, quick to joke when it might be better to be serious. He's also been wounded by the way his family treated him during his childhood - wounds that I felt weren't fully explored by Card.

Also lacking was an in-depth look at how the magic of these gods worked - past and present. There were several times when I had trouble understanding what Card was trying to get across - the descriptions of magical events were wordy or rushed. I think the thought was there, but Card's ideas needed a bit more refining to help the reader see everything easily and clearly.

If you're a fan of books that explore new explanations for old ideas like Greek mythology, The Lost Gate is an interesting take. If you're looking for top-notch fantasy writing, you might be better served by Patrick Rothfuss, who is both wordsmith and fantasy world-creator, rolled into one. A final note: The Lost Gate is not marketed as young adult fiction, but both my husband and I read it and agree it's a book we can share with our 10 and 12 year old daughters. For that reason alone, it might be worth your time.
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Kurt Anderson Very much agree wit h your thoughts. Well-put.


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