Hope's Reviews > Magic at the Gate

Magic at the Gate by Devon Monk
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Sep 05, 2011

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bookshelves: ghosts, magic-users, urban-fantasy

More talk than action in this Allie Beckstrom mystery. It picks up where the cliffhanger ending of the previous novel left off, with Allie crossing through the gate to death, where her father materializes as her guide. He teaches her about the rift between light and dark magic five hundred years before, telling her that they were broken apart to separate all powerful Soul Complements, Leander and Isabelle, who were committing unspeakable atrocities. Daniel Beckstrom tells his daughter that his mission is to reunite light and dark magic, like a messiah to cure the twisted souls of magic users who are all suffering in a purgatory, desperate for light magic to balance the dark. Sounds heroic, right? (view spoiler)

No, Allie's the only untainted good guy, and she's compromised by her dad acting as a mastermind - literally and figuratively, turning the empowered central female character into a relatively powerless shell. I'm not just frustrated but increasingly disgusted with the ambivalent cast of characters. The page time spent on characters I don't respect translates into being somewhat disgusted with the situation as a whole. I don't like movies where the audience is embarrassed for the characters, and I don't like how Allie is becoming a bit player in her own story.






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