The Gates


John Connolly’s The Gates

Once again, I find myself reviewing another Connolly novel (this being the 5th novel of his I’ve read – only 7 more to go).

Departing from his signature character Charlie Parker for only the 4th time in his career, Connolly offers up a tale of Hell on earth. The story follows that of ambitious 11 year old, Samuel Johnson of Biddlecombe, England as he attempts to beat the crowd and go trick or treating 3 days before Halloween. While moving door to door, Samuel stumbles upon 666 Crowley Drive (a bit cliched, but works), interupting a plan to summon Satan by it’s inhabitants. Due to a malfunction with the Large Hadron Collider, a small burst of energy escapes and tears a hole in the time space continuum causing a portal to open between Earth and Hell in said home. Samuel witnesses the events and his appearance is caught by one of the demons escaping through the portal. The particular Demon in question has to juggle the termination of Samuel and the preparation for the arrival of Satan himself.

Relying heavily on a very dry, very British wit, Connolly offers up what many are calling his first fouray into young adult fiction. Littered throughout the novel are various footnotes and diagrams offering up tidbits of information and trivia as well as explaining certain talking points in the novel. Connolly implores this with a very different sense of humour than usual, probably much to do with the subject material as he’s usually writing darker stories.

A predictible ending nonetheless, Connolly plays it smart and leaves it open for a potential sequel. While I did enjoy the book, I find that Connolly does much better with Parker or darker subject material. The novel itself was a fun and enjoyable read, I’d recommend it to most as the characters created are likeable and memorable.

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