Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card

I am getting behind on these posts again, darn it! I read this one a few weeks ago. I liked the book and thought it was a really interesting premise but was surprised at some of the things he put in it.

Danny North grew up in a very secluded family compound somewhere in West Virginia or Virginia, I forget which. He is part of a family that are descended from, well, gods basically. They have all, or almost all, inherited certain magical abilities. Some are particularly good with plants or animals, but Danny didn't seem to inherit any sort of magical ability. He was quite ostracized by the family until one day he discovers that he is a gate mage. He is able to create a gate that can be passed through from one place to another, even miles away. The problem is that the family does not trust gate mages and they are usually killed. Danny leaves home immediately and manages to make a life for himself out in the world and even discovers just how great his abilities are.
Alternating with the story about Danny is the story of Westil, the planet that the North family came from 14 centuries earlier. Loki, a gate mage at that time, destroyed all the gates so that the Norths, and other families like theirs, could not return to their home planet which is why the families did away with subsequent gate mages.

This is the first book in what should be an interesting series. I did have some problems with it however. There some inappropriate scenes in the book where there is drug use and stealing and other types of bad behavior. The worst was when a teenaged married girl attempts to rape 13 year old Danny. Some of the inappropriate stuff I could see being necessary to the plot but the rape scene added nothing and I found it extremely distasteful. Because of that scene, and the drug use, I wouldn't recommend this book to younger teens, however for adults who enjoy science fiction or fantasy, I found it to be very enjoyable reading. Rated PG-16.

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