The Gateway by Glenn G. Thater
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
It was... confusing. The Gateway is the opening book in the Harbinger of Doom trilogy and as such, I didn't expect everything to be answered or settled by the end. At the same time, I did expect a coherent, integrated story that set up the next books and introduced characters that would draw me in and make me want to read more. Instead, the book seems to be a collection of vignettes, without much to hold them together.
The story centers on the knights of House Eotrus, a medieval holding in a Norse setting. The story does utilize many Nordic mythologic references and traditions. The Lord of the house had gone with a group of men to investigate mysterious happenings in the forest around the estate. When they do not return, the eldest son gathers a group of knights to find out what happened. He recruits Angle Theta, a mysterious warrior with apparently supernatural powers to help. When they go to the forest, they discover that a gap is being opened to a world of demons set to invade and destroy the knight's world. With Theta's help, they must find a way to fight the demons and close the gap.
The first problem I had with this book is the characters. They are mostly one-dimensional, with little or no physical description to differentiate them. The dialogue is off-putting, a combination of a stilted style of archaic language and a lot of modern slang. It makes them less believable as a whole.
There are odd viewpoint shifts in the book, as well. Most of it is written in third person, but there are sections in first person, as well. That kind of shift is hard to do well, and here, it just seems confusing.
There is little world-building in this part of the story. What we see is a fairly typical medieval setting with little to make it stand out as a time and place.
The action is fairly well done. In particular, the climactic battle scene is intense and fast-paced.
In all, it was a quick, okay read.
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