The Gates by John Connolly
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Horror
Series: #1 in the Samuel Johnson vs. The Devil series
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 2009
The Short Version:
When his neighbors unwittingly open a gateway to hell, 11 year old Samuel Johnson must save the world as we know it.
Why I Read It:
Several people whose recommendations I trust were talking about the newest book in this series and it sounded like it would be fun.
From the publisher:
Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween, which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe, a gap through which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out…. Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?
I never expected to be giggling my way through a book about demonic hordes trying to destroy the world as we know it but I did. As for what the Large Hadron Collider has to do with it I’m not going to tell you because you just have to read this to find out for yourself.
Within the first couple of chapters I was reading passages to The Hubster and making plans to get this book back from the library when he is ready to start a new book because he has to read this.
Samuel is a wonderful character. He’s smart and brave. When he confides in his two best friends and they join up to help him they make a team I had fun rooting for.
I absolutely loved all the footnotes and scientific information and humor interjected throughout the book.
As you can see from his picture, Einstein didn’t take himself too seriously, at least not all of the time. In general, it’s a good idea to avoid people who take themselves too seriously. As individuals, we have only so much seriousness to go round, and people who take themselves very seriously don’t have enough seriousness left over to take other people seriously. Instead they tend to look down on them, and are secretly pleased when they get stuff wrong, because they just prove to the too-serious types that they were right to not to take them seriously to begin with.
This from a later chapter is a good rule for the workplace:
No good ever comes of someone sticking his head round his boss’s door, a worried expression on his face and a piece of paper in one hand that, if it could talk, would shout, very loudly, “Bad! This is bad! Run away now!”
In addition to the human characters there are a variety of demons and creatures from the underworld. I think my favorite character was a not so demonic demon named Nurd.
This is just fun and I want The Hubster to read it soon. I am truly looking forward to reading more of this series.