The Gates (John Connolly) 3*

Have you ever accidentally grabbed an apple from the fruit basket when you had your eye on a peach?  And then you bite into it expecting a juicy, fragrant peach and just…blink.

I was saving this book for a multi-leg travel day because I figured it would take the pain away.  I was looking forward to another deep, dark story from the author of The Book of Lost Things.  I mean, the cover art uses the identical  storybook font and the tagline is “The gates of hell are about to open, want a peek?”

Instead, The Gates is a children’s book.  The Book of Lost Things was glorious because evil was so nuanced and tempting.  In The Gates, there is an actual character known as the Great Malevolence (a.k.a. Satan).  We see a lot from the Great Malevolence’s top lieutenant, Baal, and there are a bunch of slapstick sidekick demons.  Also, there are cute scenes wherein plucky Brits whack at demons with cricket bats and garden rakes.

So is it a good apple?  I don’t even know.  I can’t judge it on apple terms because I was trapped on a plane and so looking forward to my peach.   If you liked Good Omens, perhaps The Gates.  Just know that there are no deep, dark woods in this book.


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