After my last few weird run-ins with books, this book came as a welcome relief. I absolutely loved it. It’s my exact kind of book, and it fit a mood I didn’t know I had.
After watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I’ve been on a bit of a Potter/wizarding world high, and I wanted something like those but new. I will probably reread Harry Potter soon, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. So while digging through my bookshelf, I picked up John Connolly’s The Gates. I have read one other John Connolly book (The Book of Lost Things). I absolutely loved it, so I have no explanation of why this book has sat beside it for so long without being read. When I say long, I mean long; I bought these both during Borders’s (RIP) going out of business sale. Normally, I try to rotate things off my shelves if I don’t read it, but there are some that I hold onto for reasons unknown. Luckily, The Gates was one that I held onto.
This novel is absolutely hilarious. I was chuckling aloud most of the time I was reading. It has a distinctly British comedic flare. Several times I was reminded of Douglas Adams and Monty Python, and I would not be at all surprised if I learned that John Connolly read/watched both. I thought all of the characters were done well. I didn’t find any of the details extraneous, and I think it had just the right amount of description. The comedic footnotes added an interesting touch that will make this book a very hard one to forget. In short, I have nothing negative to say about the book. Here is an example of one of his silly footnotes:
I’m not even sure that’s the funniest. Nearly the entire book was quotable with incidents like a demon named Erics’, the Demon of Bad Punctuation, being mentioned and imps attacking a flower shop only to realize they’re allergic to pollen and therefore left vulnerable to an old lady with a broom. But, of course, I must share a quote with you: “Melody Prossett was so helpful that people, even quite elderly people, often ran fast in the opposite direction when they saw her coming, just to avoid Melody’s irritating helpfulness.” Funny because it’s true. If you haven’t met someone like that, I should let you know that burning smell is your pants. I’m fairly certain I laughed at at least one thing per page.
The ending was written incredibly well. It wraps up satisfactorily as an individual story, but it also provides a nice lead-in for the next book. It doesn’t leave you with a cliffhanger so intense that you want to cry and stomp people’s flower beds to make them feel your level of sad/madness (cough*Riordan*cough). I’m excited to read Samuel and Boswell’s other adventure, and I can’t wait to read more of Connolly’s other books.