Wreckers Gate by Eric T Knight
Review by Jasper de Joode
A small band of soldiers is ambushed by raiders and forced to flee into the towering sand dunes of the Gur al Krin desert. The raiders let them go, knowing that none survive the desert and its firestorms. The small band seeks shelter in a cave, but their shelter turns deadly when a monstrous creature, fueled by an ago-old hatred of mankind, bursts out of its depths, slaying all but two. Drawn by whispers of power, the survivors travel deep underground, where they find a vast, buried wall. An ancient relic is set in the wall and they pull it free. Unfortunately, neither man realizes what they have just done. For the wall sealed a prison built eons ago and the relic was all that held it together. Now a mad god is free and there is no one to stop him, since the gods who built his prison fled long ago…
A mad god running loose, sounds good doesn’t it? With a story like this anything could happen! In Wreckers Gate events unfold through multiple storylines, as seen through different character perspectives. When I started reading the pace picked up nicely and it kept building but the point of view suddenly and completely changed, which disappointed me, as up until then everything had been so strong and rich.
It took me a while to fully adjust to this other storyline and I had to reread several parts before they became clear. It became apparent for me that this separate introduction of Netra and the Tenders was vital for the storyline and after getting around the start up, the chapters were a nice change of scenery. At least I would have expected that the storyline with Rome would have been picked up in the subsequent chapters, but this was ignored completely, with the cliffhanger I kept wondering what did Rome and Quyloc actually release upon the world? And it gave me a strong feeling that it wasn’t that big of a deal. Until Netra made an appearance again and the piece fell a bit together again. Only half way the book did it became apparent what Rome and Quyloc actually had done in the cave. Following this again I was a bit let down, they seemed for me to brush it off casually and continue with their day. Looking at the first chapters again, they WERE there, they DID something, and I expected their reaction to be more understanding and taking actions.
Another character is introduced, Lowellin, soon into Wreckers Gate, all out of the blue. Luckily his history is revealed as the book progresses but remained rather obscure and when he was introduced I didn’t like him at all (positively!). His character is great, you don’t know whether to trust his cause or if he is trying something for his own gain). His character is one of the best in Wreckers Gate and still, after finishing the book, I do not know if he is either for the good or evil. Coming back to the other characters I did find that there were some inconsistencies.
The intentions of Wreckers Gate, and of portraying a god rampantly seeking revenge were achieved and I enjoyed the first and the last parts of the book the most. In the middle there was less pace to the storyline and a sudden introduction (that I think the author put there to enliven the story) didn’t work for me at all. The switching of the character’s perspectives (from Rome to Netra) could have been done with more fluency and the ending of Wreckers Gate just wasn’t what I’d hoped for (it was more an introduction to the second book).
What did you think about Wreckers Gate?
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