I love Orson Scott Card’s Enderverse books. I think he’s a fantastic writer. Which is why I found Gatefather so disappointing — I know he can write better stories than this.
Let’s start at the beginning. The Lost Gate caught my interest with good characters and an intriguing world. Not my favorite of his books, but definitely good enough to keep me reading. The second book, The Gate Thief, started out strong but then took the story in a direction I didn’t like and ended in a truly disturbing scene that had no place in a YA novel. Book three continued everything I didn’t like about book two, so the plot wasn’t something I enjoyed.
Worse, though, was the dialogue. It just went on and on page after page in lengthy chapters that moved ideas in circles without accomplishing anything of emotional resonance. Only about 7 or 8 scenes in the whole book stand out in my mind as moving the story forward and there are 22 chapters in this 583-page book.
Even the character development suffered. Pat and Hermia have character building scenes, but that’s about it. Danny (our main character) becomes so good he’s not interesting. I can hardly tell Enopp and Eluik apart. All Danny’s female friends (other than Pat) aren’t even characters any more — they’re just teenage girls begging for the chance to have Danny’s baby (which may be the most puzzling thing about this book. I’ll buy three teenage girls wanting to sleep with him, but all wanting to get pregnant?).
Honestly I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I hadn’t put it on my Flights of Fantasy book list for 2016. I’m giving Gatefather only 2/5 stars on Goodreads with a heavy heart. It had so much potential.