NIGHT GATE by Isobelle Carmody

NIGHT GATE

The Gateway Trilogy: Book One
Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Canine companions enliven this overstuffed opener to a fantasy trilogy. Her single mother’s coma leaves R. J. “Rage” Winnoway relying only on her four devoted dogs. Overhearing plans to send her away without her pets, Rage runs off; but she takes an unexpected detour when lured through an enchanted gateway to the mysterious Valley, transforming the dogs (and a neighbor’s goat) into semi-human form. This odd company, assigned to find the wizard who created the land, runs afoul of the puritanical human Keepers and their war upon the witches, while Valley’s magic turns withered and corrupt. Too many messages—about family, trust, secrets, betrayal, environmentalism, feminism, etc.—are packed into this slim volume, and Carmody’s elliptical style can be frustrating. She has a gift for the small incident that reveals an entire character, and several set pieces are imaginatively realized. But complicated narrative obstacles are set up only to be suddenly waved away, and Rage is a nebulous personality, merely reacting to events and absorbing lessons. Her animal friends, however, are lushly drawn, great-hearted, and touchingly transparent in their loyalty, joy, and pain. It’s entirely convincing that Rage loves them so dearly; readers will too. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-83016-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005




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