Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers is almost everything I hoped it would be. Time travel, mystery, magic, romance, action. But it's just not enough. Almost, but not quite. Well, I enjoyed this book. There's nothing where the author left something hanging. It's more that events seemed to whiz by too quickly. Everything made sense, but I hungered for more detail. The Antaeus Brotherhood. More background on the Master. A little more time focusing on Brendan's time as a beggar. Especially more interactions between Brendan and Jacky. I mean, if you're going to have a preordained romance, then give us some scenes where the characters get to know each other on more than a superficial level. Another hundred pages would have been wonderful. This book's only about four hundred, after all. There is plenty of action in those pages, however. Time travel, the mystery of the Egyptian magicians, Dog-Face Joe, Horrabin, Darrow, Dr. Romany and all the rest. You know, on reflection, I really think that the length is the biggest flaw in this novel, since it's excellently plotted. There's just not enough time to show instead of tell some events, particularly in the home stretch of the story, with the events leading up to Brendan's return to England and what happens from there.

Well, that was probably confusing, but it'll make sense when you read it again, just like the book it talks about. This was my second time reading this book, and, like with Diana Wynne Jones, the second read clears up a lot of things 'cause you're able to pick up clues and make connections that would fly past you the first time. So, anyway, I do recommend The Anubis Gates.

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