Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Review of Tome of the Undergates (Aeon's Gate #1)-Sam Sykes

Tome of the Undergates (Aeons' Gate, #1)Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writing 4.5/5
Imagination 4.5/5
Plot 4.5/5
Setting 4/5
Characters 3/5

My Overall Enjoyment 4.5/5

From Goodreads about the book:
Lenk can barely keep control of his mismatched adventurer band at the best of times (Gariath the dragon man sees humans as little more than prey, Kataria the Shict despises most humans, and the humans in the band are little better). When they're not insulting each other's religions they're arguing about pay and conditions. So when the ship they are travelling on is attacked by pirates things don't go very well.
They go a whole lot worse when an invincible demon joins the fray. The demon steals the Tome of the Undergates - a manuscript that contains all you need to open the undergates. And whichever god you believe in you don't want the undergates open. On the other side are countless more invincible demons, the manifestation of all the evil of the gods, and they want out.
Full of razor-sharp wit, characters who leap off the page (and into trouble) and plunging the reader into a vivid world of adventure this is a fantasy that kicks off a series that could dominate the second decade of the century.
A few initial thoughts about this book... Whoa! Why did I wait so long to read this?? Why does this book only have 603 ratings on Goodreads? Why does it only have a 3.32 Goodreads score? I have never read a book that is so downright brutal and twisted yet so funny. I think I laughed out loud more often reading this book than any other book in recent memory. I planned to use numerous quotes from the book to show the hilarity but on second thought I think out of context it won't work as well. Sam Sykes can really write. The descriptions, as well as the dialogue, worked extremely well for me. The creatures and monsters and everything else imagined in this world were wonderfully described, both terrifying and hilarious. This book is worth every minute invested just for the ridiculous, completely over the top dialogue between the characters. And if you enjoy brutal battles, horrible deaths, and grotesque creatures, there is an abundance of that as well. This book was just full of insane situations, things I could never imagine happening, and it was delightful time and time again to read what atrocities the author concocted next.

There were several main characters, of which Lenk (the leader)was the most fascinating and developed. However, and probably because of the pace, I didn't connect much with any character and thought that character development was the weakest part of this book. That being said, it's not really a major problem, because this book still worked great. Echoing a few other reviewers, I thought the initial battle was a bit long and I think this book could have been trimmed down by maybe 100 pages. That's really my only complaint and it is pretty minor; also, it is the only thing that holds this back from 5 stars.

Highly recommended for fantasy and grimdark fantasy readers, readers who enjoy humor, clever dialogue and excellent writing, and any reader looking for something new and different.


Nathan (@reviewbarn) said...

The best part of this book was during the first battle as the combatants argued over grammer.

Sykes has a new series on the way, looking forward to it.

philip witvliet said...

I know the exact scene of which you speak! I just looked for the conversation to quote it but couldn't find it; I thought I bookmarked that one. Another of my favorite scenes was when they met the Abysmyth and it said "Good afternoon". Later someone mentioned how polite it was. I can't wait for the new series, it looks excellent!