Official Review: The Gate by Jennifer Hibbert

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Prisallen
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Official Review: The Gate by Jennifer Hibbert

Post by Prisallen » 24 Dec 2019, 16:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Gate" by Jennifer Hibbert.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Ten years previously, the leaders of Earth, the Gatekeepers (beings with unique powers tasked with protecting the inhabitants of the universe), and a group of astrobiologists met to discuss the colonization of Mars. Earth was becoming overcrowded and polluted. The meeting was interrupted by Asariel, a shape-shifter from Venus called a Biddatal. The Biddatals promised to keep the Earthlings from inhabiting Mars. Asariel attacked an astrobiologist and was close to killing him when Calbas (a Gatekeeper) created a funnel that sucked up Asariel.

A decade later, the city on Mars has been secretly constructed, and it is time to determine who may go there. After the first migrants are selected from a large group of volunteers, they are transported to a city on Earth that looks similar to the one on Mars. While there, they practice how to stay safe and work as a team. Then, their spaceship is boarded, and their journey begins. The migrants are varied from shy and introverted, like Carrol, to outgoing and rambunctious, like Martin and his friends.

The Gatekeepers know they will need a superior fighting machine, named the Gate, to help them keep the Mars’s inhabitants safe. They have been working on that for some time and are now ready to put their plan into action.

The Gate by Jennifer N. Hibbert is a fast-paced science fiction and fantasy novel that showcases the author’s vivid imagination. The scenes are described well, so they are easy to visualize and represent my favorite aspect of the book. Her world-building ability is superb. The language is simple and easy to follow. The dialogue is believable, and all the pertinent questions are answered by the ending.

However, there are negatives as well. First, I believe the first migrants to venture to Mars will be carefully selected to increase their chances for success in the dangerous endeavor, needing intelligence, bravery, and certain expertise. The only criterion for the selection in this book is they need to resemble the general population on Earth. Therefore, their ages range from children to the elderly. Some people don’t seem to possess any useful skills, and at least one person is so terrified of everything that she rarely leaves her room.

In addition, the author incorporated almost every mythical character known to man in the story. This included aliens with different physiques and powers like shape-shifting but also mermaids, fairies, witches, zombies, ghosts, vampires, dragon lizards, and walking skeletons. It was a little too much for me and was my least favorite aspect of the story. I think it would have been more plausible if she had stayed with the species pertinent to the story.

Plus, I had a hard time bonding with most of the main characters. Some of them acted more like children or teenagers than adults in their mid-twenties. Before this trip, Martin still lived at home with his parents and was paid an allowance. He and his friends seemed to think the rules didn’t apply to them and were insensitive to other people’s feelings. They laughed at and made fun of others not in their group.

I discovered numerous flaws in the book, mostly in the form of missing commas but also grammatical errors. It could use a professional editor.

The Gate achieved a rating of two out of four stars. One star was taken off because of the errors in the book and the other star because of the issues mentioned above. I believe preteens and teenagers who enjoy fantasy with some science fiction mixed in would appreciate it, as the main characters acted much younger than their ages. Other fantasy/science fiction lovers who don’t think the previous issues would detract from their experience would likely enjoy it as well. There was only one borderline profanity and no sex other than one kiss. However, there was some violence, although not explicit. Therefore, it is unsuitable for young children.

******
The Gate
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Post by Kanda_theGreat » 02 Jan 2020, 09:52

I love the plotting of this book. I'd have added it to my bookshelves but decided to heed your advice because of the faulty characterization that the book has.
Thank you for the review.
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Post by Prisallen » 02 Jan 2020, 11:50

Kanda_theGreat wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 09:52
I love the plotting of this book. I'd have added it to my bookshelves but decided to heed your advice because of the faulty characterization that the book has.
Thank you for the review.
It did have a good plot, and the author has a good imagination. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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Post by Tomah » 02 Jan 2020, 12:40

The author seems to have gone out of her way to create a wide and diverse array of characters, though perhaps she overdid it. The premising is quite interesting though. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Prisallen » 02 Jan 2020, 13:24

Tomah wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 12:40
The author seems to have gone out of her way to create a wide and diverse array of characters, though perhaps she overdid it. The premising is quite interesting though. Thanks for the review!
I thought it was a little over the top. Other readers make actually like that, though. Thanks for the comments.

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Post by Everydayadventure15 » 02 Jan 2020, 17:37

Yuck, the number of mythical creatures does seem pretty extreme in this book. I like science fiction/fantasy that remains grounded enough to be realistic but this one sounds a little bizarre. The characters don’t sound particularly appealing either but I did enjoy the premise of the book. Thanks for the great review! l love the cover of this one and it looks like it could be a pretty good book with some additional editing.

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Post by Marsnikk » 02 Jan 2020, 20:12

The cover instantly grabbed me, so sad to see that the story line doesn’t follow through. Thank you for the honest review!

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Post by Prisallen » 02 Jan 2020, 22:37

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 17:37
Yuck, the number of mythical creatures does seem pretty extreme in this book. I like science fiction/fantasy that remains grounded enough to be realistic but this one sounds a little bizarre. The characters don’t sound particularly appealing either but I did enjoy the premise of the book. Thanks for the great review! l love the cover of this one and it looks like it could be a pretty good book with some additional editing.
I enjoyed the premise as well. The thought of going to Mars is intriguing. However, I do want it to be believable, and I hope things can be helped with editing. Thanks for the comments!

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Post by Prisallen » 02 Jan 2020, 22:41

Marsnikk wrote:
02 Jan 2020, 20:12
The cover instantly grabbed me, so sad to see that the story line doesn’t follow through. Thank you for the honest review!
It's got potential. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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Post by Charlyt » 03 Jan 2020, 01:51

Seems like the author had a too big of an imagination and needed to tone down a bit, but rather have a good potential in storytelling and world-building. I hope the author considers your criticisms. Thanks for a great review!
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Post by Prisallen » 03 Jan 2020, 06:28

Charlyt wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 01:51
Seems like the author had a too big of an imagination and needed to tone down a bit, but rather have a good potential in storytelling and world-building. I hope the author considers your criticisms. Thanks for a great review!
She had a great imagination but needs to make a few changes! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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Post by nooregano » 03 Jan 2020, 08:02

In addition, the author incorporated almost every mythical character known to man in the story. This included aliens with different physiques and powers like shape-shifting but also mermaids, fairies, witches, zombies, ghosts, vampires, dragon lizards, and walking skeletons. It was a little too much for me and was my least favorite aspect of the story. I think it would have been more plausible if she had stayed with the species pertinent to the story.
This is really unfortunate, and you see it in fiction writers who get a little too excited about writing fantasy and being able to have free reign over creating a whole new reality.

Thanks for this review, Prisallen! It was thorough, and very just.
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Post by Kibetious » 04 Jan 2020, 11:30

This sounds like a great and fascinating read, but I am afraid that the issues brought forward in your review could detract from the overall enjoyment of the book. Thanks for your review.
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Post by slj3988 » 04 Jan 2020, 17:10

It seems that the author wanted to do various kinds of stories, fantasy and sci-fi, that should've been separate. I suspect they thought mixing them would provide a fresh take. In a way, it does. However, as the review pointed out, it's too much. Maybe it could have pulled it off gradually introducing the lore as a series.

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Post by Frances019 » 04 Jan 2020, 17:57

I don't think the childish young adult characters would take away from the experience since there's a lot of childish adults out there. As long as the writing is believable, I enjoy reading about people like this out of sheer morbid curiosity. The excessive number of creatures may be a problem, but you mentioned excellent world building skills and easy to understand language which might balance it out for me. I'll stick this on a bookshelf for the time being.

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