Friday, January 8, 2010

Gateway by Sharon Shinn

"As a Chinese adoptee in St. Louis, teenage Daiyu often feels out of place. When an elderly Asian jewelry seller at a street fair shows her a black jade ring—and tells her that “black jade” translates to “Daiyu”—she buys it as a talisman of her heritage. But it’s more than that; it’s magic. It takes Daiyu through a gateway into a version of St. Louis much like 19th century China. Almost immediately she is recruited as a spy, which means hours of training in manners and niceties and sleight of hand. It also means stealing time to be with handsome Kalen, who is in on the plan. There’s only one problem. Once her task is done, she must go back to St. Louis and leave him behind forever. . . ." -From

Overall: 3.5/5

When I break this book down into pieces, there isn't a whole lot about it that I really liked. The characters were flat and a little too predictable. The plot, while unique, wasn't particularly enthralling. The writing was good, but not spectacular. The story all moved a little fast, making it pretty unbelievable. The ending was incredibly unsatisfying, especially since there's no word on a second book that might finish what this one failed to. Looking at it this way, the best thing about this book is the cover.

So you may wonder why I gave it a three and a half instead of, say, a two. It's because, despite all this, I like the book. I have no idea why. When I look at all the different aspects of it, at the different pieces I generally use to decide what's good about a book, there's not much to like.

I just did.

Characters: 2/5

Plot: 3/5

Writing: 3/5

Ending: 2/5

Cover: 4/5

Other titles by this author: Samaria Novels, The Safe-Seeker's Secret, General Winston's Daughter, Twelve Houses Novels

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