Monday, August 8, 2011

The Exodus Gate

The Exodus Gate (The Rising Dawn Saga, 1) by Stephen Zimmer, 2009. 580 pages. Published by Seventh Star Press. Source: from publisher for review.
The Exodus Gate, by Stephen Zimmer, is a modern fantasy novel that is the first release in the Rising Dawn Saga. The story unfolds around Benedict Darwin, host of a popular late night radio show that deals with the paranormal. Benedict comes into possession of a virtual reality simulator that turns out to be something far greater and more powerful than he ever expected. Meanwhile, supernatural powers from the depths of the Abyss and their human allies are working tirelessly to bring about a One World Government. They are also laboring to bridge the boundaries between time and space to bring back the Nephilim, the monstrous offspring of Fallen Avatars and humans that were destroyed in a Great Flood that occurred long ages ago. An epic tale of courage, hope, and adventure, with fantastical realms and exotic creatures, The Exodus Gate is sure to appeal to a wide range of fantasy readers. The first edition also feature 15 full page illustrations by the artist Matthew Perry.
First Sentence:
Auras of shrouding blackness encompassed the forms of the towering figures, standing with heads bowed reverently in the midst of the vast, featureless expanse of ebon murk
The Exodus Gate has taken me some time to finish reading and not because it wasn't good or anything bad like that,  but mainly because there's just so much going on in the book that it had to be read over many days so that I could fully absorb the complete story. 

I'll let you know now that The Exodus Gate is set in an parallel/alternate reality, but one pretty similar to our own....then again completely different in so many ways. That being said, the world that Stephen Zimmer created was both fascinating and eerily creepy in the similarities that one could find between their world and our own.
What makes The Exodus Gate such a unique reads is the various viewpoints that the story is told from and that the bases of the story is also set in two very different time lines, as well as how they all converge to make one completely absorbing read.

One of the things that really helped bring The Exodus Gate to life were the illustrations. I liked them because it made it easier to get into the story with a visual depiction of some of the nightmarish characters that plagued the pre-flood (yes, that flood) age that was mentioned in the book.  

Since there are a multitude of characters that the story follows, I think I'll just give my thoughts on the two main ones, Benedict and Arianna.
What I liked most about Benedict's character was how when the time came for him to make a pivotal decision, one that would change his life forever and that wasn't going to lead him down an easy path, he stuck with it. I also liked that he was slightly quirky, host of late night radio show about the paranormal in all. I thought that his eccentricities probably helped him accept the unbelievable.
  As for Arianna, Benedict's niece, I like her because she was a well rounded character with a pretty straight forward personality. As with Benedict I enjoyed reading about her as she struggled to make peace with the choice that she was asked to make for the greater good. This might sound weird, but I liked how she knew she did the right thing but still had to deal with the highs and lows of how things were now.

Easily my favorite thing about The Exodus Gate would have to be Stephen Zimmer's writing, especially in the first chapter, because he just had a way with describing everything with such detail (but not so much that you’re like, gah, get on with it already) that pulls you right into the setting of the book.
   The one thing I didn't much care for in The Exodus Gate was that there were a couple of spots where the story seemed to lag in the progress department and it felt like it wasn't moving forward much. Even with that one set back (and a lack of reading time) in my reading of The Exodus Gate I really enjoyed what the author put forth in his book.  

Final Verdict: The Exodus Gate an excellent book to be savoured.

The Exodus Gate earns 4.5 out of 5 pineapples.   

2 comments:

  1. Sounds complex but fun, and love the idea of illustrations! Quirky characters are a blast!

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  2. The Exodus Gate is a great book. The scene of the Convergence meeting really ticked me off. Though the book was written before our economic situation happened it was very prophetic and I could really believe there is a powerful society of elite controlling things for their own good.

    Book 2 The Storm Guardians takes the story even further with many new twists that will surprise you and now Book 3 The Seventh Throne coming out this month I can't wait to see what happens with this new installment.

    If you are looking for something different in a fantasy Stephen Zimmer's The Rising Dawn Saga will not disappoint you.

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