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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Dream (The Forever Gate Book 1)
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 5 April 2013
This short story, the first part of a longer ongoing work, successfully blends medieval level protagonists with the fringes of a more advanced society without creating either absurdity or comedy.

With the surface of their world wrapped in ice, humans lives inside walled cities created by the Gols, a race from beyond the Forever Gate. The Gols provide and maintain the cities, the portals linking them, and every necessity of life. In exchange humanity must submit to wearing brass collars to suppress the electrokinesis that they develop in adulthood. But now the Gols are starting to make mistakes. Seeking only to protect a loved one, Hoodwink is drawn into a plot to remove the flawed masters of the cities.

Despite being only the beginning of the plot rather than a whole book in its own right, this work has great depth. Hoodwink's world is introduced and explained with great skill leaving both the majority of the work for the story itself and space for a good description of the world beyond the Forever Gate.

The character's are similarly impressively detailed. Hoodwink himself is an engaging character from almost the first sentence and continues to expand as the work continues. The supporting characters receive less description, but it is carefully chosen: unlike many fantasy stories there are no paragraphs which exist to show differences between the world and mediaeval Europe except where the difference is also key to the character.

The style reminded me of the clarity of Zen painting, a few key strokes which do not need to fill in the spaces. Not unexpectedly this distillation of people and worlds into their essentials does not always provide a perfect picture: there were a few points where I needed to pause briefly to consider what had not been said. I suspect that it could become frustrating to readers who do not enjoy teasing out slivers of explanation to weave into theories about the greater picture.

As the first part of a longer work it does not bring the main arc to a close; in fact I found the ending quite abrupt. However there are several complete minor arcs and Hoodwink's arc from recipient to active participant is brought to a very satisfying point.

Overall I found the sound technique and engaging plot of this book more than made up for the irritation of it stopping in the middle of the main arc, making this is one of the better part-works I have read.

I received a free copy of this book.
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on 6 March 2016
Swashbuckling and action packed, I found this a little too Irish folk lore fantasy for my taste. However, the story is intriguing and looks to promise more later in the series. Surely our hero, Hoodwink, can't really be ...?
Worth a read. I will certainly be coming back for more
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on 3 April 2013
The best thing I can say about this book is that it is quick to read, however for a book to be enjoyable I have to care about the protagonist and to be honest I really didn't care what happened to the hero. The mysteries within the book remain unexplained and the unusual properties of the people aren't interesting enough that I want to read more.
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on 27 July 2015
I thought this was a great beginning to a new series. It's not the usual fantasy stuff. This was entertaining and made you want to keep turning the pages.
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on 3 February 2013
... Gols and Humans.

3740 A.D. An upcoming ice age immobilizes the "World".
Milehigh walls seal off the cities from the uninhabitable Outside. Humanlike entities called "gols" run the society, and justice, too, and force the humans to wear bronze collars that block the new astonishing powers mankind has evolved.

But one man rises up... Hoodwink.

After taking the blame in court for a bombing attack on the Forever Gate his daughter Ari had committed, he has to be beheaded.
And the guillotine is rolled onto the place of execution...
"Behead! Behead! Behead!" the crowd of spectators cry out...
His life passes before Hoodwink and the blade ...

But You have to read this story by Yourself!
And I liked it so much - this perfect mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy that I bought the second part of Hoodwind's story The Forever Gate 2 on the spot - because I dindn't want to leave this strange place so masterly described by Isaac Hooke for only one minute!
The author offers a piece of the first sequel at the end of "The Forever Gate". The sequel looked to me even more interesting, and I will tell You more when I have finished it - soon!
But I am sure this promising new author will make more sequels because the idea is really worth it!
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on 16 December 2013
This is part one of a five-part novel, so it was quick to read. Since it is sold as a single product I have no qualms about giving it a proper review.

The main protagonist is a man called Hoodwink, endowed with lightning powers. After having used those same forbidden powers he finds himself locked up with a bronze collar around his neck, to ensure he doesn't use them again. The story therefore starts with him in prison, awaiting execution. Those who use their lightning powers are called Users, a purportedly dangerous group.

The story is fast-paced. The action scenes are described very well, and quickly, so as to keep the reader's attention. Hoodwink has a past behind him, which isn't explained well, perhaps intentionally. Hoodwink, along with everybody else, is trapped in a world controlled by gols (golems?) for their own safety. Their one way of reaching the Outside is through the Forever Gate.

Sometimes Hoodwink's mind changed too rapidly on decisions, since the emphasis was on the action. Overall this book was a neat blend of fantasy elements; well-rounded, and appealing to read. Expect lightning powers, portals, and mysterious secrets governing the nature of existence. I have downloaded a sample of the next part!
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on 28 April 2013
This is a great story and the author is following the recent trend of shorter, serialised releases. What this means for the reader is that you end up with a book that is quick to read, and one that could give a satisfying conclusion and/or cliffhanger, which will then lead them onto the next one in the series.

The synopsis for this book lead me to believe it was set in the far future ... "3740 A.D.". But there is no indication of the timeline. There is a vague hint of the timeline near to the end, but still no specifics.

For the story itself, it appears that Hoodwink, the protagonist, is not destined to live long at the start of the story but fate plays a hand. Hoodwink is then sent on a quest to help the oppressors of their society, the "gols".

The wider world in which Hoodwink lives is hinted at with ease and shows there is much to learn about this environment. There are four more in the series and I am looking forward to completing them all.

WARNING: SPOILER: The events towards the end the story are reminiscent of "The Matrix" but this, "The Forever Gate", is better done I think.
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on 4 February 2013
I don't usually read fantasy, but the opening chapters had me hooked. The Forever Gate is a wall of rock which reaches up far into the sky in a snow bound city where humans are held prisoner by the Gols. All humans are collared to prevent them using Vitra, a form of lightning, which can blow stuff up. Humans who use Vitra will age far more rapidly than their collared cousins. To escape the city, the Forever Gate must be climbed, but those who have climbed it never return. Hoodwink, the hero, must climb the Forever Gate to discover what lies on the other side. Be aware that this is quite a short read because it is the first of 5 parts. Read on and enjoy.....
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on 20 January 2013
I don't normally go for fantasies but am becoming a big fan of dystopian stories and books. The Forever Gate blends these two categories very well and sets itself up nicely for future books. The characters and story is very well written and the writer plants plenty of questions in the reader's mind throughout.

My interest is most definately piqued for the next installment!
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on 8 March 2013
The elements of fantasy and SciFi are beautifully combined into a thrilling short story which you can't put away once you start. One part of the outcome was foreseeable (probably intended by the author), but there is a second revelation which I would never have guessed and took me by total surprise.

There is only one thing you can do after reading this book: grab Part Two!
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