The Gates: Prereading
Once I finally got into this book, I really enjoyed it. I felt like the characters were pretty well developed, and I liked how Samuel Johnson was the protagonist of the book. I think it made the book more entertaining to have a child trying to stop the "Great Malevolence" from opening the Gates of Hell and coming to Earth than having an adult do it.
I did think that the novel started out very slowly. The long footnotes, although entertaining, were distracting from the story and every time I saw one that took up half a page, I became discouraged and would put the book down after a couple of minutes. The set up was a little much, and too many people thought Samuel was crazy at first. Although that's probably the most realistic situation, I don't think it needed to be half the book.
I liked Nurd, and I thought his character was well developed. I liked that he didn't want to be an evil demon, and that he and Samuel became friends. I also thought it was a nice bit of revenge for Nurd to stop the Great Malevolence from coming through, and for him to use Samuel's dad's car to do so.
Honestly though, it took me too long to read this for me to remember much else. I'll give this one a 3/5 for being slow at the beginning, but for improving in the second half. There is a sequel (or two...) but I don't think I'll be reading them any time soon. Sorry, Samuel Johnson.