My rating: 2 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by Sands Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘The Gecko’s Gate’ was a typical novel written with an unoriginal plot with way too many stereotypical character archetypes that my mind must have fallen asleep as soon as I got a few pages in. To put it simply, the book was so average it became bad.
I must admit it, the book was extremely well written. The prose was absolutely beautiful and spoke of either a high degree in English literature or a hefty experience in writing. The world was extremely well-established, characters were fully developed as well as the storyline but the fact that THEY WERE LIZARDS just didn’t do it for me. I could NOT read about humanoid lizards (or any other humanoid animal/creatures) of any type. They disrupt my mental world and for some reason my mind/imaginary-world just zoinks out whenever it approaches that territory. I find it highly irritable reading about humanoid creatures. The book would also have been a lot better if the main characters, Chase, Jason and Kiko, were NOT LIZARDS! But I can see why the author diverted from using humans as his choice as it would have made the book even worse and lost whatever spice was added to this book to make it different from others.
There was absolutely no anticipation or tension in the book whatsoever. It lacked cliffhangers that would have made us turn the page and everything was entirely predictable. There were good guys, there were bad guys and, yes, there were wise guys. Their roles were not at all different from other adventure novels and their future life/death seemed set in concrete so that any action in the novel seemed boring.
*start of insignificant spoiler* For goodness sakes, there was a TOAD, who SMOKED A PIPE, SITTING ON A MUSHROOM in the book surrounded by mist. Doesn’t that vaguely remind you of Alice in Wonderland? *end of insignificant spoiler*
*start of teeny spoiler* The main characters receive weapons as part of their training and openly admit that they have no IDEA how to use them, yet they STILL get sent out to go on their adventure and somehow MIRACULOUSLY learn to USE THEM! With skill and talent! *end of teeny spoiler*
*start of mini spoiler* The gecko village elder and his assistant are rescued by the Three. However, upon arrival at a toad kingdom castle, neither are offered medical assistance straight away despite being obviously severely ill and wounded from their tortured caption by Cyrus Malthor. Does this seem like poor hospitality from the toads to you? Uh, DUH! *end of mini spoiler*.
The novel structure was also well done but poorly chosen in my opinion as it was written in 3rd person but lost its ability to connect with the reader because it chose to have an outside perspective instead of an inside, and more direct, one. Of the three main characters, the story was mainly told from Chase’s perspective with other minor characters in the book dotting their perspectives here and there throughout the novel.
Overall, I could not give this book a three star as it lacked so much even though it was an entirely average book. Congratulations to Dennis Stein on yet another published book!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!