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Publisher's Summary

The much-anticipated third installment in Card's New York Times best-selling Mithermages series

Danny North is the first Gate Mage to be born on Earth in nearly 2,000 years, or at least the first to survive and claim his power, for families of Westil in exile on Earth have a treaty that requires the death of any suspected Gate Mage. The wars between the families had been terrible until at last they realized it was their own survival in question. But a Gate Mage, one who could build a Great Gate back to Westil, would give his own family a terrible advantage over all the others and reignite the wars. So it was decided that they all had to die. And if the families didn't kill them, the Gate Thief would - that mysterious mage who destroyed every Great Gate, along with the Gate Mage who created it, before it could be opened between Earth and Westil.

But Danny survived. And Danny battled the Gate Thief - and won.

What he didn't know at the time was that the Gate Thief had a very good reason for closing the Great Gates - and Danny has now fallen into the power of that great enemy of both Earth and Westil.

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks

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What listeners say about Gatefather

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Orson Scott Card has gotten weird... really weird

I have listened to many many of his books from the extended ender universe to pathfinder and this series. I have started to notice an odd trend with his writing style. There are these odd self reflection moments the characters have either with themselves or with other characters and this book takes it to the extreme.

very little actual action happens in the 11 and a half hours of this book. the beginning is extremely odd and uncomfortable. A group of supposedly highschool age girls are talking about having sex with the main character of the series. Now i wouldn't say i am offended by R rated stuff in novels but just the way he writes these girls makes me uncomfortable, they sound like prepubescent middle schoolers. and the worst part is none of the dialog adds anything to the story. you could skip the ENTIRE section and you would loose nothing from the plot. how did his editor let these passages persist in their published form? the entire novel has this very odd deviant sounding libido woven through it.

besides that the rest of the book is filled with religious and philosophical conversations between characters. its obvious he is copying his religion's belief system and writing it as sci fi/fantasy. its annoying and disappointing because i was hoping for something much more original. I have nothing against his personal religious beliefs i just wish they weren't so blatantly presented almost completely undisguised in this work.

As usual these narrators are top notch and were a pleasure to listen to them work and were perhaps the books only saving grace.

In conclusion i do not recommend this book to orson scott card fans or even people who listened to the first 2 books. ignore my warning at your own risk.

70 people found this helpful

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Terrible.

This was a terrible book. if I could give it negative stars I would. I had such high expectations because the first two books set up a great story, but Card obviously had no idea how to continue it. In about a chapter he made both previous books irrelevant rehashing a bad literary mechanic and making this a carbon copy of xenoside. Only it doesn't fit in this story. How do you take a book all about mages and then make magic pointless? This story deserved better than this. The audio side from the readers was as good as ever though. 5 stars for them.

51 people found this helpful

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No Direction

Would you try another book from Orson Scott Card and/or Emily Rankin and Stefan Rudnicki ?

Yes for the Narrators, Maybe for Card. I have not read even half of Card's work, but most of it was very good, including the first two books of this series. I would take a wait and see approach, and read reviews first beforehand.

Would you ever listen to anything by Orson Scott Card again?

Perhaps, but I would be wary. I would be more likely to listen to one of his older best sellers like Ender's Game, than anything new again.

Which scene was your favorite?

No scene stood out as particularly good. Most were decent individually, but taken together they had a lack of suspense, and spent far too much time waxing philosophical.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Gatefather?

I would have sent the whole book back and told him to rewrite it with more suspense, and removing everything involving the magical paradigm shift. This was used to break all the rules of magic and setting established in the first 2 books, and solve all the problems by a Deus ex Machina. It's sloppy writing, and I expected better of him.

Any additional comments?

From listening to the afterwords in the audio book, I get the impression he changed his priorities while writing this book from telling a contemporary fantasy novel, to exploring philosophical questions about death and the afterlife. It's his books, and he's got every right to put whatever he wants to in them, and I didn't find it offensive, but I did feel betrayed by failure to deliver a satisfactory conclusion to the series.

39 people found this helpful

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All talk and no action

I had high hopes for this book, thinking that all the in-depth exploration of the magical system in the second book would lead to character development and some actual plot in the third book.

Unfortunately, the third installment has almost no character development or plot at all. The book is mostly made up of a series of conversations between characters as a plot device to further explore the magical system, with a great deal of rambling and repeating of the same ideas over and over. Without any plot, and with characters like cardboard cutouts, however, I didn't really have any reason to care anymore.

The entire subplot with Danny's high school experience and friends seems completely superfluous and unrealistic. We never get to learn anything much about these "friends" except surface stuff, so it's really impossible to care anything about them. They seem to just be there to give extra characters for Danny to talk at. This entire subplot could be removed from the series without affecting much of anything.

The BIG BAD ENEMY also received a hefty downgrade in threat level that turned it from a ravening horde of killer Africanized honeybees to an annoying swarm of mosquitos, and was dealt with in rather lackluster fashion.

There were a few other disappointing aspects to the story but I feel I can't really comment on them without spoilers.

35 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

This was his worst book. The storyline got way too religious. I wanted to fast forward through the whole thing to get it over with.

32 people found this helpful

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Dull and Obligatory

This seems like a book written by someone who no longer cares to write good fiction. The book is an obligatory wrap to a series that had promise in the first book. The book goes through the motions of answering the leftover questions of the first two books, with no real attempt at making it particularly entertaining. The readers are wonderful, but the book is worthless.

26 people found this helpful

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  • ED
  • 11-06-15

Cheap Ending

I was hoping the ending to the trilogy would flabbergasting, yet it was an utter disappointment. The Author wrote and extraordinary tale so detailed and entangled; the plot and the climax were abosultely complex and amazing, but it seems he wrote more than he could digest. Sudden mediocre endings to unfinished entaglements is out right atriscious.

24 people found this helpful

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  • DK
  • 10-27-15

I was so excited, it was a pretty big letdown.

I loved the other two books but this was unfortunate. It just lacked substance. Sorry. Emily and Stefan were fantastic.

24 people found this helpful

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God Awful

Any additional comments?

How about focusing on Danny a little bit, instead of idle chatter with teenagers who want to have his baby for the first 1/4 of the book? Oh, now everyone is a gate mage and they learn it in moments? Cool, but its not magic, they are just "there" now. So much side rambling in this book, it feels like a 9th graders essay, trying to fill space. They got rid of the Bell god about 1/3 of the way through the book in a very anti-climactic way, from then on, there is real no direction to the book. Seriously, this IS the worst end to a series I've ever read.

I really wanted to like this book, I even pre-ordered it 6 months ago I was so excited about it.

My experience with this book? Like watching the Ender's Game movie, it was shit.

24 people found this helpful

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A terrible end to a great start.

fairly rushed and everything is tied up too neatly and quickly. no character climax to speak of. all the troubles in the worlds are wished away. and the ending reminds me of bugs bunny "that's all folks!"

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 11-03-15

"Waste of time"

I liked the first two books but this was terrible, what a waste of time. This story had no plot. I'm going to ask amazon for my money back.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alan Gater
  • 05-29-22

Unreal characters, stilted dialogue, ok'ish

I have been a Scott Card admirer since Ender's Game was first published. Even when I was not really into the story so much (as with the Alvin Maker series) I still enjoyed his characters and writing. This series, on the other hand, has a great story, a great magic system, lot's going on. But I can't help feeling that I am being lectured do by a rather pompous and condescending know it all in this one - and not a very nice know it all. His boys are a bit weird and his girls are just hormone driven baby makers. I stayed to the end (it wasn't awful), but I wouldn't recommend it.

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  • Ash
  • 12-08-21

Portrayal of women leaves a lot to be desired

The portrayal of women in this book is problematic and annoying. All of their lives and conversations revolve around Danny and the implication that they all desire to have his baby (reminder that these are teenahe girls) is creepy at best. The overall storyline suffered in general in book 3 as well. I enjoyed book 1. I'd give books 2&3 a skip if I could go back.

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  • Jonathan Minchin
  • 06-13-19

Good story, unfortunate USA centric perspective.

Interesting insights and a great wrapping of soul, myth and physics into a teen angst narrative. It got sick when it moved towards USA enjoying patting itself on the back for self proclaimed leaders of world righteousness .... again.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Gray
  • 06-01-16

Too much exposition.

Struggled with this last book. The lead character has become too powerful and spends much off-the-wall book discussing some ancient pseudo-theology.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • PBF
  • 04-26-16

Brilliant audiobook performance let down by story.

The performance in the audiobook is exceptional, and Orson Scott Card's style of writing works very well in this format. However, the story is a pretty poor conclusion to the trilogy. In fact, I was expecting there to be another book to follow as the end approached

So if you've finished the first two, you should definitely press on and get to the end, and while the story just fizzles out it still makes compelling listening thanks to the performance.

I was as equally disappointed with the way Card's Ender series goes down a similar philosophical tangent by the time Children of the Mind comes into the storyline, so maybe it's just the way he draws stories arcs together.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray
  • 04-20-16

feels like set took over OSC to finish the series

it's just so bad. moment danny got jesus level powers i lost interest. i loved first two books, but this one is God awful pun intended.

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  • Andrew
  • 05-02-19

Nothing but praise for this book.

Fantastic conclusion to an incredible series. Orson Scott Card is, hands down, my favourite writer, and this story perfectly captures why.

If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to the first two books in this series, go back and listen to the whole lot. You'll love the characters, and the complex magical reality which OSC has created. It's worth getting, and I can't wait to listen to it all again.

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  • Amy
  • 10-27-16

A disappointing series conclusion

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I loved the first two books in this series and expected a wonderful finale. Instead I was astounded at the blatant sexism that continuously painted women as inherently dangerous vixens that incite lust in men and which the men must constantly guard against.

The story starts off well enough but then morphs into a very thinly disguised and somewhat tedious account of Latter-Day Saint / Mormon doctrine around the origins of the heavens, earth, the gift of free will and the origin of Satan and his minions. Some LDS readers or those without knowledge of the church doctrine may enjoy the story more.

Has Gatefather put you off other books in this genre?

Gate father has not put me off other books in this genre, but is has put me of chasing up further writings by Orson Scott Card, despite enjoying some of this other books. I felt disappointed at what I feel was his need to preach the his Church's doctrine in such a tedious was as to compromise the quality of what has otherwise been a wonderful journey.

Have you listened to any of Emily Rankin and Stefan Rudnicki ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The narration was wonderful and went a huge way to partially redeeming the book. I've thoroughly enjoyed all narration by Emily Rankin and Stefan Rudnicki. I'd search specifically for books that they've worked on.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The redeeming qualities are the quality of the narration, and despite LDS gospel parallels, it gives some interesting takes on Greco-Roman mythology.

Any additional comments?

If you've enjoyed the first two books then you might want to give this a go because it does tie up a story that is otherwise incomplete. I just wouldn't expect the same degree of movement and intrigue that the first two provided.