The Gates by John Connolly || Book Review

I’ll admit, while I don’t usually choose a book because of the cover (I have in the past a few times and the results have been both good and bad), this one I chose for the cover.

In fact, I didn’t even read the blurb before I started reading and just dived into it.

The first chapter already had me hooked, and the only reason it took me a few days to finish the book was because it was a hectic time at home and I couldn’t find any uninterrupted reading time.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: The Gates by John Connolly #bookreview #johnconnolly #fantasybooks #horrorbooks #paranormalbooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Challenge prompt: Fantasy books

Originally published: 2009
Read: January 2023

Series: Samual Johnson (Book 1)

Source: Library
Format: Physical

Pages: 268

Plot from GoodReads:

A strange novel for strange young people.

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe’en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue.

The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a gap in the universe. A gap in which there is a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out. . . .

Can Samuel persuade anyone to take this seriously? Can he harness the power of science to save the world as we know it?


While the book is directed at older children (I’d say 12 and up due to the horror elements), I very much enjoyed reading this book!

Yes, there are plenty of middle grade books that adults can enjoy – this is one of those books!

I loved the creative humor found here and there in the book to snuff out the more darker and scarier moments in the book, breaking the impending doom mood a bit. The exchanges between the characters were hilarious and left me in fits, recovering first before being able to continue reading. The author’s attempt to keep the mood light despite the plot and the various evils popping up everywhere.

Samuel Johnson is a brave little boy and pretty smart for his age, and clearly a curious one, although it did get him into a bit of a tough spot. Okay, a big tough spot… There are some personal problems he needs to face but with everything else going on, those problems are minute compared to what he has to face with the new visitors.

I really liked Nurd and his peculiar misadventures, and especially his interactions on earth with the characters. Those were some of my favourite moments in the book. I really hope that his adventures continue in the next book of the series.

The combination of science and the paranormal worlds was a great mix, and work great alongside each other.

The footnote sections were also fascinating reads, and shouldn’t be ignored or else everything in the story won’t make sense.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.81 on GoodReads. I gave it a 5.

The Gates by John Connolly || Book Review #bookreview #johnconnolly #fantasybooks #horrorbooks #paranormalbooks #bookaddict #booktwitter


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