Synopsis: The Gate: Journey to the New World is an exciting tale of two best friends, separated by a fated journey. As the two young girls are wrenched apart, one is thrown into another world, while the other is left alone in reality.
Evanley tumbles through nothingness, only to be pitted against teens her age, a tyrannical leader, and a collection of monsters that will stretch your imagination. Meanwhile, in the real world, Jadelyn finds herself bewildered and alone, something she fears more than anything. She is forced to face a violent, daunting change in her heart, mind, and soul that leans toward a darkness she has never experienced before.
My Thoughts: This is an amazing and inventive story. Evanley and Jadelyn are such complete opposites, fighting through teenage struggles and the fantasy backdrop allows the author to address troubles that are common to teenage hormones. Not the typical sappy crap that you see in books about teen girls, but the real deep struggles of coping with hormones and being awkward, and trying to find who you are through the pressures of society. The fact that the author artfully addresses these issues through a unique urban fantasy backdrop allows them to feel more real.
There are a few plot holes, though given that the book is clearly set up for a sequel, I am not sure how many of them will be addressed in the next books.
The only downside was the final editing. There were a lot of errors, which for this Grammar Nazi was a bit of a nightmare, but the story was so compelling and the characters so relatable, that I continued reading, despite the errors. M.W. Smith is a brilliant storyteller and I hope that he gets a great editor to clean up the final edit. I eagerly look forward to reading the next installment.