Tuesday 3 May 2011

Review: Tome of the Undergates - Sam Sykes

Series: The Aeon's gate 1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 704
Published: April 11th 2011 Gollancz

Lenk can barely keep control of his mismatched adventurer band at the best of times (Gariath the dragon man sees humans as little more than prey, Kataria the Shict despises most humans, and the humans in the band are little better). When they’re not insulting each other’s religions they’re arguing about pay and conditions.

So when the ship they are travelling on is attacked by pirates things don’t go very well. They go a whole lot worse when an invincible demon joins the fray. The demon steals the Tome of the Undergates – a manuscript that contains all you need to open the undergates. And whichever god you believe in you don’t want the undergates open. On the other side are countless more invincible demons, the manifestation of all the evil of the gods, and they want out. 

My thoughts:
This was one big book of fights, I will tell you that at once. What a gang, I honestly thought they would kill someone in their own group, but it was also very amusing to read.  I am taking a step back to explain.

Lenk is the leader, a young man with a sword and a voice in his head. What is going on? Is he loosing it? He started to really intrigue me after a while and when it ended I did want more of him. Other interesting characters include; Kataria, a warrior woman who hates humans and calls them monkeys. There is also some tension between her and Lenk, either they will kill each other or get it on. And I sure hope it will be the latter. Another one of the adventures (they are even worse thought of than mercenaries, so bad people here), is Gariath, a dragon man who can crush a man's skull with his foot. There is also a wizard, a skulking rogue and woman named Asper who is a healer and who follows them to learn to use her craft. There you have, a mismatched crew who only wants money, while some wants money and to kill. But they are so strange that you have to like them.

The whole book starts with an almost 200 pages long battle, yes I am not joking. I do confess that it was hard at times to get into the book because of this long battle, but there was always something there making me continue. And the more I read the more I got into this book. Because he always manages to surprise me, there are frogmen, purple women, and screaming mermaids. Always something interesting.

As for the story it's about the hunt for the tome that has been stolen. This book can open a gate and demons will get out and tear the world asunder. They must get it back and while doing it they will meet a lot of dangers, a lot of fights, creepy demons, and a lot of great tension since they all get so angry. And that is a good thing.

Interesting fantasy that is not afraid to try something strange. It will surprise you and make you wonder. And at the end you will want more if you are as curious as I am. It might not end with a total cliffhanger, but the world is by no means saved.


Well it fits the story.

from the publisher

Come visit me :D I am a guest reviewer over at Alternative Read today and I am reviewing Raven's Quest by Anya Bast 



  1. Chris
    'Lol, it did take a while to finish it, and I read fast ;)

  2. I'm not sure if I want to commit to a 200 page long fight scene.

  3. Kataria, a warrior woman who hates humans and calls them monkeys

    Kataria definitely seems like an interesting character haha
    200 pages long battle! Wow!

  4. Wow, a 200 page battle? That would definitely be a bit difficult to stick with I would think, but it seems like there was at least something to keep you wanting to move forward:)

  5. Carol
    It was long...I will confess to that. But they did stop and talk at times. ok that sounds strange but the attacks came in waves

    She was cool, and those two together were just crazy. I sure hope they fall in love, or lust :)

    There was always something, and sure I like battles but I do think this one was the longest ever. Luckily they talked and argued a lot under it

  6. Great cover! Might be a bit big for me to read!

  7. Well that's one big battle :D Heard about this couple of weeks ago and it sounds interesting. And I'm curious since he's Gabaldon's son.

  8. Wow 700 pages is crazy and this is coming from someone who thinks 400 pages is a lot.

  9. What a doorstopper novel! However, I quite like the idea of a 200 page fight scene (I do love action films!)...I'll have to see if I can make room for a book that big in my TBR pile! :)

  10. I don't have a problem with a thick and heavy book, but the story just doesn't appeal to me. Although I like to read some fantasy now and then.

  11. Vivienne
    It sure was big, I took a look and cleared the weekend ;)

    He is?! I had no idea about that. Perhaps that is why he writes such long books. Lol

    Since I love fantasy I am quite used to it, but yes after 600 pages the books become long to me too

  12. Haha, I will love a long, juicy battle instead of some wapid romance or sex scenes...bring it on!

  13. Mel
    Hihi, I do love action movies, just bring it on. So if you like that then you would enjoy this

    Good that the size didn't scare you, it does seem to scare away a lot. But fantasy fans are used to it :)

    LOL! You will find no romance or sex in this one. Sure there is tension but he is a man after all. They are just as likely to kill each other. So other than that there is fighting, swearing and killing demons

  14. Woah... a LONG battle. Almost as long as the real thing! Sounds like an interesting world. Purple women and screaming mermaids... hm... Maybe I'll wait for the 900 pg. sequel. ;)

  15. I really like the cover, but I'm not sure I would like all the fighting.

  16. dang. i'm not a fan of books THAT big. good review though.

  17. I've been hearing a lot about this book and I've been undecided about trying it. While Sykes seems like an amusing person, based on what I've read on his blog, I get the humor in this book isn't the kind I would really appreciate. But seeing that you enjoyed it I'm now rethinking giving the book a try.

  18. I've heard some mixed thoughts on this one. I'm still on the fence about it. But with all the books I have around me at the current time, I think I'll wait on it. But thanks for the great review!

  19. 200 hundred pages of a battle sounds like abit much for me, but very thorough review as always!

  20. Cool cover. Makes me think of Thor.

  21. Well, as someone who had WAY too much trouble getting through the battle scene in Outlaw, I don't think I could handle this one! Yikes.

  22. Melissa
    Lol, oh no, don't scare me now! ;) Some fantasy books are just so so big. They are damn right scary, lol. I know one over 1000 pages long

    It certainly is not the book for everyone, you gotta like some fighting at least

    You can always treat it like two books ;)

    Hm, have not been to his blog. But I would guess the humour there is the same in the book. So you should have an idea there.

  23. Melissa
    It's not fantasy for everyone. It was certainly different, but at least it was not boring

    I am glad you liked it :) And yes..long ;)

    It does kind of do that :D

    Lol, I am glad I like battles.

  24. The book does sound long, and the battle especially. Good thing it was interesting enough to keep you reading. Nice review.

  25. Dang girl, that is an epic battle. I don't think I would have made it through. Good thing you are a fast reader.

    Probably not for me, but I like knowing what is going on in other genres I don't regularly read so thanks for the review.

  26. Naida
    A good book can do that..even if there is a big hurdle in the way ;)

    Thanks the heavens for that, cos else it would have taken me some time. And epic battle is sure one way to describe it



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