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The Gate Thief by Orson Scott Card
The Gate Thief (Mithermages, #2)
by Orson Scott Card

Like Pathfinder, this series gets more philosophical in the second book and a lot less happens. In the first, Danny was discovering his powers, balancing his power with responsibility and a thirst for friendship. Now he just uses his friends to bounce ideas off, and they pretty much talk for the whole book. Moral issues are an interesting and important part of having superpowers, often not explored enough, but there does need to be a balance, and discussion should flow naturally from the situations presented, instead of in dry dialogue. One of the most frustrating things was that every girl was trying to throw herself at Danny. Maybe plausible, once they knew he had powers, although it was stretching, but the most frustrating part was the reasons given for it. They just wanted to get pregnant, have his baby, because he was powerful and they were attracted to power. These are adolescent girls, I really don’t think that even if they wanted to have sex with him, it would be about getting pregnant. Even if there is the subconscious biological urge, most girls wouldn’t articulate these ideas. Danny resists, which I don’t have a problem with, since sex is a cause of so many problems in the world today, but the way he does it is so unbelievable. He is so divorced from his emotions, with his head thinking pure logic, and we don’t feel the struggle. In that type of situation, there would be a lot of confusion, trying to be good morally, wanting to give in emotionally, and logic probably wouldn’t enter, just would knock timidly from the outside while emotions wrestled. Time after time, the situation goes like this: Danny finds himself alone with girl. Girl moves forward, making obvious advances, saying she wants to have his baby. Danny thinks: oh, this is biological, she just evolved this way. Oh, I evolved to respond to this. My body would be pleased. But this is wrong. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. Teleport away. Safe! It felt like an insult to women everywhere, to suggest they would all throw themselves on anyone with a bit of power. Still, other ideas were interesting, and when there was action, it was entertaining enough, plus the revelations got you hooked. I would have liked having other powers explored more, instead of just gating. The final conflict was anticlimatic. With all of this, I will probably read the last book when it comes out, hoping it gets back to action instead of pondering. Orson Scott Card’s writing is good, I just wish he would focus more on content and story.
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