CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 14. . . .December 6, 2013
The first book in “The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles”, Demon Gate presents a steampunk fantasy set in multiple universes or dimensions and begins in 1888 New York city but soon leads the reader into another alternate reality with its own version of New York. The book’s hero, 12-year-old Ehrich Weisz, sets off after his 10-year-old brother, Dash, who is acting very strangely. Once Ehrich passes through the portal after Dash, the story jumps ahead to where a now slightly older Ehrich is a member of the Demon Watch and is helping to track down and capture Dimensionals who have escaped into the city through the Demon Gate. The Demon Gate is a portal that leads many other worlds into this version of New York city. Ehrich must keep secret the fact that he was not originally from this dimension.
Ehrich meets the famed inventor Tesla when he brings the scientist a strange book to examine, and a mystery begins that causes Ehrich serious problems with his friends in the Watch. Ehrich uncovers a plot to seize the city. Ehrich, with the help of Tesla and one close friend, Charlie his squad leader, along with some assorted Dimensionals, tries to discover and then stop what is going on.
Ehrich has a series of adventures, including a trip in the dungeons to follow one of his few clues, a curious medallion. He discovers his Watch Commander is one of the rebels. The tale ends with a battle against a powerful Dimensional warlord who conquers worlds and wants to invade this one next. The friends win that battle, for now, but Dash is still trapped by one of the villains. Dash’s rescue will have to wait until a later volume. It is also hinted at that Ehrich Weisz may eventually come to be known in the future as the magician, Harry Houdini.
The book consists of 261 pages including a half page of acknowledgments and is broken into several chapters with descriptive headings such as “An Unexpected Entry” and “The Hunter’s Trail.” The chapters are not numbered. Demon Gate is a well-written adventure that creates the very unusual world in which Ehrich finds himself as he searches for his brother. The characters of the alien Dimensionals are fleshed out as are their motivations. There are good and bad on both sides.
If readers enjoys fast-moving action, and the occasional hiss-worthy villain, with an attractive, but perhaps not quite human, girl from another dimension thrown in, they should relish Demon Gate, a tale of daring-do.
Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, writes medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.
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