Antiquity's Gate

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

I liked that the author has covered some tough topics, racism, bigotry, elitisml. And they are wrapped up in what feels like a light-hearted read.

I thought it was good for the most part. There were a couple of different story lines, with different characters which was fine until about 50% through and then it became confusing, it almost felt like the author lost her handle on the story a little bit if that makes sense. The pacing is a bit patchy in the second half. I think this comes back to having to much going on. Where I thought that the two main story lines would converge near the end, they were kept separate and we were given two endings to one book. That didn't work for me. I was attached to one of the story lines and that set of characters, so for them to keep disappearing completely pulled me out. Also some of the characters in the other part of the story seemed to change their behaviour without real cause, it seemed like it was only to make room for another character, it didn't seem consistent with previous actions.

This is one of those reviews that as I write it, I remember more and more things within the story that don't make sense to me. I'll end it here.

Read it, make up your own mind.
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This was a good book with a cool premise about humans and elves living in domes with a dystopian society post-apocalypse.

I think the reason it didn't fully click with me though was because the book was more focused on plot than characters. It was the characters' motivation that moved the plot forward, but there were a lot of POVs with related but different things going on so that the reader could get a full understanding of life in the domes, the problems, the history, the secrets, the brewing rebellion, etc. There's nothing wrong with that, it just didn't allow for getting to know the individual characters super well. So whether or not that would be an issue depends on your taste. And it is a series, so you might get to know the characters better as it goes on.

One thing I appreciated was that the author didn't leave the reader hanging with a bunch of mysteries and no answers the way authors often do in the first book of a series.

I also liked the friendship between Ripley and Felix. It's nice to see strong friendships in books.

Overall, the focus on plot over characters made this book not quite for me, but I did enjoy the story, converging storylines can be fun, and the author clearly has some plans for where this series is headed, what with the way things ended. I think plenty of people will enjoy this.
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I'm giving you a review today of R.F Hurteau's "Three Days Till Dawn" which is the first in her Antiquity's Gate series. R.F asked me to read her book, and I picked this up on NetGalley before she'd published. 

Let me start with the first impression, and I'm going to spoil it slightly, I was impressed. This story may sound from the elements I've said like something out of Tolkien, but it's not. This is more like 1984 meets an Urban Dystopian Fantasy, and it WORKS! I know! I was surprised too!

And what I mean by that correctly, those elements do not sound at first glance like it's going to be something with drama and teeth in it. But this book has heart, and soul, teeth in the right places with conflict and damage. 

Let me go into some critiques for "Three Days Till Dawn." This critique is under the "Story Structure, Foundation, and Presentation" category to my scoring. In this case, we are looking at the "Foundation" and pardon me while I try to type this without giving any spoilers as to specific plot details. This situation is very tricky. 

Here is the critique, after reading the "Three Days Till Dawn" it leaves me with one question that should be rooted in foundation work.  What is the antagonists motive? I never was able to figure out the why in why they were doing what they did.  I know the antagonists are upset, I get that they want to do bad things as all antagonists do as well. But the problem I face is that I do not understand the motive. 

For me, I want to know why so that I can invest in future books. While this may be a minority opinion, it is frustrating when fundamental elements in a stand-alone story, such as character or antagonist motivation, are often left out in series books. Authors don't even need to give everything in a series because that would nullify the point of a series. But a simple "We hate you because we are better than you so there," is a lot better than "We hate you cuz reasons to be divulged in another book." 

 Strictly from what clues I picked up on in "Three Days Till Dawn" and from clues in other series I have read, I assume the reasoning behind the motive is "purity of race."  If that was the intent, it represented in any consumable way here. During the narrative, there was a discussion of rules and codes and bigotry, but there wasn't a clear and emphatic "This is why we do this" moment to explain antagonist motivation. The waters of presentation were muddied when the antagonists were integrating themselves. At one point in the book, the integration had an explanation made in the exposition. And I need to be clear on my end; there is a difference between character motive and character strategy to achieve their goals. The integration piece did not convey anything as a motive; it was expressed as a reason for why the antagonists went one route for a purpose, and it had to do with lifespans and patience. 

Let me give a real-world explanation to what I mean from a reading perspective. I am a mom, and my kids are under ten-years-old in this example, I am the protagonist, they are the antagonists. They have a goal every night to try to stay up late, and I have a goal to get them to sleep on time. I understand my motivation, and I've explained it to my children. Mostly, I want them to sleep, so they aren't tired during school and have an easier time the next day. My children, however, never explain to me their motivation; they only show me their strategy for the goal. My daughter, for example, routinely shuts the lights off, hides under a blanket to read with her flashlight thinking I won't see it and will think she's asleep. She's never once said, "Mom, I'd like to stay up late because I want to read this book since I'm enjoying it." If she did, that'd be her motive, and we could talk about it. Instead, I frequently get "Okay just one more chapter!" which is a strategy to prolonge her time awake. 

Okay now to the positives, because this book has many positive things.  Let's go back into the "Story Structure, Foundation, and Presentation" part of my review. For the copy I got on NetGalley, I saw no severe issues with spelling, grammar, margins, or anything involved in the story presentation. It was terrific to read both on the eyes but also for the mind in this category. 

Now let's go into what I truly loved, and this goes into the "Whole Story" category. Okay, yes, this book ends on a cliffhanger, but as a breath of fresh air, it's the first time I've seen one appropriately done in ages. This cliffhanger is the one, and only time I felt that the cliffhanger for this series is perfect for what it is, and encapsulates a whole story. The entire story is set up to end on this one-note, as opposed to the story ends in the middle of a scene abruptly and without setup. We have on our hands a complete beginning, middle and ending to the story that answers all of the main questions (aside from the motive) and we have a fulfilling and delicious end. The hook ties explicitly into the ending, and that's what makes the story work so perfectly to get us from beginning to end. 

For my next positive point, I want to go into the category of "Cliche Much" and let you all know about the positive way they were used. So I'm going to give you a few story tropes that contain cliche's inside of them, and see what you think about it. What happens when you mix elves in the south pole, dystopian societal fallout from humans, and a crystal that can do amazing things? Give up? You get an AMAZING  story that I have found no equal to in clever use of ideas, that's what.  We have a ton of cliche's in this novel, and cliche's are not negative things on their own. R.F used them in creative and delightful ways, like paints on a canvas, to make this beautiful story come to life. 

For the category of "Story Structure, Foundation, and Presentation," I have praise under "Story Structure" when it comes to character use. R.F expertly used characters, there is some fantastic creative use of tropes as well, and I found all of the ideas executed with expertise and precision. Like I said above, the initial thought of what you are looking at may sound strange, but it is all brought together in a transformative way. Honestly, R.F did with this novel what NBA legend Reggie Miller did once in 9 seconds by scoring 8 points. What I mean by that, R.F had the presence of mind to take a step back from the book and ensure the pieces fit together perfectly for the characters that she used in specific scenes. 

Lastly, from the "Story Structure, Foundation and Presentation" when we go to the "Story Structure" specifically, I think the part that needs very high praise is how easy the book transitions from one POV to another. There are multiple POV's, and that is tricky to do in a unique world with a unique premise in a story. Despite the difficulty, I was able to follow the action and keep up with the action and sequence of events. 

Score

And with all of this in mind, I’m giving “Three Days Till Dawn” a score of 87/100 which is a 4-star review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you love sci-fi series, or elves, or dystopian fiction, pick this up!
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this. The writing style is not extravagant and neither is it dry, it is just right, I liekd the world-building and characterization, plot pace and execution. Frankly, this was a great read and I'll be continuing the series,
 
Overall rating: 5/5 stars
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Warning: Contains little spoliers

Antiquity's Gate is a novel where you could seriously see this as being adapted into a Netflix film/tv series.

The plot is simple. Years ago a bunch of aliens named the Therans who are basically the Elves came to earth. What do you think happens next? Boom! Apolocyapse 2.0 and here we are with humans living in enclaved societies run by these Therans. Needless to say, both sides don't like each other. Plus you also have halfies!

Felix and Ripley are two of the best characters in the novel. Willow, Felix's wife finds herself pregnant with twins which are frowned upon in Theran Society. Nero, her father fits the description of what a stereotypical villain. And in this case it works, because there have been many figures like him in history. I would compare him to Commodus and the real Nero, because they were vain, rude, selfish and arrogant. Although the real Nero had more complexity to him than what was reported. I also make this point because we're not viewing it from Willow's father point of view. In this regard, I think Renee could have explained a bit more about the philosophical methods that both races, Theran, and Human use to justify their means of co-existing with each other. I would have wanted to see more scenes showing the divide between Theran and Human as well.

What I want to know in the next series, if Therans don't like humans, why keep them? Are there more species around the world? I want to know more about the world, which if you do it in a fantasy setting, you've read it a hundred times before, but in this sci-fi series, I'm actually intrigued as to what happened in the first place. Authors take note.

I feel Willow's character was under-used and I want to see more of her in the next novel. The dialogue was excellent and made you thought that you were not reading just any sci-fi book, but you were watching a movie. 
It got so good in the end and I was rushing before I stopped and the ending was an excellent cliff-hanger. Just when the plot started moving it ended. Some may not like it, but I did. I thought it was great.

My rating: 5/5
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Um bom livro, com uma história bem construída.
"Antiquity's Gate: Three Days Till Dawn" é uma junção de géneros literários. Neste livro podemos encontrar New Adult, Fantasia e distopia.
Neste livro ficamos a conhecer a história de Félix e Ripley, dois amigos, um deles humano outro Halfsie. Os dois têm de descubrir como salvar a população de Sanctuary.
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I will admit the book took me a while to get into because I found the beginning slow, but once I got past that I was able to sit back and enjoy the book. I wasn't sure what to expect given the novel has different races and you're being introduced to a new world but the author was able to put everything on paper in a way so that the reader is immersed in the world and characters but doesn't feel overwhelmed. The plot pacing was well timed and the characters were worthy of the readers "rooting", which is a big one because not all authors can give characters that sit well with a reader. I will even admit that some of those plot twists got me, and that is a good feeling! I think I just might keep my eyes on this author.
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In the future, the world environment is no longer habitable for humans. Much of the population has perished, leaving Antarctica the only place to build a sanctuary for the remaining human population. The government ensures resources are rationed and have implemented a one-child policy to ensure a sustainable population. 

One day Willow finds herself pregnant with twins. Her husband Felix and his friend Ripley hatch a plan to leave the sanctuary, but something is endangering the sanctuary. Felix, Ripley and their friends must find a way to save everyone, something they may not be prepared to do.

Along with creating a complex world and intricate plot, the author in her debut effort, takes care to develop and explore relationships among family members, and comrades. With Antiquity’s Gate being the first in the series, information vital to understanding the world is gradually revealed, allowing time for reader comprehension and giving more space for the adventure aspect of the novel.

Being old enough to remember the Stargate television show, it is tempting to make comparisons, but requires further reading. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Antiquity’s Gate: Three Days till Dawn by R. F. Hurteau, 432 pages.
R. F. Hurteau, 2019. $13.99
Language: PG (8 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG13
BUYING ADVISORY: HS – OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE
Therans, an elflike race, rule the colony Sanctuary, a dome located in Antarctica that makes living possible for the Therans, humans, and Halfies. Though the people are currently surviving, the humans and Halfies are not living. Several humans and Halfies are ready for a change, and the opportunity to do something is now but as risk of their lives—will they even try?
The story was not nearly as interesting as I wanted it to be when I started, and reading became a chore. Eventually, about halfway through, the story became more interesting and engaging, and the last chapter was definitely the best—though not knowing if I was moving forward or backward in time with each new chapter often disoriented me. In the end, I’ve decided that it was a good read because I enjoyed the last half as well as the discussions of humanity and who deserves to be treated like a person that this book inspired.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen
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R. F. Hurteau has written a sci-fi novel that is extremely accessible. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a fan of sci-fi, but I found this very easy to read, and really enjoyable, especially due to its character-driven nature. Hurteau has a strong writing style, delivering good, detailed world-building and natural dialogue and humour between her characters. The only downside about Antiquity’s Gate, for me, was that the chapters were a little long — but that’s just a personal preference for someone who has to squeeze a chapter or two in before bed at night!

Overall, this was a really great read and I’m looking forward to the sequel.
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Antiquity's Gate by R. F. Hurteau is a fast paced sci-fi novel about two best friends Felix and Ripley. They live, along with Humans and Therans, in Sanctuary, a domed city in the Antarctic. This gripping story follows the two as they try to find a way out that leads them further into confusion and mystery of Sanctuary and the outside world.

Antiquity's Gate was gripping to the point that I read it in one sitting. I instantly cared for the main characters and also was intreguied by the conspiracy of their world. It was a book that took me on an adventure and brought me away from my everyday life. 

The main issue that I have with this book was that I found myself wishing for more background information and world building. There are so many questions that I still have about certain aspects of the setting. This didn't detract from the story in a major way because I was so connected to the characters that this drove the reading experience. 

I really loved how the author was able to make so many connections through the multiple points of view it was told in. The plot came together through the eyes of many characters which had me piecing together different facts as I went along. A character only breifly mentioned in one chapter would later show up to have their own perspective on the events.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. The characters were likable, the plot was fast paced, and the premise surrounding Sanctuary was incredibly interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick and interesting sci-fi read.
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I was flabbergasted by the dialogues and your way of pulling me into that world.It was so natural and meticulous. The more chapters I read , more the excitement and interest.You gave enough details to leave me more wanting and also the cliffhangers were mind boggling.I am looking forward your next book. Also if you could send me an hard copy of the book. I would have been able to finish it soon. I use book to escape from tech things. I would love a hardcopy
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I had a hard time getting into this one. I found myself both loving and hating it multiple times all throughout. Sometimes I enjoyed the characters, and other times I just wanted the scene to be over with. It's definitely a love it or hate it book.
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