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Review of Beyond the Tempest Gate by Jeff Suwak

Review of Beyond the Tempest Gate by Jeff SuwakBeyond the Tempest Gate by Jeff Suwak
on August 26th 2013
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 78


Gabriel Aterias spent his entire life preparing for one thing: to slay the demon Elezear in its black nest beyond the Tempest Gate.

By the time he was 24, he had already led the Church's armies to greater victories than any man before him. He slayed the pagan giant Emir and left him dead atop his mountain. He conquered the barabarian tribes of the south. He hunted down every last dragon in the world and snuffed them out completely.

Yet, now he prepares to face an evil that defies human understanding, an evil that existed long before the human world.

There are those who say that his quest will spell the end of humankind. For Gabriel, the fearful uncertainty of the detractor's is merely cowardice and a lack of faith.

Is Gabriel Aterias the savior of the world, or is he the narcisist that will usher in its destruction?

The answer lies beyond the Tempest Gate.

I’m going to start this by reminding everyone that I’ve been a bit depressed, which has affected my reading. I think this book will be loved by a lot of people, just not me at this point in time.

“From a distance, the writhing mass resembled some primordial, bubbling tar pit from which all the nightmares of the world fought for shape and the right to be born.”

This had sooooo much potential to capture me wholly. It’s basically about a knight who sets out on a quest to vanquish an evil demon. So what failed? Well, for me, it was the main character. I get how characters are supposed to be flawed, how they’re not supposed to be perfect, but I found Gabriel off-putting. And it was very early on that I formed this opinion. His self-righteousness is definitely dealt as one of those character flaws, but little else offset it so nothing balanced his character enough for me to root for him. The more I read, the less and less I liked him. I was actually hoping he’d get eaten by a demon so he’d get taken down a notch or two. With an unappealing lead character, the book just fizzled out for me. Such a shame because…

The world was touched upon, but the island where Gabriel undertook his mission was incredibly fun and explored in vivid, nice detail. There were monsters, a forgotten race, fights, and tense moments. It made me frustrated that I was stuck on this incredible island with an egotistical knight.

There were some flashbacks that I found distracting, but I believe that’s because I didn’t care much for Gabriel. One of them should have evoked some sympathy from me, but it was too late for me to change my mind.

The writing was clean and some of the descriptions quite lovely, such as the one I quoted above. It read fast and smooth, for me. Suwak has a gifted way with words, and—based on reviews—many have loved this story. If I were to have a character I remotely enjoyed, I would have loved it as well.

So overall, if you’re not a crazy character driven reader such as myself, you might find this book very appealing. It’s short and cheap, so it’d be a great way to pass an hour or two.

About Jeff Suwak

Jeff never really thought he had a choice to be anything in life other than a writer. For him, that meant hitchhiking around the country, competing in full contact kickboxing, hiking the Appalachian Trail, becoming an Army Ranger, and about a dozen other strange adventures. His favorite writers were people like Jack London, Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, and Cormac McCarthy. They were men who made their lives their art, and he wanted to be the exact same kind of writer.

He’s been a dishwasher, a cook, a porter, a technical editor, an Airborne Ranger, a recycling technician, a construction laborer, a flooring installer, a freelance writer and editor, and a cross-country furniture mover. Through it all, he wrote.

Today, he writes and edits in the Pacific Northwest. It’s his favorite place in the world and he feels blessed to live there.

He writes fiction in nearly every genre, but seems to have found his niche in fantasy.

Jeff wants to ensure fans that the picture above is, indeed, of him. No models were hired. He really is that devastatingly handsome. He’s also quick witted and charming. His feet, however, are covered in soft tufts of hobbit-like hair, which some people find repulsive.

A bit of trivia about Jeff: he has two cowlicks on the back of his head that grow out like pompoms if he doesn’t get a regular haircut. If he goes a very long time without seeing the barber, his hair naturally grows into a style reminiscent of Marvel’s Wolverine’s, and that’s no joke.

In his free time he enjoys hiking, running, reading, researching random things, and writing his autobiography in third person.

Jeff is very fond of being berated on Twitter:

He would like to sincerely thank all who take the time to read his work. It’s an honor that still amazes him every day.

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