Let’s see. Here’s a young wiseass, grossly underestimated by most adults, but not underestimated by a few tough-loving ones. The boy has extraordinary, one-of-a-kind skills, but he’s also got a lot to learn about being a person. He’s a pragmatic rule-breaker, but he’s bright and strategic, and good at heart, so people forgive his complete disregard for authority. He’s self-confident and smug and sometimes overwhelmed by the burdens he bears. And he sits smack at the center of a massive political conflict.
Yes folks, we’ve got ourselves an Orson Scott Card. Whether it’s the Alvin Maker series or Ender’s Game and its many spawn – Card does one kind of story, and I like it every time.
That said, this particular incarnation is not one of Card’s best. Drawing on Norse mythology, the premise is that our deities are actually old alien families that got marooned on Earth from another world. Danny, a descendant of Loki, comes from one such family, and can create space portals called “gates.” Because everybody wants to kill him for his powers, Danny flees home and has Modern Teen adventures, consorting with hoodlums, shoplifting, and quipping sarcastically. Meanwhile he researches the admittedly fascinating details of his family’s history and magical systems. It’s a fun, quick read, but a little thin.
The 214 in 2014 series chronicles every book I read in 2014. Each review contains exactly 214 words, because 2014 words is too long and 2014 characters is too dang short. And yes, this review is backlogged from 2014.
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