Title: The Gates of Neptune
Author: Gilbert L. Morris
Year Published: 1994
The Gates of Neptune is the second book in the Seven Sleepers series. The friend who loaned the books to me warned me that this book was the ‘obligatory water adventure’ that most fantasy series seem to have, and that this one was not really a shining example of the breed. I have to agree.
The Gates of Neptune follows right on the heels of Flight of Eagles, and the Seven Sleepers are soon separated from their fellow travelers. They find themselves on the edge of the ocean, where they are met by a Princess of Atlantis. The Sleepers follow her to the city, and learn quickly of the threat that is facing Atlantis.
Where The Flight of the Eagles focused primarily on Josh, The Gates of Neptune is Sarah’s book. She is the one Goel comes to and tells what they need to do, and she is the one who really learns to trust him and believe in his forgiveness. Despite the story focus, for the most part, though, she’s not a very interesting character.
Even the villain of the book is very easily see-through to somebody who is genre-savvy – it is very easy to deduce that he is being controlled by another outside force, which is made explicit very quickly. Freeing him is also far too easy – the battle takes place after.
The writing in the book remains solidly middle-grade, with paragraphs saying things like “they spoke at length” or “they discussed” where we don’t get to see the discussion go on. The pacing of the book suffers, as well, as the characters get from one point to another, and then stall there for a while, before continuing on. I was also expecting Val to have more of a twisty, dark background, but that also did not happen.
I do still want to know what happens, especially since I don’t have a sense of the overarching plot from Goel’s side yet (the Dark Side, yes).