Book Reviews of The Anubis Gates

The Anubis Gates
The Anubis Gates
Author: Tim Powers
ISBN-13: 9780441023820
ISBN-10: 0441023827
Publication Date: 12/1/1984
Pages: 387
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 27

3.9 stars, based on 27 ratings
Publisher: Ace
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

22 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
THE ANUBIS GATES is a time travel story about one English professor, Brendan Doyle. He is hired in 1983 to accompany a trip of wealthy tourists back to 1810 in order to attend a lecture given by Samuel Coleridge. While there, Doyle is kidnapped by a cadre of Gypsies led by an Egyptian sorceror. Doyle becomes embroiled in stopping their plot to subvert the growth of the British Empire.

The book has a lot of stuff going for it, and there's a lot of it that's pretty fun. I really enjoyed how the story was fairly nonlinear. And I also liked the ending.

There were some things about it that I didn't enjoy about THE ANUBIS GATES, though. One of the biggest problems in the book is that Doyle, because of his interest in a certain obscure poet, has a fairly complete blueprint of his actions. There are some things that surprise him, but for the most part, he's able to predict everthing that's going to happen. The time loop grates especially because it is supposed to be a big *surprise,* but it's really obvious that it's going to happen long before the possibility is even suggested.

Also, I felt like some of the secondary characters weren't used all that well. Particularly the love interest. The copy on the back of the book promotes her as a major player in the story, but in reality her role was very small. She was an interesting character and I felt she deserved more page time.

All in all, the story is good, and I think it is an important read if you like urban fantasy or time travel stories. But I think the hype of the story is overstated. Don't go into it with your expectations incredibly high, and you'll likely find it an enjoyable read.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Not really what I expected - ancient Egyptian stuff barely figures in it. I guess, the sorcery in it is supposed to be of Egyptian origin, and it does have some scenes in Egypt - but overall the atmosphere is much more Dickensian than Egyptian, with a significant dash of horror. It's a time-travel romp with historical figures that keep popping up and the constant threat of grotesque mutilation. Oliver Twist meets The Mummy???
So - if you like evil clowns, this is a book for you!!! (personally, they really creep me out, soooo....)
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 122 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
When I first got this book, I was a little intimadated by what I had heard about it. I heard that it was a tough read and kind of twisted. Well, I really, really enjoyed this book. Powers has an amazing way of taking a few foreshadowing facts and weaving it into a great story. Here we have a story of time travel, magicly mutated creatures, a scary clown, sorcerers, an obscure Egyptian religion and early 1800 London! Fantastic characters and a great story. It was thrilling, it was adventurous, a little scary at times and very much worth the read!!
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
THE ANUBIS GATES

Tim Powers has crafted a unique time-travel story which proves to be multifaceted. Alternate history, magic, a werewolf, poets, beggars, body swapping., and a multitude of strange events fill every page of this colorful novel.

Having never read Tim Powers I wasn't sure what to expect, I hoped for the best and my wish was answered. The story is bright, witty, and very well written. Mr. Powers prose flow effortlessly, he has complete command of the English language and a cool sense of timing, and not to mention the vivid imagery his distinctive voice creates.

Elegant and effective.

A time-traveling masterpiece.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
an intricate time travel tale, set in the near future and the early 19th century (with cameo appearances by literary figures of the period), with lots of adventure, a touch of romance, and a fair share of the paradoxes that typify this kind of novel
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 1217 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Author Tim Powers evokes 17th-century England with a combination of meticulously researched historic detail and imaginative flights in this sci-fi tale of time travel. Winner of the 1984 Philip K. Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback, this book took the fantasy world by storm. In his brief introduction, Ramsey Campbell sets The Anubis Gates in an adventure context, citing Powers's achievement of "extraordinary scenes of underground horror, of comedy both high and grotesque, of bizarre menace, of poetic fantasy." The colonization of Egypt by western European powers is the launch point for power plays and machinations. Steeping together in this time-warp stew are such characters as an unassuming Coleridge scholar, ancient gods, wizards, the Knights Templar, werewolves, and other quasi-mortals, all wrapped in the organizing fabric of Egyptian mythology. In the best of fantasy traditions, the reluctant heroes fight for survival against an evil that lurks beneath the surface of their everyday lives.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on
The Anubis Gates is the classic, Philip K. Dick Award-winning time travel novel that took the fantasy world by storme a decade ago. Only the dazzling imagination of Tim Powers could have assembled such an insane cast of characters: an ancient werewolf, a hideously deformed clown, a young woman disguised as a boy, a brainwashed Lord Byron, and finally, our hero, Professor Brendan Doyle. As for what happens next, only time will tell.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on
Tim Powers writes powerful books about ordinary people falling headlong into situations they would have dismissed as impossible or ridiculous. _The_Anubis_Gates_ is one of these, and the protagonist finds himself fighting for his life and for his soul against ordinary men and sorcerers in a past time, with only his knowledge of history to guide him.

Fans of Powers will notice that this early story ties together fewer of the many strands of myth and legend than later works, but it is recognizable Powers, and a feast for the imagination.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 48 more book reviews
If I knew more English history I'd probably enjoy this book even more, but all-in-all an excellent book, very enjoyable. Recommended !!!
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 2252 more book reviews
I have had this on my to be read shelf forever, it ended up being an okay read. It really wasn't what I was expecting. This book is supposed to be one of the main books that started the steampunk genre and it really doesn't have that much steampunk at all in it. It is more about time travel, Dickinson era London, literature, and the preservation of Egyptian supremacy.

This may have been better if I hadn't listened to it on audiobook. The book switches POV a lot and the narrator of the audiobook didn't really pause between POV changes. So it would take me a few sentences before I had figured out that we had switched characters; it made the book very confusing to follow at points.

I have also heard this called a YA book...it is absolutely not a YA read. The main character is a middle aged man and there are topics of torture, abuse, and rape. Although nothing gets too explicit, this does seem more geared toward adults.

Some parts of this book were very slow...part of that is because there are just too many different character points of view we read from. There is a lot in here that didn't actually seem to add much to the plot.

Like all time travel stories things get a bit twisted and turned, and there are places where things don't quite match up or make sense. There is some interesting irony in this book, especially towards the end and I enjoyed that quite a bit.

There were a few times when I almost stopped listening to this audiobook because I just could not pay attention to what was going on, it was just boring and not all that engaging.

Overall parts of this were okay but most of it was boring. There are some interesting twists and turns that the book takes which were enjoyable. I didn't really enjoy the characters all that much; there were just too many of them and the story switched between all their POVs too abruptly. If you are really into time travel stories you might enjoy this book. Otherwise I would look elsewhere. This is not a steampunk read.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 902 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was intriguing, and the first few pages really drew me in. Unfortunately, the farther along in the book I read, the less I seemed to like it.

On a positive note, Powers handled the time travel aspects of the novel with expert skill. He managed to weave all of the moving parts together with seamless precision, and managed to do so without paradox. I frequently found myself flipping back into the story to put the pieces together, and to reconcile the early clues with the revelations that came later. In that sense, I was pleased.

What lost me was everything else. Powers constantly threw characters into the story, and many of them were hastily introduced, poorly described, or ignored for a hundred pages before making a half-hearted cameo somewhere down the line. And then, as if that wasn't enough to keep up with, the body switching began. The plot itself became painfully overloaded. There was simply too much going on, and not enough plausibility (even for a sci-fi time travel novel).

This book would have done well with a hefty helping of "less is more," and I'm sorry that such a fantastic concept ended up as a bloody pulp of wasted potential. This was my first Tim Powers book. It might be my last.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 57 more book reviews
Book had a great premise but it was so bogged down by "weirdness" it was very hard to get through. This was my first book by Powers and I doubt I'll ever read another.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on
Decent book. Not my favorite sci-fi but I have read it twice.
reviewed The Anubis Gates on + 130 more book reviews
Very interesting, its nonlinear plot was a bit much for more, but I know others find it fascinating.