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The Celestial Gate 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Celestial Gate
Author: Avital Dicker
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: August 9th, 2020
Pages: 346
Publishers: BooksGoSocial
Rating:

2.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The world is about to end. There is only one way to save it. But the price could be her life.

The paths of three teenagers cross at the heart of a large-scale terror attack in which their parents are injured.

In order to save themselves, they will have to give up everything they know and love.

Jerusalem is burning and they are trapped. They have no choice but to follow a mysterious map and escape into a network of secret passages under the old city, where they are forced to fight for their lives against dangerous armed terrorists.

Time is running out and the only way to save themselves and the city is to find the Celestial Gate.

To accomplish this, they will have to overcome their differences and find the meaning of the secret bond that connects between the three of them, rooted in a previous life and in ancient history.

Will they manage to find the secret gate and save the city from death and destruction?

Book Cover: Three silhouettes standing in an archway with a vast city on a hill showing through the other side.

This will not be the most positive review… I get more and more confused about this book every time I reread the synopsis honestly!!

So, let’s get the one good thing (which was the only reason I kept reading this book) out of the road first. That is that the book is very fast paced & quick to read. Yep, thats my positive thing.

Now, onto the less positive things. Firstly, and the main thing that I simply do not understand is the synopsis of this book! I received this book through NetGalley and had never heard of it before hand, so the synopsis was what I read and what I thought sounded interesting. HOWEVER, I have now discovered that the book & the synopsis are BARELY similar… First off, the events that are mentioned in the synopsis do not even play out until 35% through the book. Which was weird to start with as why didn’t the synopsis tell us about the start of the book & the basic idea of the world instead of details about events that happen around the middle of the book?? Confused. Then there is the fact that the synopsis is inaccurate.
So, let’s break some of the synopsis down. The bits of information between the emojis is spoilery, so skip those sections if you want no spoilers!

The world is about to end. There is only one way to save it. But the price could be her life

As far as I saw the world was not ending… There was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem which was also happening in some other areas. There was mention that there could be a full on War but that still isn’t the world ending.. I’m not sure what this ‘one way to save it’ was exactly because it was never mentioned. 🙄 The MCs blow up an old building or something to stop the bomb blowing up most of the city instead (which was a split second decision nearly) but that wasn’t exactly the only option. They could of disabled the bomb or literally anything else.. 🙄 And lastly besides trying to avoid being killed by terrorists there wasn’t any big events that could of been succeed by costing them her life..

The paths of three teenagers cross at the heart of a large-scale terror attack in which their parents are injured.

No they didn’t… 2 of them literally knew each other since birth (not to mention they all knew each other anyway before being reincarnated at this time – which is not even mentioned in the synopsis, except one tiny hint. Yes the entire book is based on reincarnation and religion)… The other one did cross their path but not all 3.

Time is running out and the only way to save themselves and the city is to find the Celestial Gate.

I don’t recall the characters actually mentioning that they thought finding The Celestial Gate would save the city. The female just wanted to find it to get to God so she could tell him that the system of reincarnation they are stuck is wasn’t working…

To accomplish this, they will have to overcome their differences and find the meaning of the secret bond that connects between the three of them, rooted in a previous life and in ancient history.

‘find the meaning’?? They literally get to a certain location and each of them remembers everything about the reincarnation and everything else… It wasn’t exactly something they were looking for or discovered. Their memory just came back.

Will they manage to find the secret gate and save the city from death and destruction?

Finding the gate did basically nothing in saving the city. They did that all on their own after they were sent back from Heaven.. Unless I missed something finding the gate really didn’t achieve anything except understanding a couple things.

So overall the synopsis was just all over the place. It does not mention religion once when that is literally the main focus of the book. It very very briefly hints to reincarnation which again is the major part of the world… Then other parts just simply aren’t accurate to the book I read. I just do not get it at all..


Enough about the synopsis and now onto the parts about the actual book I didn’t enjoy.

Firstly the 3 major characters felt very 2 dimensional.. The parents whose lives we briefly follow before the main plot felt more fleshed out than Mor, Anise & Yam. Due to them being so flat I just didn’t really care what was happening to them.

The plot itself was kind of interesting at times but also kinda bland even more often. I found myself getting bored a lot and also dosing off and having to reread the same sentence 5 times before I actually took it in. It was also very predictable which didn’t exactly help to make the book more exciting.

Lastly I didn’t enjoy how the POV was written. It swaps between the parents and the 3 major characters. However only 1/4 of the time did the paragraphs start with the characters name so you knew who you were following. I did however read an ARC of the book, so this could have been rectified in the final copy, I can’t be sure, but it made it very hard to follow in the ARC. I also found a couple times where the POV would change from one character to another half way through a paragraph without warning. Which means I was going back and reading sections trying to figure out who was doing what and what the heck was going on.

Overall I don’t recommend this book, even without the obvious synopsis issues. It was bland and not overly well written.
Majorly though, I went in expected an action packed adventure/quest book following 3 young adults and instead got a heavy religious based reincarnation story with a little bit of action but an overall quest to find God.. Not what I signed up for at all. I also wish that the heavy religious base of this book was mentioned in the synopsis so readers could have the choice on whether to read about the topic or not. It is not something I would have picked up if I had know and that should be something people have a choice on. Just being thrown into that expecting something completely different is not on and it’s not fair to the reader…

Let’s Chat

What are your thoughts on an inaccurate synopsis? Are there any books that come to mind that annoyed you for this reason?


Thank you to NetGalley & BooksGoSocial for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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