By Ekta R. Garg
September 7, 2011
Rated: Borrow it
When the people of an oppressed nation lose all hope, a savior rises to rescue them from enslavement and lifelong misery. Brian Thompson uses this familiar theme as the core premise of his new book, The Revelation Gate. While readers may recognize several elements in Thompson’s book, the author provides some new components to keep readers engaged to the end.
The Uche people live under the rule of the oppressive Oti. The Oti do not permit the Uche to worship EL, the Uche god, but a remnant of the Uche believes that their savior, Mkombozi, will deliver them from the Oti. Most of the Uche people, however, have lost their belief in Mkombozi and have resigned themselves to their ultimate demise. The Uche also have lost faith in the idea of Njia, the divine power granted by EL to the clerics who are EL’s representatives to his people.
The main story begins just before the birth of the redeemer of the Uche. Kgosi, king of the land, has received word that some day a young man may threaten his rule and that the contester’s birth is imminent if not already a fact. Consequently he orders the execution of all males two years of age or younger.
Isoke is the second wife of Aitan and barren. She tolerates the company of Bimnono, the first wife who has borne Aitan two daughters. When Isoke sees the holy rain falling from the sky, immediately she immerses herself in it. The rain has appeared rarely in the past but has always brought with it the realization of many wondrous events.
Following suit of those events, Isoke becomes pregnant despite living in an unconsummated marriage. She knows her child is the result of immaculate conception and hides her condition from her husband and the rest of society. Upon the child’s birth, Isoke runs away and finds an unlikely companion in Bimnono who runs with her. Bimnono takes Isoke to a family home and lives there for two years with all their children.
Isoke names her son Chimelu, and when he turns two Isoke and Bimnono deem it safe to return to Aitan’s home. Despite her reluctance to do so, Isoke gives her son to the one living cleric of EL’s temple so the cleric may train Chimelu in Njia and in general survival. According to Uche prophecies, Mkombozi is destined to enter the Revelation Gate and thereby save his people. While no one—including the lone cleric—knows just what the Revelation Gate is, the cleric has full faith that when Chimelu’s time will come to do the needful he will know just how to do it.
Along the way, however, Isoke’s brother-in-law, Letsego, turns traitor and becomes a spy for the king. Although Isoke has not confided in him about Chimelu, Letsego begins providing the king with information on his suspicions about Chimelu’s power. Working himself into a position of influence with the Uche, Letsego also feeds the king information on the resistance movement recently begun by those Uche no longer willing to endure torture and enslavement.
Author Thompson’s book moves at a fast pace. At a length just cresting 200 pages, he covers a great deal of ground in a short amount of time. Well written,The Revelation Gate will keep readers involved even as it winds to its predictable ending. Unlike most books that follow the same biblical themes, Thompson delivers a few surprises towards the end. Some minor plot lines get resolved a little too quickly and without any questioning from the characters involved, but Chimelu’s story and his struggle with his position take center stage and Thompson does justice to the Uche savior.
I recommend this book especially for those interested in biblical allegories.
What the ratings mean:
Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection. It’s definitely worth it!
Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.
Bypass it–Free time is precious. Don’t spend it on this book!