Summary: Following his brother Dash through a mysterious portal, Ehrich Weisz is thrust into another dimension with a steampunk twist. Though he is all alone, believing his brother has been lost forever, he quickly adjusts to this new world and becomes a demon hunter, policing the so-called ‘Dimensionals” that come through a stable portal entrance in New York City. It’s the time of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, and with the American Civil War a part of recent history, the conquered are looking to get vengeance. With a stable portal and the help of a powerful alien race it seems the South will rise again, and when Ehrich gets wind of the plan he must find allies and a way to stop it.
Number of Pages: 261
Age Range: 13-15
Review: There are two main aspects of The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Demon Gate by Marty Chan that especially caught my attention. The first is Ehrich himself. He’s quite the character. Despite tumbling into another dimension while trying unsuccessfully to save his brother, Ehrich is incredibly self-sufficient and finds his way in an alien world. At first he just survives, but then he thrives, rising up the ranks to become a demon hunter. No one knows he is one of the Dimensionals he is supposed to be policing, and instead of dwelling on the past he just goes forward with his life.
With a mysterious medallion passed on from his brother, Ehrich hears him at times but doesn’t understand the medallion’s meaning. But then one day he sees his brother, alive, and everything changes as he tries to figure out what happened to him and how to save him. When the odds are against him because an alien named Kifo is possessing his brother Dash, Ehrich keeps on fighting for him in a big brotherly way.
All of this is set against the backdrop of the second intriguing aspect of the book, a steampunk society in the 1800s, after the American Civil War. Only this is a different American, because although the North still won the war, a portal exists in New York City that aliens from other dimensions pass through all the time. It’s an America with aliens. And yeah, I couldn’t help but wonder if Chan was trying to make a bigger point by the aliens being like the immigrants that came to America, treated poorly because of their accents and generally looked down upon, but I might be reading too much into it.
Either way, it made me think. If the South had had assistance and won the war, what would America be like today? I’m interested to see where Chan takes the series, because I think it has a lot of potential from a historical standpoint.
Otherwise it was simply a fun read. The story moves quickly and has great characters. The action is intense and scary at times but also highly engrossing. Another awesome steampunk adventure!
“Amina cleared her throat to get everyone’s attention. ‘My mother used to say that sharing a meal reminds us life is a journey we take together, no matter where we are from. Mahindaize was the major crop in my world. Mahindaize sustained my people. Hzintalli is a stew made from what survived the invasion.’
‘It reminds us that life perseveres,’ Mr. Serenity added.” – Amina and Mr. Serenity explaining the significance of their meal to their friends from The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Demon Gate by Marty Chan, page 257