Read for the RIP VI Reading Challenge.
Young Samuel Johnson decided to show some initiative and trick or treat a full three days before Halloween. That’s why he happened to be at 666 Crowley Road when the Abernathys decided to raise a demon.
Samuel figures out pretty early on that none of the adults are going to believe what he saw that night, so it’s up to him to save the world when the entire demon horde in Hell decides to make a break for Earth through the Abernathy’s basement.
My first experience with Connolly’s work was The Book of Lost Things, which is beautifully written fairy tale (totally gorgeous - run out and read it if you haven't already). The Gates goes in the other direction, and takes on Hell with a wonderful comic atmosphere, a la Terry Pratchett (complete with subtitles). Samuel is an unlikely, and thoroughly likable hero. The story even manages to bring in the Large Hadron Super Collider in Switzerland in a thoroughly plausible manner.
I think this book may become a required Halloween reread - it captures a flavor of that holiday so perfectly.