The Shattered Gates - Ginn Hale I am going to begin this review by stating up front that the fantasy genre is not my cup of tea. I am game for dystopian worlds and alternate universes where the world is built from the author’s imagination, but people are still just people - no witches, no mystical powers, no oracle bones that can talk and no time travel. Now that that is out of the way, I will state that Ginn Hale’s The Shattered Gates does not have me captivated, but it does have me intrigued.

Well written, spectacularly imagined and despite a particularly convoluted plot with multiple, coinciding story arcs - clearly conveyed. There seems to be a lot of foreshadowing in this first book, but there has been one nice surprise so far. What I have inferred readers can expect in The Rifter series, from The Shattered Gates, is a story of two men whose paths coincide and cross at different points in a non-linear time and space continuum between two worlds. Each on the fringe of society in their own way, one harboring a fantastical secret and one clueless to the fact he is the secret. I am also inferring the reader is being set up to contemplate what is being presented as good and evil from each of the MC’s perceptions and all the “gray space” in between. Possibly a romance springing from a "who should you trust?" theme. Again, just inferences - this is a review of book one for goodness sake. :)

Book one is heavy on the fantasy world building and introduction of key characters, but quite lacking in any semblance of a romance. Not only is there no chemistry developed between the leading men, there is little interaction between them. Another possible reason why I am intrigued, but not captivated at this point. To introduce a world immersed in such sensational fantasy, I imagine an “introduction” book, such as The Shattered Gates is needed and the m/m relationship will take center stage as the series progresses.

For those of you who adore both the fantasy genre and m/m genre, The Rifter seems to be one that will impress, but I recommend giving it a go to those of you who enjoy a well written piece, despite not being particularly keen on fantasy. I roll my eyes at a lot of the fantasy aspects of the story, but as I read on I find myself rolling them less. I have determined that the first book in The Rifter series has engaged me enough that I will be reading on.