The Exodus Gate
Stephen Zimmer
Copyright 2009 by Stephen Zimmer
First Printing 2009 by Seventh Star Press
Urban Fantasy
Cover Art by Matthew Perry

The Exodus Gate is the first in a trilogy titled The Rising Dawn Saga.  It is epic, urban fantasy.  It is an ambitious novel with a large cast of characters and multiple plot lines that slowly, elegantly are woven together as the story unfolds.  The plot is thick.  The characters are believable and sympathetic.  The language is sometimes heavy, even cumbersome, yet also has moments of grandeur.  I found the heavy use of proper names, in lieu of simple pronouns, sometimes distracting, but the style in general is high and moves the story along compellingly.  
Benedict Darwin is a late night radio host whose show deals with the paranormal.  An avid listener, trying to get close to his a personality he admires allows Darwin to be a beta tester for a virtual reality simulater he has helped develop for a multinational corporation.  But things are not as they seem and what happens in the virtual world may be far more real than Darwin or even his engineer listener could have imagined.
A reader can view The Exodus Gate as a simple, adventure tale, a good plot with lots of moving parts to keep the reader interested, or as a story with deeper meanings, as the reader prefers, but the deeper level of the novel is in now way hidden.  It is only just below the surface.  One can dip one's toes in and touch it with ease.  The Exodus Gate is about good and evil, about politics earthly and infernal, about duty to things greater than one's self and to one's fellow creations.  It is about how those without power can become embroiled in and affect the course of events.  It is about faith and doubt and the perils into which living by faith can plunge one.  It's a good read that pulled me in and held me.  It ended on a thrilling note and has me eager to read the rest of the trilogy and other works by Mr. Zimmer.