“A Gathering of Doorways” is about secrets. Not only does the land itself hold long-hidden secrets, but the people around it do too. As poisoned as the countryside may be it only reflects the corruption of its citizens. Nearly everyone has made some sort of deal with the devil; be it the devil of their own impulses or an actual supernatural force, they’ve compromised themselves in some way, and their families suffer for it. Noah, the youthful victim and later hero of the story, is innocent of such adult conceits and thus the only person qualified to confront the Undercity.
Jasper uses the quickly-shifting landscape of the Undercity to good effect, giving the story a disorienting, kaleidoscopic feel that keeps the reader off-balance nearly as much as the characters, leading to some genuinely frightening moments in this unpredictable but thoroughly entertaining dark fantasy.