Max and the Gatekeeper (Max and the Gatekeeper #1)

Max and the Gatekeeper (Max and the Gatekeeper #1)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
September 04, 2007
ISBN
0979720214
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A war has been waging for centuries; a magical and technological battle between good and evil. This conflict will affect life everywhere, but not everyone is aware it exists. When twelve-year old Max Rigdon is sent to stay with his grandfather for the summer, he unwillingly enters the fight. The day Max steps off the bus he is marked with an evil curse and immediately becomes the target of evil men and creatures with designs on ruling the universe. Not only does this curse cause Max physical pain but it allows his enemies to track and find him. He soon learns that the reason for this unwanted attention is because his grandfather is the keeper of a gateway; a powerful machine that makes travel to hundreds of strange unknown worlds possible. The enemy will do anything to gain possession of this power in their quest to control all worlds. With the help of his friend Cindy and others, Max must quickly learn the necessary skills to survive if he is to avoid the deadly trap that has been planned for him and his grandfather. A trap that has been decades in the making with Max as the missing piece. If successful it will change life as we know it.

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Harry Who?
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by phantasmagoria "aka: Kevis Hendrickson Author

For centuries, Great Britain has been spitting out a parade of popular children's fantasy books as if they were going out of fashion: Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Prydain, His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Derkholm series, Artemis Fowl, the list goes on and on. This is to say nothing of the many British folktales and legends that gave birth to the fantasy genre. Unfortunately, even with gems like The Wizard of Oz or newer creations such as Fablehaven or The Spyderwick Chronicles under our belt, Americans have yet to challenge the Brits for sheer creativity or longevity in children's literature. This is very surprising considering the vast wealth of talented American writers who have made their mark in other genres of fiction. Perhaps, now, that we have entered a new millennium, the pendulum is beginning to swing.

Enter James Todd Cochrane's Max and the Gatekeeper, an unheralded new star among children's fantasy literature that is sure to draw its fair share of readers. Max and the Gatekeeper is the latest among a slew of children's fantasy books featuring a boy-wizard theme. But unlike its predecessor Harry Potter, Max and the Gatekeeper takes us on a thrill ride that explores technological, as well as mystical concepts. It is as much a literary successor to Star Wars as Harry Potter.

12 year old Max Rigdon is sent away by his mother to spend the summer with his grandfather. But no sooner than he arrives, he discovers there is a plot to kill him and his grandfather by a mysterious order of malevolent wizards and a vast assortment of other nefarious foes who are bent on controlling the universe. Max quickly learns that the enemy wants to kill him and his grandfather so that they can take control of a one-of-a-kind machine that allows users to travel to different worlds.

Max meets several new friends who want to help to keep him safe, including his Tomboyish, but cute neighbor Cindy. But Max must learn magic and an array of other impressive skills in order to survive the deadly threats against his life. His grandfather presents to him a dangerous choice to save a host of worlds, not the least of which is his own. But ultimately, Max must decide if he is willing to take on such a dangerous task knowing that billions of worlds and countless races are depending on him to protect them from the enemy's plot to dominate them.

I found Max and the Gatekeeper to be an amazing book. At first, I feared it was just going to be another wanna be Harry Potter clone. But this book turned out to be so much more. This book engages its readers from the very beginning and takes them on a wild adventure throughout many vastly different and exotic worlds. Danger is always just a breath away and Max is a character we grow to love and care about. There is never a dull moment in this book and, for me, reading the ending was better than eating chocolate.

Kudos to Mr. Cochrane for creating such an intelligently written and emotionally stirring book. Of the many children's fantasy books I've read this year, I am looking forward most to reading the sequel to Max and the Gatekeeper. Anyone who loves a great fantasy thriller should check this book out too.

"Reprinted here with author's permission"
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This Book Is Awesome
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Mitchell

"Max and the Gatekeeper" is an awesome book. The author did a great job. The book goes by very fast. You won't want to put it down. It keeps you wanting to see what happens next. The characters are amazing. I love the main character because he is a boy just like me. I hope the author writes another book.
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