The Gatekeeper's Son

The Gatekeeper's Son
Author(s)
Publisher Name
The Shokunin Publishing Company
Age Group
14+
Published Date
October 01, 2014
ISBN Number
0993777600
ASIN Number
      
With the help of a mysterious girl, a San Francisco teenager saves his grandfather's business empire from a ruthless businessman while discovering things about himself and his family that lead him back to ancient Japan and threaten to destroy the life he has always known.

User reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.8
Writing Style
 
4.7(3)
Plot/Story
 
4.7(3)
Illustrations (if applicable)
 
N/A(0)
Characters (if applicable)
 
4.7(3)
Editing/Design Quality
 
5.0(3)
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If you like fiction, intrigue, money, or women wielding swords then this is the book for you!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Plot/Story
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable)
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable)
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality
 
5.0
C.R. Fladmark weaves an intriguing tale in this novel! Fantasy isn't usually my thing but this novel is a great blend of old and new themes that makes it an excellent read. The blend of ancient Japan and Modern San Fran takes a brand new spin on mythology and our concept of good and evil. The characters are all distinctly unique and are not the repetitive old stereotype we see again and again in fiction. The plot moves at lightning speed and makes it impossible to put this book down! This story is well layered with conflict coming from all sides! It will pull you in and you will be lost to any world but the one he created. I expect exciting things from this author in the coming years! Definitely one to watch!!
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Not Run-of-the-Mill YA Fantasy
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Plot/Story
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable)
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable)
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality
 
5.0
In “The Gatekeeper’s Son,” C.R. Fladmark has put a fresh spin on some classic fantasy elements, blending real-world cultures with a well-imagined parallel universe that combines elements of Eastern philosophy, spirituality, Japanese traditions, martial arts, and hot girls in school uniforms.

Junya, the protagonist, is a likable and relatable young man, bewildered by the sudden changes in his life but clever and resourceful. He was raised and coached in martial arts by his mother, Okaasan -- an upbringing he never understood until Shoko, the aforementioned hot girl in uniform, turns his life upside down, and Junya suddenly finds use for the skills he learned in his dojo at home (however unwillingly).

What I appreciated most was the strength of the female characters. Shoko is by turns charmingly naive and chillingly driven, a kind of 16-year-old samurai on a mission from god (or gods); while Okaasan is part Zen master, part drill instructor, and part mom. There’s no need for an explicit “girl power” message, and this is still very much a book guys will enjoy, but it’s a pleasure to see female characters portrayed as tough, resilient, capable, loving, and in positions of authority without being shrill, mannish, or sappy.

Another aspect of the novel I really enjoyed was the choreography of the fight scenes. They’re easy to visualize and follow, so you’re never jerked out of the story trying to picture who’s doing what. I love a good fight scene, so this was a big plus. :)

It’s a fun, fast-paced read, and I hope to see many more from Mr. Fladmark!
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Filled with magic, mayhem, and intrigue, Fladmark’s series is off to a solid start. – Kirkus Reviews
(Updated: March 24, 2015)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Writing Style
 
4.0
Plot/Story
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable)
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable)
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality
 
5.0
On his 16th birthday, James Edward Thompson, aka Junya, is literally knocked off his feet after spying a beautiful, mysterious Japanese girl sitting in the park across from his grandfather’s mansion. Soon after, he is once again thrown for a loop when his billionaire grandfather announces that James will be the heir to the family business—a company his grandfather built from scratch and whose success is held as a deep, dark secret. Raised in a Japanese culture in the heart of San Francisco, James is used to his mother’s little quirks, from her ninjalike skills in the dojo to her uncanny ability to always know what he’s thinking. But when company insiders threaten his life, James realizes that his grandfather isn’t the only one with something to hide. As the truth begins to unravel, James isn’t sure whom to trust, and with the help of the mysterious girl in the park, he learns about strange worlds he never knew existed and power he never knew he had. Fladmark’s freshman offering starts off strong and progresses at just the right tempo. Adept worldbuilding further enhances the storyline, while skillful character development—aside from an occasional hiccup in terms of voice and personality—creates intriguing, relatable characters with a variety of ages, abilities, and social stations. Additionally, the clear, accessible prose ably depicts not only the various cultures of contemporary San Francisco, but also the magical hidden lands of Japan and the dangerous Mojave Desert. - – Kirkus Reviews
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