Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Max and the Gatekeeper by James Todd Cochrane. A Book Review

Blurb:-(from Goodreads)

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.


A sweeping enchanting story set in a world where the forces of good and evil battle for sway. No, this is not a "read it before", predictable tale, it is a vivid, beautifully woven saga of magic, mayhem and mystery. Adventure abounds, wicked plots and evil questing beasts frighten and entertain. Rarely, if ever, am I faced with a book I'm actually nervous to write a review for, this was one; I was afraid I would not be able to do it justice, it is simply too excellent.

Max, pays a reluctant visit to his grandfather for his summer vacation, he is immediately marked and tracked by the creatures of darkness. Max soon discovers, not only that he admires his grandfather, but that the old man is a seasoned traveler to far flung fantasy worlds, courtesy of an intriguing time machine. He befriends Cindy, a beautiful, tomboy, and makes instant enemies with the group of town bullies, who are far more dangerous than first thought.

Max and Cindy are charming characters, full of warmth and fun. Their halting, first blush infatuation is a delight to read, both refreshing in its innocence and evocative in its promise.

Suspense, and danger force Max and Cindy into a vortex of "other worlds" for which they need to learn enthralling magical arts to survive. From believable, truly scary monsters, to shimmering fairies and stealthy night shades, this book has it all. The ambit and sheer breadth of the authors imagination is staggering and ever awe inspiring. The target market here is probably pre-teen, but for anyone who fears that wonder is merely a glimmer of vaguely remembered majesty on a fading horizon, this book will fix it totally, a fit read for both child, and the child in you. A must do fiction, more heart-stoppingly amazing than anything I've picked up in years: which kid(or adult), after all, does not want to be the hero with hard-won superpowers who is touted to save the world.

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