The Gatekeeper of Pericael by Hayley Reese Chow

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was lucky enough to read this book after the author reached out and gave me a copy. I hope the prospective reader will read this review fully before making any prejudgments on the book. I will give the book my thoughts. These thoughts are completely my own and not swayed in any way by anyone else’s reviews or opinions.

“A bead of sweat tickled his temple, and he opened his eyes. His gaze flicked from left to right. Mimoosh cocked her head as though listening. Although they pervaded nearly all things in Pericael, most people coral-speckled ground. To anyone back on Earth, on the other side of the Universe Gate, it would just look like a circle filled with an intricate pattern, or maybe a different language. But here in Pericael, nearly all would recognize it as a spell ring. The grooves in the dirt took on a luminous silver glow in the gathering shadows. Porter’s ranja, his energy, flowed from his muscles and into the ring at his feet. With a sigh, he sat down in the circle and crossed his legs, laying his staff across his lap.”

Hayley Reese Chow-The Gatekeeper of Pericael

Porter, a twelve-year-old boy, wants to hang out and play soccer. What he doesn’t want to do is guard a gate to Pericael, which is full of monsters, or channeling spirts. Unfortunately for Porter, he just happens to come from a family with generations of people who have guarded the gate before him. He will never get out of his lessons; not anytime soon at least. After someone threatens the gateway, Porter has to step in to it’s defense. When the unthinkable happens, Porter is thrown into the jungles of Pericael. With the help of two native girls, he needs to face spirits that he has been trying to avoid. Porter needs to embrace the spirits and beat to soul thief back to the gate before there is nothing left of his home to go back to.

This book was refreshing. It was great for younger readers. I feel that the characters were generally well developed and it was a fun adventure to take with Porter. There was a lot packed into a short book. The action and drama was fun to catch up with. I loved that there was lore. It proves that our youth can understand more than we give them credit for. I thought it was so interesting that the description of a map. It was as if I was reading the thoughts of a young boy. It was a captivating touch.

Even though I loved this book, I don’t feel as if I could connect with the characters. I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that I haven’t read a middle school book in a very long time or I just couldn’t completely feel for them. I think that this disconnect makes it difficult to stay in tune with the story. Overall, I do love the path it took. I just could tell it was meant for a younger audience than myself.

My Rating: I rate this book a strong 4 out of 5 stars. It was an adventure that was fun. I enjoyed the book, but felt like I was missing the connection with the characters and storyline. I think that I would recommend books for younger readers. Middle grade readers would love this book. I think that even if I didn’t fully connect, I know that others will. This book was generally entertaining and one I would give to a twelve-year-old to get into reading.



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