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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Gateways: Book I of the Elemental Chronicles by Jessica Schaub follows the adventure of a lifetime, or at least Victoria's. She lives a relatively normal life with her mom, two best friends, art class, and the occasional problem of falling into her paintings. Suddenly she finds a world of gateways that can take her to places she's only imagined. When she and her friends find their way into the world of images, they find themselves searching for an ancient weapon. Going up against an escaped prisoner, they must learn to harness their powers in order to survive. Does her missing father have anything to do with this mysterious world of painting and mirror travel?
A magical and creative journey into the imagination. The world of the paintings (and mirrors) run on imagination; even the definition explains that the gateways can lead to any place that Victoria has only imagined. The concept of traveling into paintings is what first drew me to the novel. As an artist, I related to the creative elements of the novel. Each work of art is alive in its own way. I love that each painting that leads to a gateway has its own story connected to it. The world of power has a rule structure which makes the magic stronger. Every image is strongest in one element, and not every painting is a gateway. But every painting has a story behind it, even if you can't discern it. Schaub crafts this idea in a wonderful story. Enchanting and charming, Gateways is a delightful fantasy aimed at a younger audience, but endearing for all ages. Jessica Schaub weaves together mythology and adventure in a brilliant story of friendship. A must-read!