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Reviewed by David Cameron for Readers' Favorite
The protagonist in The Gatekeeper of Pericael by Haley Reese Chow, Porter, is your average boy, but he hides a secret. His mother is the gatekeeper of a portal between Earth and Pericael, a world of magic, spirits, and danger. His family is part of a long line of gatekeepers, but his cousin Ames is unaware of the family’s secret. Porter is Kotalla Kan and is destined to replace his mother. When Porter and Ames are alone in the house, there is a knocking on the door to Pericael. Unable to contact his mother and unsure what to do, Porter opens the door, and the two boys encounter danger. When the evil shaman, Raspurn, attacks, Porter struggles to keep him at bay. The shaman is driven through a portal to an unknown part of the land, drawing Ames and Porter with it. Lost in the dangerous, wild, and jungled land, the two boys are racing against time to reach the Gateway before Raspurn returns and breaks through the gate.
Haley Reese Chow has created a frighteningly alien world with magic, powerful spirits, and terrifying predators in The Gatekeeper of Pericael. We are instantly immersed in the action, with no let-up until the end. Porter doubts his ability, but Ames is pragmatically sure they will succeed despite all the odds against them. I enjoyed the interplay between the boys and the two sisters, Conri and Fira. Despite Fira's animosity and scorn, they are tasked with helping the boys. This is an excellent read for young adults who enjoy fantasy. It is fast-paced and one I highly recommend.