This is the first book to the one I won off Goodreads. Since it was being provided I figured I should do the series right and start here. And I’ll definitely be continuing on, too.
Title: The Gatekeeper’s Son
Series: The Gatekeeper’s Son; Book 1
Author: C. R. Fladmark
ROTS Setting: EU, Modern, Magic
Synopsis: 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.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Teens and adults should both enjoy this.
I had pretty low expectations of this book, I’ll be honest. It’s by an indie author, the cover felt a bit meh to me, and the general theme isn’t in my usual go-to’s. But I’m pleasantly surprised. And it’s not like I wasn’t looking for issues or was willing to forgive major mistakes either.
Let me nitpick for a second. The plot pacing was a bit slow, but the short chapters and regular bouts of action balanced that out to where it was barely noticeable. The MC, James/Junya, was a little annoying (normal for me and MC’s) and he always seemed to yell at people after they answered his questions like they were a personal insult. There were also a few elements of the setting that were a touch confusing, but the other very well explained elements kept this grounded. Also it took me far too long to figure out who the MC’s mother was. I honestly thought she was the housekeeper for like a fifth of the book.
Seriously, this would book is a solid work from any author. Once you add in that this is a debut novel and that Mr. Fladmark is an indie (self-published) author and it shows how amazing this book really is. I will be watching this author closely over the next few years because once he’s got some experience under his belt he could be a major player.
When it came to the setting, I really enjoyed the infusion of Japanese culture. I’ve always like Japan and thought that the history was fascinating. Everything was portrayed very well and I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by it either. The premise was very storied and there is a lot more that could be dug into. More like that I’m begging will be dug into.
As mentioned already, James/Junya, annoyed me a bit but he is a 16 year old kid with crazy stuff happening. His deeper motivations are still a bit of a mystery, but overall is a well rounded, real person. Shoko is probably the least developed character given the amount of page time that she had. While generally that’s not a good thing, she was developed enough to not detract from the story and it’s positioned well to really get into her character more deeply in the next book.
Plot was really good. Again, I already mentioned that the pace was a bit slow, especially for the first half of the book. The shorter chapters and regular action scenes kept it from getting stale but it did take quite a long time to progress through the major plot points. However, everything that was done or said did factor in and I was able to pick out many of the “hows” and “whys” for many of the scenes.
In summary, it’s a great first book for author and series. It’s got decent characters, fast-paced, intriguing premise and entertaining plot. I highly encourage you all to give it a shot. Now it’s on to the second book, which I have a hardcopy sitting on my shelf.
Coming Soon The Fallen Gatekeepers; Book 2 >>