Max and the Gatekeeper

Rated 4.80/5 based on 5 reviews
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. More
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About James Todd Cochrane

James Todd Cochrane was born in Fremont, California. He received his BA from Utah State University, where he majored in Business Information Systems with a minor in German.

A writer since elementary school, he published his first novel, Max and the Gatekeeper, in 2007. The sequels, The Hourglass of Souls and The Descendant and the Demon’s Fork, followed

He now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where he writes part-time while working as a computer programmer.

His first novel, Max and the Gatekeeper, is on the Accelerated Readers List and was a 2010-2011 Alaska Battle Book.

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Review by: Nora Black on Oct. 16, 2013 :
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.
(review of free book)
Review by: chucklesthescot on Oct. 5, 2013 :
Max doesn't want to spend the summer with Grandpa Joe, especially when there are are creepy chanting people and bullies with magic powers. But he needs to learn his destiny, safeguarding a gateway to other worlds, and stopping evil enemies from taking control of it. With Grandpa's friends and Cindy, his only friend, Max is mixed up in magic, danger and adventure.

This was a really enjoyable, easy to read adventure for all ages. There are evil people from several galaxies who want to kill the rest of Max's family to gain control of the gateway, and only a few people are standing against them. Max and Cindy have to learn magic to help keep themselves alive as they help to stop their enemies. There are several trips to other worlds in a Stargate style plot, meeting new races and animals. There are magical battles and life or death dramas. It keeps moving along at a good pace, with the author putting the characters into lots of dangerous situations to entertain the readers.

I liked the characters in the book. Grandpa Joe is a very cool guy and I liked the fact that our hero was a pensioner! It makes a nice change to have a bit of diversity. Max and Cindy are good kids and I liked their growing relationship which includes that awkward is she just my friend or does she LIKE me like that situation. It's a fun innocent puppy love subplot which is cute because we can all remember that first childhood crush! I liked the different people that Max meets on his travels and I really liked Ell! The bad guys were entertaining pantomime villans who you wanted to yell 'boo, hiss!' at every time they appeared, especially Alan!

There was a nice twist towards the end which I did guess a bit earlier. I think it might have been a subtle hint left by the author in a bit of dialogue, as I spotted this and thought, 'hmmm!'. But guessing the twist did not spoil the reveal at all, it just made me go 'Ha I was RIGHT!' which is quite satisfying!

This is a book that will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy, magical adventures, and a good fast moving plot. There is one bit of dialogue where a pile of swear words is implied but not written, but other than that it is suitable for all ages. I'd certainly like to read the rest of this series.
(review of free book)
Review by: Glen Romero on Oct. 2, 2013 :
I really enjoyed this book a lot. When I started reading it there was something that just kept me coming back for more. It was until I was over half way done that I realized I was having a hard time putting it down and got a copy of it for my Kindle. I've already got the second book and it's turning out to be good also.
(review of free book)
Review by: Jerry Dougherty on Sep. 25, 2013 :
I enjoyed reading this book, the fact that there was action from the start kept my A.D.D in check and if it were not for work and my family i would have been done within a few hours. I would definitley reccommend it, and now am going to go back and read books 1 -3 of the series, Cannot wait for the story line to continue.
(review of free book)
Review by: Dionne Washington on Sep. 9, 2013 :
I truly enjoyed reading this. Great start and I loved the main character. This was great!
(review of free book)
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