Upper MIddle Grade

The Gatekeeper of Pericael

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Book Information

Title: The Gatekeeperof Pericael
Author: Hayley Reese Chow
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure
Publication Date: April 6, 2021

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The legend says the spirit in the Tok was once another star that chased Nishira, the second moon, across the sky. Then Nashira’s sister moon, Tisara, cursed Tok to be at the mercy of humans to save her younger sister from him. But some say that was just Tisara’s excuse. That Nashira and Tok were in love and Tisara was jealous and lonely.


The Gatekeeper of Pericael Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Porter would much rather spend his weekends playing soccer than channeling spirits in the parallel universe of Pericael. Unfortunately for him, Porter’s family has guarded the gate between Earth and monster-filled Pericael for generations, so he’s not getting out of Gatekeeper lessons anytime soon.

But some after-school activities are more dangerous than others.

When a soul thief threatens the gate, Porter reluctantly comes to its defense… and gets thrown deep into Pericael’s dangerous jungle wilderness. With the help of two fierce native girls, Porter must learn to embrace the creepy spirits and find his way back to the gate. But the soul thief is racing for the gate too, and if he gets there first, Porter won’t have a home to go back to.

The Gatekeeper of Pericael Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Gatekeeper of Pericael is stand-alone novel in the upper Middle Grade level. While this is not the typical level that I review, it was worth the read. Hayley combines just the right level of creepy dark elements with fun banter. Although, I do not have the amount of knowledge to truly appreciate the amount of Star Wars references throw throughout.

Porter is our main character and the book is told exclusively through his POV. Saddled with the family secret and responsibility, he is like any other pre-teen boy, upset about his lot in life. Training to use the magic of Pericael, protecting the doorway to the human world and keeping it a secret from humans all weigh heavily on him. When Pericael needs his help, he steps up and this starts his journey into accepting his responsibility and understanding what it means to be the Gatekeeper of Pericael. Ames, Porter’s cousin, is a great comic relief and source of light in this novel. He is always talking, always positive and believes in Porter even when Porter doesn’t believe in himself. Fira is a hurricane throughout the novel. She does what she wants and does what she thinks is best for the situation, including copying spells that she should not be using according to the laws of Pericael. Conri is my favourite character. She is strong, and intelligent, despite her visual impairment. She is sure of herself and the spirits that guide her. The characters in the beginning do not get along as you can imagine. But the relationships between the grow and strengthen by the end.

The world building and explanations of the magic system is excellent. The pacing of the novel (taking place through a time span of about 8-9 days) is good. The events flow nicely together and are detailed throughly it feels like you are there. The imagery use and world choice is perfect for the desired reader age group. Overall, The Gatekeeper of Pericael is a great book for ages 10-13 and is worth the read for older lovers of fantasy who are looking for a quick afternoon read.

I would like to thank Hayley Reese Chow for sending me a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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About Hayley Reese Chow

Hayley Reese Chow is the author of Odriel’s Heirs, the 2020 winner of the Florida Author Project. She also has short and flash fiction featured in Lite Lit One, The Drabble, Bewildering Stories, Teleport Magazine, and Rogue Blades Entertainment’s omnibus, AS YOU WISH!

Until recently though, she’s mostly done a lot of things that have nothing at all to do with writing. Her hat collection includes mother, wife, engineer, USAF veteran, reservist, four-time All American fencer, 100 mile ultra-marathoner, triathlete, world traveler, voracious reader, and super nerd.

Hayley currently lives in Florida with two small wild boys, her long-suffering
husband, and her miniature ragehound.

But at night, when the house is still, she writes.

More Books by Hayley Reese Chow

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