The Gatekeeper of Pericael is a middle grade fantasy book that was sent to me by the author. 12-year-old Porter is the Kotalla Kan, the next generation of the Gatekeepers, who guard the portal between Earth and the parallel spirit universe of Pericael. He hates spirits, and would much rather play soccer and be "normal" then spend hours channeling them and accepting his fate. When Pericael is threatened by the soul-stealing shaman Raspburn, Porter tries to help his mother banish him, but accidently drags himself and his powerless cousin Ames along with him. He must find his way back home in six days before Raspburn does, and defeat him. Along the way, he learns more about his powers and must learn to embrace it.
I loved The Gatekeeper of Pericael! While the premise of being sucked into a portal and having to find your way home is not very unique, the world-building certainly is. I also enjoyed how it was not information overload; I liked having a sense of mystery of certain aspects of the sprits and learning with Porter along the way. The book reminds me a bit of Avatar the Last Airbender, especially with the connection to the spirits. The plot's blend between familiar and unique was refreshing. The imagery of the fights and Porter's magic was very vivid and enticing.
Porter's character development was astonishing. He went from despising the spirits and his role in protecting Earth to earnestly joining the King of the Spirits and feeling a sense of pride in his abilities. And for a 12-year-old kid? That is a heck of a ton of pressure to be under, and I enjoyed watching him adapt to it and find new strength to save his friends. While unfortunate circumstances caused his journey, I have no doubt that it helped Porter evolve in his abilities and become a more confident person. I do wish that the same growth was present with some of the other characters like Ames; or perhaps his relative flatness was written on purpose to emphasize Porter's emotions and difficulties?
I recommend this book!
See my review of another book by this author, Ordiel's Heirs.Title: The Gatekeeper of Pericael
Author: Hayley Reese Chow
Publisher: Hayley Reese Chow
Rating: 5 Stars