Max and the Gatekeeper

Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy

By James Cochrane

Publisher : Dark Moon Publishing Inc.

ABOUT James Cochrane

James Cochrane
     James Todd Cochrane was born in California in 1969. 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 More...


     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.      
     The day Max steps off the bus he is marked with an evil curse and immediately becomes the target of evil men and creatures with designs on ruling the universe. Not only does this curse cause Max physical pain but it allows his enemies to track and find him. He soon learns that the reason for this unwanted attention is because his grandfather is the keeper of a gateway; a powerful machine that makes travel to hundreds of strange unknown worlds possible. The enemy will do anything to gain possession of this power in their quest to control all worlds.
     With the help of his friend Cindy and others, Max must quickly learn the necessary skills to survive if he is to avoid the deadly trap that has been planned for him and his grandfather. A trap that has been decades in the making with Max as the missing piece. If successful it will change life as we know it.

Max’s thoughts of a boring summer spent with his “crazy” grandfather are about to be turned upside down as strange unexplainable events begin to take place around him.

This review is from: Max and the Gatekeeper (Paperback)
Poor Max

Like many male progeny [weird word I don't use often], he's been looking forward to spending the summer playing baseball. Potentially a Little League starting pitcher, his plans are thwarted [note use of cool word] when he is packed on a bus and sent off to his grandfather's house.

Before long, he realizes that there's something about Grandpa, what with a foul specter-like creature accosting him on the bus and all - and then there's the weird black-cloaked unwelcoming committee that hang around the perimeter of the house making eerie noises. Grandpa seems not to notice that something is untoward [CW = cool word from here on in], but when a waking nightmare on his very first night brings an embedded symbol on his hand, Max realizes that his summer is either going to be very interesting, or totally messed up.

Unbeknownst [CW] at first to Max, his Grandpa has a secret he's been hiding, and we soon learn that he controls a machine that can allow travel between parallel universes, strange worlds, and all that stuff. Not only that, but there's magic involved too, and soon Max morphs into a multi-worldly Harry Potter, struggling with his spell-casting while saving the world from the dark side.

With his friend Cindy (or was that Hermione?) and a small support group, Max fights the good fight, knowing that the enemy is never far behind.

Not exactly deep or philosophical, the story contains all the ingredients for a fast, exciting read, and doesn't bother too much about the wheres and wherefores. It would do very well as a graphic novel or movie, or any other acceptable format for short attention spans who run screaming from long descriptive passages.

A good start to a possible series, this book is recommended for young readers from about the age of nine.