Summer vacation was never supposed to be like this.
It was bad enough Naomi had to be shipped off to her dad’s home for the summer and deal with her half-brother Gavin, but when the siblings are forced to spend their break with their great-grandmother in upstate New York, everything changes. An investigation into the strange disappearance of their great-grandfather forces them to retrace his footsteps. They discover a gateway between worlds and encounter extraordinary creatures in a land where the people are desperate to escape the coming of a shade lord. To survive their adventure, Naomi and Gavin must settle their differences and find the elusive shadow gate that will take them home again.
First line: “Gavin Walker sat in a dining room chair at the head of the table.”
Title: The Last Shadow Gate
Series: Book 1, The Shadow Gate Chronicles
Author: Michael W. Garza
My edition: I’ve read an ebook published by NeverHaven Press with 264 pages! It’ll be published in March 2017!
Age: Middle Grade/Young Adult (11+)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Michael sent me a mail and introduced this book for me, and I just knew I had to read it when he told me about it! It sounded so cool, and when the cover was revealed I was even more excited!
The book is about Gavin and Naomi, half-siblings who are forced to stay with their great-grandmother Mama Walker for the summer. Not only does it suck because Mama Walker is eighty-five years old and apparently the late Papa Walker was crazy. So when the kids are placed there for the summer, they start to investigate Papa Walker’s disappearance, and suddenly they’re searching for something called a Shadow Gate in the woods!
I really liked the plot because it started out so simple. Which twelve-year-old wouldn’t feel like spending their entire summer at their great-grandmother’s house would be awful? I’m just saying. To add to that, Gavin and Naomi doesn’t know each other that well, and since Naomi is fifteen, she’s at the age where playing with little brother’s aren’t really cool anymore. It’s a realistic plot, and I’m sure that everyone’s been forced to stay at their grandparents or great-grandparents house against their will, and all though you kind of love it, you can’t show it? Well, I have.
As the story evolves from just being at Mama Walker’s house, we are taken on this journey where Naomi and Gavin search for the truth about their great-grandfather, and where they kind of discover how awesome it is to have siblings.
I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the writing. It’s perfect. It’s descriptive and informative, and I always pictured what things looked like while reading this book. I also liked how the writing complimented the story in a way, where it made the story more magical and beautiful than I first anticipated. The chapters are just the size they should be, not too long and not too short, and it’s a really easy-read book to be honest.
Gavin is a twelve-year-old boy who likes to sit on his computer. I kind of saw my little brother in him and that was a lot of fun. He’s a brave kid, and I really liked him throughout the book, he always seemed to take the right decisions and he never let his sister down. I would also say that Gavin is incredibly smart, and he’s not easily fooled by others. Throughout the book he also goes through this massive change that I won’t go into because it would probably ruin the book for you, but he changes from good to better and I can’t wait for A Veil of Shadows (book 2) to come out!
Naomi is the typical fifteen-year-old girl I would say. On the outside she’s more concerned about lying on the beach instead of going to her great-grandmother’s, but on the inside we can see a girl who’s kind of sad because she won’t be spending her holiday with her dad that she rarely sees. But in spite of this she’s also so cute, I really liked her and she grows to become so brave and independent and I really liked that about her.
Throughout the book we meet characters like Mama Walker who’s the most adorable character ever. Lilith (a crossing between a spider and a human) who helps them in the beginning, and her husband Tiberius who’s the same species. I was so unsure about Tiberius though, because I never really liked him nor did I not like him, know what I mean? He was scary and cool at the same time. Azzmon the cruel, he’s this scary thing that I kept imagining like Sauron from Lord of the Rings, don’t ask me why! Kesi who’s just this awesome character, you’ll totally get why when you read the book. Madam Tisdale who’s seriously scary. “The Wretched” who scared the s*** out of me. The Lady of the Whispering Waves whom I’m seriously not sure if is bad or good yet. And then there’s Lanacin and Lanalith, who I kept seeing as Legolas and Thranduil (still not sure why, but I just got that vibe).
In addition to that there’s so many more types of “creatures” in this book, and it’s just amazing!
I really like the book, and it’s not only because it has amazing characters that touched me, it also has this brand new fantasy-world that I could not stop liking. The writing is just on point and I just hope that people will pick up this book and read it because it’s seriously worth your time! All though it struck me as more middle grade than YA, I still think that it’s a book that most people could read – and I can’t wait for more people to have read this so that I can discuss it!
I think this would be perfect for my little brother. He loves fantasy and he absolutely loved The Hobbit when he read it for the first time a couple of years ago (he’s 12 now). And I also think that my little sister would have loved it just as much as my friends and family. It’s really a book for every age, and so yes, I would buy it!
Everyone who likes fantasy, either if you’re 11 years old or 50, I don’t think it’ll matter!
“All we have is each other“
About the author
Michael W. Garza is an American author who has already published a number of books. His latest book, “This Shadow Gate” is the first in a trilogy, being published in March of 2017!
He often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.