5 Jan 2013

REVIEW: The Gatekeeper's Sons by Eva Pohler

This post contains seperate review from both of us, while Ely's is spoiler-free, Chami's contains some spoilers but they are noted when they are to start.

Title: The Gatekeeper’s Sons (Gatekeeper’s Trilogy #1)
Author: Eva Pohler
Publication Date: August 13th 2012
Publisher: Green Press/Eva Pohler
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5/5
Blurb: Fifteen-year-old Therese watches her parents die. While in a coma, she meets the twin sons of Hades—Hypnos, the god of sleep, and Thanatos, the god of death. She thinks she's manipulating a dream, not kissing the god of death and totally rocking his world.

Than makes a deal with Hades and goes as a mortal to the Upperworld to try and win Therese's heart, but not all the gods are happy. Some give her gifts. Others try to kill her.

The deal requires Therese to avenge the death of her parents. With the help of Than’s fierce and exotic sisters, the Furies, she finds herself in an arena face to face with the murderer, and only one will survive

Ely’s Review: When first starting this book I was really unsure as to whether or not I would like it, this was one of my first self-published books and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

 I liked how quickly the story started – instead of some unnecessary introduction to everything, it got straight into the action which made it a lot easier to get immersed in the story. We quickly meet both Hypnos (Hip) and Thanatos (Than)- the god of sleep and the god of death, sons of Hades and Persephone. I think these two were possibly my favourite aspects of the book, not only are they both totally amazing but you don’t often hear about them in Greek mythology which made the story something different and interesting. I think it was from here that my obsession with this book really started.

Character-wise, I loved Therese- she is not the usual ya heroine, she is sweet, normal, a lover of all animals, a main character that I could actually relate to! I definitely think she can relate to most teenage girls, even some older ones, she’s not crazy powerful, a genius or kick-ass, she’s just normal. I thought this definitely added to the story, I think it made it more likable and real.

As a whole, I loved the mythology that was included. There were the well-known Gods like Hades, Persephone, Zeus, Athena etc. but then it also included the Furies, who are probably my favourite mythology figures ever. Everything tied in nicely together, each God, Goddess and other myths all had their purpose in Therese’s story and it was incredibly interesting to see them all interact with each other and with Therese.

This probably doesn’t need to be said, but I definitely adored this book. Without really knowing what I was getting into at the start, I was surprised but also glad that I enjoyed this book so much and felt connected enough to it that Chami and I have created our own little fandom and inside jokes around it. If for some reason you don’t believe me, here’s a few little messages that Chami and I sent each other last night on Skype while we read the book:

 [4/01/2013 7:22:36 PM] Chami: HE's NOT JUST A FAN OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY 
[4/01/2013 7:22:42 PM] Els: HE IS GREEK MYTHOLOGY //
 [4/01/2013 7:22:58 PM] Chami: What can i look forward too without any spoilers?
 [4/01/2013 7:23:10 PM] Els: Death
 [4/01/2013 7:23:19 PM] Chami: You mean Than?
 [4/01/2013 7:24:31 PM] Chami: So she eventually finds out he's a god?
 [4/01/2013 7:24:36 PM] Chami: Like a sex god 
[4/01/2013 7:24:37 PM] Chami: *death (I’m not even going to apologise for our craziness).

In an e-mail with Eva, we were discussing how authors don’t really know what their readers are going to connect with- this was definitely true with parts of this book. There was a small part in this book that referred to Diabetes that had me going crazy (and caused Chami to laugh). There were other parts with Therese and her dog and other animals that I could connect to as well. For me, all of this added to the reading experience.

Again, this probably goes without saying that I would definitely recommend this book to absolutely everyone and once again, I’d like to thank Eva so much for sending these books to Chami and I for review, so thank you!!

Chami's Review:

Like Ely, I was unsure about reading a self published book and the quality that it would uphold. However, I am glad I gave this novel a try as I was satisfyingly surprised by my reaction.

The story headed immediately into action in the first chapter with her parents deaths and left me reeling with questions. It was emotional and with that one small chapter at the start, I was surprised to see my self already invested in Therese’s parents and the way Eva described their family and how happy they were together. I was glad to see that Eva hadn’t taken Therese as a straight up orphan like so many other Young Adult books are doing this day. It was nice to see her relationship with her parents and how much they meant to her. I was also surprised to see that she kept referring back to the parents even after they were dead and that she just didn’t forget about them.


One of my favorite scenes in the book was the scene where Dumbo the horse died. It connected with me because I had one of those experiences. Okay…maybe not the horse dying and everything…but falling off the horse. It described my emotions accurately at that moment in time and I felt like Eva researched and felt her character more than just writing about what she thought would go on. She knew. I respect that.

Therese was such a peaceful, strong willed soul. I admired her personality and her traits were precious.  She didn’t annoy me like other main characters from other books had, and she made the right decisions to stand by herself. Though sometimes I felt like she was head over heals for Than when they barely even knew each other, and some of the stuff she said to him was ridiculously cheesy and I wanted to face palm right there.

What I adore most about this book was the Mythology and how Eva intertwined it in the book. The whole mythology aspect while merging it into Therese’s world was what sold it for me. I loved how the goddesses interacted with Therese and how Poseidon, though he had captured Therese, stilled admired her when Therese spoke her thoughts about him to her. I always thought the goddesses were always snobby, especially Aphrodite. I was clearly surprised when she started caring for Therese and even cried for when she had to fight against McAdam’s. I also like how Therese meandered with Artemis, Athena and Aphrodite and how they all gave her presents because they realized her attributes. I never had it going for Hades. First I was surprised that Hades was nice and there was a good part of the “Underworld.” Then towards the end when he disagreed on Therese becoming queen and turned rude, I began to despise him.

The Furies and Hip were also a group of my favorite characters, (not including Puffy, Clifford and jewels). I loved Tizzie, Meg and Alecto once they got to know Therese and fell in love with sugar and chocolate. I thought that was completely hilarious that she had won over them with chocolate. You could win me over any day with chocolate.

The story behind Jen and her dad interested me. I wouldn’t think authors would do that, so now I have a whole new found respect to Eva Pohler for adding that in. that was an excellent brave move.

Overall, I was very surprised with the plot.

Eva Pohler’s book is intricate, beautiful, sophisticated and refreshing addition to Young Adult Literature that will transform the genre, as we know it.

Check back soon for our reviews of the second book in the trilogy, The Gatekeeper's Challenge, and for a guest post by Eva herself.


  1. Hi Ely and Chami,

    Thanks for writing such thorough reviews. I appreciate the time you took and the details you commented on. Getting feedback like this helps me as a writer.

    Your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much. I'm so glad you both enjoyed the story. You have made my night!

  2. Hi Eva,

    Thank you so much for writing and sending us the books so we could enjoy them so much!

    We're so glad that our reviews meant so much to you! Thanks again for giving us this chance.

    x Ely and Chami