14 Mar 2013

REVIEW: The Gatekeeper's Challenge by Eva Pohler

Title: The Gatekeeper’s Challenge (Gatekeeper’s Trilogy #2)
Author: Eva Pohler
Publication Date: December 1st 2012
Publisher: Green Press/Eva Pohler
Format: Paperback
Pages: 228
Rating: 4.5/5
Blurb: Ten agonizing months have gone by since Therese faced off against her parents’ murderer at Mount Olympus, and she suspects Thanatos’s absence is meant to send her a message: go on with your life. She tries to return Pete’s affections even though her heart aches for the god of death, but when Than shows up to take her hamster’s soul, she becomes infuriated when he says he’s “been busy.” In cahoots with her new friend, who's gotten in with the Demon Druggies at school, Therese takes a drug that simulates a near-death experience, planning to tell Than off so she can have closure and move on, but things go very, very wrong.

Eventually she learns Than has been busy searching for a way to make her a god, and he’s found it, but it requires her to complete a set of impossible challenges designed by Hades, who hopes to see her fail.
Chami’s Review: Eva Pohler’s always surprises me. You would think I would have learnt my lesson by now, but I’m far from close.
The Gatekeeper’s Challenge is the second instalment of The Gatekeeper’s son’s series and it doesn’t disappoint. We immediately see the rise of pace from the last book, and faster pacing measured out with description always suits me.  I finished this book in one day and there were no boring parts. I especially adore the way Eva doesn’t forget about anything she has introduced before or in the previous books (aka, the gifts she got from the gods). I love Therese’s determination and certainly do respect the way she reacts to deaths that go on in her life. Though she does do stupid things, her reactions make up for it. I adore brave characters and Therese going back into the hill was where she won me. Her character is easily likeable!
And Damn, that Cliffhanger! It’s tearing me too pieces. I’ve got to know what happens next and if Eva doesn’t come out with the next book right now, I’ll just stay with Hip in his dreamland forevermore.
Some Predicaments on My Part:
I hate to say this, but I don’t adore the covers of this series. I wouldn’t want to call myself someone who judges a book by its cover, but truly, who doesn’t these days? If this was at a bookstore and I had to choose from the selection of other Young Adult books, I don’t particularly think I would pick this up, and that’s such a shame to say especially when this series is so exciting. I’m no professional or a cover designer to tell someone if their cover is good or not, but I wouldn’t clutter the page with everything I could think of. Therese is so beautiful and it’s a shame to see the focus move away from her face.
I wanted more Hip! Hopefully we will see more of Hip in the last book because he such a magnificent character and I did want to see more of the “Sons” though Than did occupy my time.

So yeah, there are some predicaments but if you compare to the 50 000+ words Eva wrote, it’s invisible. The next instalment is what I’m super excited for and I wish it would come sooner!

Ely’s Review: Possibly one of my favourite moments last month was when I finally had enough time to pick up this book. It’s about a month or so since Chami and I read and reviewed the first book, and it had long ago reached the point where I was aching to get back into the world. I felt like the characters in the book were my friends, and I hadn’t seen them in what felt like ages...honestly, I swear the book was mocking me from its place on my bookshelf for weeks.

From page one I was drawn quickly back into the world of Therese and Than, and let me tell you it felt so good to be back. I enjoyed being back in Therese’s mind and hearing about her life ten months after Than. I’m with Chami on this one, I find Therese’s character really likable and I love her for both her strengths and her weaknesses. While I enjoyed Than’s character as well, I would definitely have to pick Hip as my favourite (#teamhipforever) though we don’t get to see as much of him in this book as I would have liked. In general, I liked the rest of the characters, though there were a certain few whose actions drove me slightly crazy. I think it was how Therese reacted and moved on from some of the terrible things that happened to her that made me really want to be on her side the whole way through the novel.

Similarly to the first novel, I enjoyed the pacing and the action of The Gatekeeper’s Challenge- my favourite part was, indeed, the challenge. As Chami said in her review, I really liked how Eva kept track of all the things that had happened in the first book as this isn’t always something you see with authors, especially with young adults authors, I believe. The main part of this was Eva included everything from the start, rather than just remembering halfway through and shoving everything in.

Again, following in the footsteps of Chami, I gotta agree with those feelings towards the endings. The main reason this review had taken so long to put up was because I honestly couldn’t put words to paper on how that made me feel- I was absolutely gobsmacked for days, even thinking about it now makes me want to go back and read it again and again to make sure I haven’t missed any tiny little hints that Eva might have left for us (she must have left us something!), that’s honestly how good this book is.

I don’t think that this is necessarily a book someone would pick up out of nowhere- it hasn’t got the hype of those really popular young adult novels that you see bloggers, booktubers and just regular people on Goodreads raving about for hours on end, which I think is a real shame because I honestly believe that this book deserves more hype and that many more people should be aware of its existence and the brilliance of it and of the lovely Eva Pohler. Now excuse me, while Chami and I go and hug each other and cry as we count how many days exactly it is until we can read the third book.