Fifteen year old Ben moves with his mother and alcoholic step-father to a sprawling East Coast estate inherited from a distant cousin. Creole, a half-breed faerie, mourns the loss of her father, the former Gatekeeper, the one responsible for preventing the discovery of her world by the world of man. When the two meet, the dominoes of fate begin to topple, one after another, leaving them to fulfill their destinies, or die trying.
The Book of Em: The Last Gatekeeper, will make your heart weep, your soul soar, and restore your faith in the power of love.
When I read that description, I was like, "Hm... We'll see." And then this was my review:
I think I found my new favorite book! Wow. Just wow. I know I've found a really special book when I have difficulty writing a review because I can't pinpoint the one thing I loved most about it, but I'll try to say something because WOW. The story flowed along perfectly, unfolding the world's history/info at just the right times so it didn't slow it down, all leading up to an epic final battle and setup for a sequel that I simply can't wait for! The relationship between Ben and Cree, the friendships among the other magical beings, all the fun little twists and turns along the way--it all made for an excellent read. Magic, adventure, humor, danger and fun, this book has it all! I couldn't put it down, so I suggest you pick it up!
So, this was a five-star read for me. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequels, and I do have some things I'm still wondering about. I’d like to know why the goblin king and the former Gatekeeper were enemies, and more details on that story. Perhaps in a later book this will be revealed, because the pacing of this book was already perfect, which is difficult to accomplish in a first book that has to introduce an entire magical world. But in this book, the goblin king seemed so reasonable and even helpful, he became one of “the good guys” very quickly. It’s hard to imagine him as a villain, even though he is a “hook-nosed goblin with green skin and yellow eyes.”
One thing that was a bit distracting in the beginning of this book is that Arielle (Cree’s mother) kept calling Arthur (Cree’s father) Ben’s cousin. “Your cousin found me dancing naked in the moonlight.” And then they fell in love, and had a daughter who we all knew would fall in love with Ben, so drawing attention to the fact that there’s any kind of blood relation (however distant), is, for lack of a better word, weird. I actually had to go back and check what the relationship was. Ben’s mother is “The granddaughter of his (Arthur’s) cousin three times removed.” Okay. Once I checked back on that, it was easier to get on board with these two. Actually, there was nothing holding me back from getting on board with them. And I’m very, very picky about romance.
Aside from everything I mentioned in my review, another thing I appreciated about this book was how easy it was to read. Often times fantasy authors pick ridiculous names for their magical characters. These names were well suited to their characters and magical species, like “Goin” for a goblin, but not so over the top that they slow down the story. I don’t want to stop to sound out a name with six apostrophes in it.
I'd highly recommend this book, check it out here!