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Max and the Gatekeeper (Max and the Gatekeeper #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  357 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
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 beco ...more
Hardcover, 284 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Dark Moon Publishing Inc. (first published June 4th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kevis Hendrickson
For centuries, Great Britain has been spitting out a parade of popular children's fantasy books as if they were going out of fashion: Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Prydain, His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Derkholm series, Artemis Fowl, the list goes on and on. This is to say nothing of the many British folktales and legends that gave birth to the fantasy genre. Unfortunately, even with gems like The Wizard of Oz or newer cr ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Veronica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gr, 2013, signed-copy
In my review of Max and the Gatekeeper I have taken into account that this book is meant for the 10 to 12 year old age group.

The story started well with all the ingredients for a great childrens fantasy.A sulky 12 year old, old strange grandfather,forbidden room and spooky people.
The story was very simply written with lots of short sentences. More suitable for the 10 and under age group. Too much detail and explanation about every event detracted from the suspense.
The authors attempt to make Max
Jun 06, 2015 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was excited about receiving this book and wanted to start reading it as soon as possible because, even though I am in my mid twenties, I honestly enjoy YA books, or books like this in general. Sadly, it had to be packed up right away from an unexpected (but pleasant!) move.

Normally I start with positives first followed by negatives, but today I feel like just mixing it all in. Page 2 bothered me deeply with the word... "mother'd".. I don't even think that is a really word. Google search was e
Marise Ghorayeb
May 02, 2013 Marise Ghorayeb rated it it was amazing
It took me perhaps three years to finally get around to reading this after it was recommended to me by a friend, but I am very glad I finally did. Because of the cover, I was concerned that this book would contain too much baseball for my tastes as I’m neither a young boy nor a sports fan. I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a clean, well-written, logical fantasy/science fiction blend that endeared me to the characters and constantly propelled me to read on. I was especially impressed by how ...more
James Cochrane
Jun 30, 2015 James Cochrane added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I am the author of Max and the Gatekeeper and will not rate or review my own work. I decided to use this space to let readers know about promotions regarding my work.

Max and the Gatekeeper is currently FREE in all ebook formats:






Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.
Stella  Temenu
Dec 13, 2014 Stella Temenu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Max Rigdon is sent to his grandfather for the summer and unknowingly enters a centuries old fight between good and evil, where humans are rally strange creatures, and there is a gateway into another world, something like the wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia.
Confronting the neighbourhood bullies turns out to be entering something deeper and darker than at first glance (something like Harry Potter and his friends battles with Draco Malfoy and his Slytherins), and together with his friend Cindy
Feb 22, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I think I got this as a free Kindle read, but I really liked the book, so I continued on the next book.

I thought that the character of Max was a strong character. He was very likable, and interesting.

The character of Joe or Joseph was even more interesting. I really wanted to learn more about him and some of his adventures.

The plot of the book was simple enough, a young boy, forced to spend the summer with grandpa finds interesting secrets about himself and his family. After learning these secr
Aug 01, 2014 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

I will not repeat what many others have said regarding content, instead I will speak to the global aspects of what I consider makes this an excellent read for young and old alike.

The book is a great story for middle grades students. It kept my interest throughout. I loved the descriptions and the characters. The nightshades that hiss when they speak were very reminiscent of the Harry Potter movies and it made them seem more realistic to
Nora Black
Oct 16, 2013 Nora Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Introduced by Shut up and Read.
A sweeping enchanting story set in a world where the forces of good and evil battle for sway. No, this is not a "read it before", predictable tale, it is a vivid, beautifully woven saga of magic, mayhem and mystery. Adventure abounds, wicked plots and evil questing beasts frighten and entertain. Rarely, if ever, am I faced with a book I'm actually nervous to write a review for, this was one; I was afraid I would not be able to do it justice, it is simply too excell
*I received a free copy of this book from the author through Shut up and Read in exchange for an honest review*

Max doesn't want to spend the summer with Grandpa Joe, especially when there are are creepy chanting people and bullies with magic powers. But he needs to learn his destiny, safeguarding a gateway to other worlds, and stopping evil enemies from taking control of it. With Grandpa's friends and Cindy, his only friend, Max is mixed up in magic, danger and adventure.

This was a really enjoya
Dec 18, 2014 Maki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the past few middle school targeted books I've read, I was worried that Max and the Gatekeeper would be the same recycled plot and characters. It was a nice surprise to find, instead, a really well-done book. I mean, sure, the plot is nothing original. But there was enough care put into building the worlds and the characters in this story that I can overlook the plot.

The creature design was what impressed me the most. This book didn't go for the easy creatures (although one of the characte
Jerry Dougherty
Nov 12, 2013 Jerry Dougherty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
I enjoyed reading this book, the fact that there was action from the start kept my A.D.D in check and if it were not for work and my family i would have been done within a few hours. I would definitley reccommend it, and now am going to go back and read books 2 - 4 of the series,

I would like to add to my review that I let my 12 year old daughter (who has A.D.D.) read the book and she loved it, which for her is saying alot because she does not like reading. I did not have to force her
J.L. Dobias
Dec 01, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young readers and some SFF fans
Shelves: book-shelf-11
Max and the Gatekeeper by James Todd Cochrane

Max and the Gatekeeper starts out well with some bit of excitement to get the reader interested and then a slower paced mystery that stretches out only for as long as Max's Grandfather sees fit to torture him.

Max Rigdon is just an ordinary kid who is not quite so ordinary (by virtue of his connection to his grandfather) yet is quite ordinary in the world that he lives because of how things in the story work. The premise is that we have high potential
Apr 26, 2013 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the author for an honest review. And boy what a journey I just took!

I have been reading YA books for quite some time and find that many have different stories but the same themes. This book was refreshingly different right from the start. The characters are well rounded and very interesting. The believability level ranks right up there with Harry Potter and you want to start looking for Max and his grandfather strolling down the road. The imagery of hopping into portals
Apr 23, 2015 Lacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
Good, but it could use some more description. I have a better idea of the worlds that Max and friends visit but not a lot about his day to day experiences. I would have enjoyed a more visual description of events and people. The twist at the end was unexpected and I did enjoy Ell. I wouldn't mind reading the next book in the series but I'm not compelled to search it out and start reading it right now.
Oct 03, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then you get a discounted e-book that is a real gem and I would include this one in that category. The story is vaguely similar to the Harry Potter / Dark is Rising / Cindy Williams Chima's books of fantasy within our world. The story is engaging, characters are well rounded, and the plot is complex enough to keep one's interest.
Janet Niendorf
May 19, 2016 Janet Niendorf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I found this storyline not only interesting but a fantasy about other dimensions, creatures and a growth of my imagination. A very good read for anyone and any age. Thanks for this opportunity.
Katie Houston
Jan 24, 2015 Katie Houston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

I had fun reading this book. The characters in the book were great even though the one character turned out to be a turncoat. I had trouble putting the book down at night...
Feb 22, 2014 Ollie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an adventure. This book has magic and fantasy worlds. I liked the interaction of the characters (youth, seniors, and magical creatures). This book will hold your attention.
May 01, 2015 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The author has a great voice and the characters are fun and interesting. The story moved along very well and I was engaged the whole time. Great read!
Mar 17, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This was such a fun read. My ten year old son and I read it together and it kept him engaged and turning pages the entire time. I also thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult reader.
Heather McBride
Mar 27, 2014 Heather McBride rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by this book! After reading 1/2 of it, I thought, "This is déjà vu!" It was seemingly similar to other YA books I had read... BUT! The 2nd half turned it into a tailspin for me! I'm glad I finished it! Great book! Can't wait to read #2!
Previewed this for my 10-year-old, and it passed the Mom radar. My daughter absolutely LOVED it!
Alex Goff
Jan 23, 2014 Alex Goff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book

I love the story. They have magic,different words and other cool stuff in this book. The characters in this book also very interesting.
I couldn't stop reading it when I started on Monday. I really recommend this book. Awesome!!!!
Dec 05, 2010 Tanya rated it did not like it
I'm having a very hard time getting through this book. I'm only reading it because it's on our Battle of the Books list and as a coach I need to know the books. Otherwise I would have stopped long ago. It could be a great book, but there's too much going on so the author is always jumping around to explain things and all he seems to be doing is explaining. I feel it's poorly written. It's as if I'm reading the writing my third grade students turn in. Good ideas, but it needs lots of polishing an ...more
Samuel Weller
Jun 09, 2015 Samuel Weller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i liked it
Will Decker
Aug 14, 2013 Will Decker rated it it was ok
My review may be a slight biased as I do not read YA and this one slipped by my radar. But it was a free download and once I started it I felt I owed the author a review. Unfortunately for the author, my review is not very flattering. And that's a shame, because the story was original. The writing style, however, was emotionally devoid with little use of adjectives. This could have been written by a soulless computer utilizing an authoring program. The new cover is a definite improvement over th ...more
J. Else
Sep 07, 2014 J. Else rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book has lots of potential and lots of things I like. However, the cover is not even close to how the gateway actually looks.

I liked the overall story. The characters were a bit of a mixed bag. While I liked some of the side characters, Max was rather generic. I never got a sense for any unique quirks from Max.

I'll read the next books from this series. Plot wise, things are strong. However, I hope the author makes room for character development in the subsequent stories.
Aug 12, 2009 Trina rated it liked it
I realize this book is aimed at younger readers (maybe 9 or 10 years old) but I still enjoyed it. The action starts in right away, and Cochrane creates sympathetic and likable characters, while still maintaining some unpredictable plot elements. The writing feels clunky and simplistic in parts, but not enough to make me want to stop reading. The creatures and worlds he describes are fantastical and engaging. I look forward to reading the second book in this series.
Sunshine Somerville
Oct 03, 2013 Sunshine Somerville rated it liked it
I picked this up on Amazon for free a while back. It was a pretty fun story, definitely aimed at a young audience. Unlike a lot of YA out there right now that's also aimed at adults, this is pretty tame. The writing is simplistic and maybe won't hold the attention of more ambitious readers, but for a kid just crossing into more mature fiction it's probably good. I never got bored, and Max's adventures are interesting and creative.
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James Todd Cochrane was born in Fremont, California. 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. The sequels, The Hourglass of Souls and The Descendant and the Demon's Fork, followed

He now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he
More about James Todd Cochrane...

Other Books in the Series

Max and the Gatekeeper (3 books)
  • The Hourglass of Souls (Max and the Gatekeeper Book II)
  • The Descendant and the Demon's Fork (Max and the Gatekeeper Book III)

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