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Max and the Gatekeeper

(Max and the Gatekeeper #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  442 ratings  ·  56 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
Paperback, 220 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Dark Moon Publishing Inc. (first published June 4th 2007)
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Showing 1-30
3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  442 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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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
Veronica ⭐️
Dec 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 18, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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.
Larry Bassett
I bought this book when I was trying to convince my daughter to read a few e-books and audible books. I am not going to say very much about it and the theory that if you don’t have anything nice to say you shouldn’t say anything at all. It’s OK I suppose. Sometimes books for young people have young characters who seem a little too skilled or too brave or too strong. In this book 12-year-old Max is being schooled by his grandfather to take over his job of saving and protecting the world. Two pre- ...more
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Thank you Goodreads and Todd Cochrane for giving me this book. I absolutely loved it! Max is such a believable character, along with his grandpa and new friend Cindy.

Max believes he is going to have a boring summer with his grandfather that he barely knew, he was in for what heck of a surprise!!

The story line was great, the setting were well introduced not overly done that you get bored and skip it.

Personally my favourite character was Ell, he was amazingly introduced and his story just grew.
Teresa Lavender
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this here on goodreads. Wow - loved this book! Very unexpected! I certainly hope there will be more from James Todd Cochrane. It starts out as what appears to be a boring summer for a young boy, and ends up being the experience of a lifetime. Fantasy, intrigue, mystery - amazing.
Jodie (JCT)
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2-a-week
great beginning and I think I will continue with the series. I really begun to like Max and cindy as well as Grandpa cant wait to watch certain characers grow more.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
This book has virtually anything that a twelve year old – Max's age and presumably the target readership - might find fascinating. There's magic; a time come dimension machine capable of taking those in the know to an infinite number of new and strange worlds, aliens that are bad news and aliens that you would be happy to meet; shape-changers; betrayal; evil dressed up in the guise of authority; school bullies, who are really stupid and not that courageous; a fiesty girl – who has to appear in s ...more
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
*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
**✿❀  Maki ❀✿**
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
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Max and the Gatekeeper is the debut novel from James Todd Cochrane. The first in a planned series for young readers, Max and the Gatekeeper follows the adventures of 12-year old Max Rigdon, who is less than thrilled to be sent to his Grandpa's house for the summer. Immediately upon arrival, weird things start happening, and Max suspects his Grandpa has a secret. Along with his new friend Cindy, Max encounters adventures - and danger - beyond his wildest dreams, and far beyond the world he knows. ...more
Stella  Temenu
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Megan (ReadingRover)
This is an exciting book about a boy, Max, who begrudgingly goes to his grandfather's house for the summer only to realize that all is not what it seems. Max's grandfather Joe is actually the the Gatekeeper who guards a gate that is the door to infinite worlds and the different magic in each one. Joe wants to train Max to be his predecessor. There are also people in the town where Joe lives and all over who want access to the Gate and are willing to fight to get it. The whole town is under a cur ...more
Jerry Dougherty
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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
Will Decker
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
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Oct 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
EJ Johnson
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young fantasy readers
I met this author at the Shakespearean Festival Fair in Cedar City, UT. He was very nice. The book is ok. It would be an easy read for age 10 and up. The main character is 12. Cochrane isn't a brilliant fantasy writer but the book did have some good ideas. We read this out loud in the car. The main character Max was always asking questions which was very difficult to read. Try saying "Max asked" repeatedly.
Apr 21, 2015 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.
Jessica Augustsson
I've had the pleasure and honor of editing Max and the Gatekeeper as well as its sequels, and have continuously been delighted by Max's adventures with his grandfather in their constant battle to keep the world safe from evil.

These books are definitely appropriate for school-age kids, and the kids I've spoken to who have read it have really loved it, always asking me when the next book will be out. A very good sign indeed!
Sunshine Somerville
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.
Steve Hikida
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.
Liquid Frost
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Kindle. Freebie. YA.
I've read and enjoyed a high percentage of YA over the last couple years. This book sounded interesting - so I ran through it rather quickly. This is one of those few books that truly target the audience - YA. I would be perfectly happy if my 10 year old wanted to read this book, but as an adult, it had little appeal.
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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

Other books in the series

Max and the Gatekeeper (5 books)
  • The Hourglass of Souls (Max and the Gatekeeper Book II)
  • The Descendant and the Demon's Fork (Max and the Gatekeeper Book III)
  • The Dark Society (Max and the Gatekeeper Book IV)
  • The Reign of Hudich Part I (Max and the Gatekeeper Book V)
“He was angry at her for sending him, and furious at his grandfather just for living. He didn’t want to be there. He didn’t want anything to do with his weirdo grandfather. “How could he do this to me?” he spat. He. . .I mean she. No, he was actually mad at him, and the him wasn’t his grandfather. Max was upset with his father. Why did he leave me?” 0 likes
“At one point she fought the urge to scream at them, but she knew that was a terrible idea.” 0 likes
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