Number of pages: 401
The third book in the Gatekeepers series is not a direct sequel to the previous title, and rather than having Matt Freeman as its central character, introduces two new characters, Jamie and Scott; twins working at the "circus of the mind" in America, exploiting their telepathic powers. They also both have the power of mind control, which also becomes significant to the storyline. During one performance, a woman hands Scott a photograph, which he identifies as her missing son, Daniel.
However, two people in the audience are from the sinister Nightrise corporation, who have been kidnapping teenagers who possess supernatural powers, and - it turns out - were responsible for Daniel being kidnapped because he possesses precognitive abilities. Nightrise are also shown later to be attempting to rig the US presidential election.
Scott is kidnapped by Nightrise, but Jamie is rescued by Daniel's mother, only to be framed for two murders, so he ends up on the run. The next section of the story feels a bit like a plot device that has been used in several TV shows (especially prison break), as Jamie willfully gets put in a young offenders' institute where Daniel is being held prisoner, but when he tries to use his mind control on a prison officer, it doesn't work. It isn't spelled out, but I suspected it had something to do with the electromagnetic field that was said to be surrounding the prison.
The blurb on the back of this book mentions that this book features time travel, and this does eventually happen, but not until the second half, which takes the narrative in a completely new direction. I'll put this behind a spoiler cut.
[Spoiler for the previous books and this one]
When he and Daniel escape from the young offenders' institute, Jamie is shot, and appears to die, but it turns out that his soul is transported back several thousand years where he joins another group of characters. I quickly figured out that the event he is taking part in is the first time that the Old Ones were banished, referenced in both the original books. The world in the flashback sequence is described vividly and feels post-apocalyptic, and the depictions of the ancient ones do feel like the stuff of nightmares.
It is interesting to note that one of the chapters makes clear that the events of this book more or less take place at the same time as the final chapters of the last title, Evil Star, and although it is said that Jamie's companions in this sequence are completely different characters to the five guardians who exist in the present, I did notice that their leader was also called Matt.
Near the end of Evil Star, Matt ends up in a coma and almost dies, much like what happens to Jamie in this book. Although he claims not to be, I did wonder if the Matt who Jamie meets in this sequence is in fact Matt Freeman, also transported back in time while he was unconsious in the previous book.
It was a bit odd that the book did jump almost seamlessly between storylines that felt almost completely different from each other, going from prison drama to apocalyptic fantasy to politics near the end, but I found myself reallty enjoying this. Characters from the previous two books did make fleeting appearances throughout, and it was good that a lot of stuff was explained in the many pages of exposition about three quarters of the way in (the mysterious bit with the door in the church from Evil Star, for example makes a lot more sense when you read this book.
I also liked the fact that this ends by introducing another new character, and teasing the audience for what to expect in the next title, which presumably revolves around this new character.
Next book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)