Half of our heroes are missing. After a warehouse explosion, Jamie, Buster, Yoshi, Shawna, George, Deck, Max and Alex are presumed dead, leaving a more ruthless and brutal ADVENTURE to hunt down the street gang who was responsible for luring them there. But Steve Adams was in the warehouse, too. And he knows the truth. His brother and friends are not dead. They stepped through a gateway to another world, where they have their own battle to fight. Can the genius figure a way to convince Dave and the others that their friends are alive and that they need to retrieve the two coins that open the portal to bring them home?
The Guru's Review:
This is the third instalment in this series and I have enjoyed every one of them. However, I enjoyed this one the most for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it shows that Davis has matured in his writing, plot development, and characterisation and also in the Christian/biblical themes. He has become bolder in all these aspects and I especially found it noticeable in the latter aspect. There is more instances of prayer, and more of the characters, especially Jamie, seeking God's help and guidance when he realises that his circumstances are out of his control and the only one that can help is God.
Secondly, Davis has introduced a fantasy element to this novel and while I thought it would not fit into the existing plot after the previous two novels, it really does fit well and it is this that takes this series to the next level. The world building for this fantasy world that the Adventure team enter is simple but has been constructed to give the illusion that there is a lot of depth in its creation. What I absolutely loved is the mythology on which Davis bases this world and it is very successfully founded on the Bible and some of its events, characters and doctrine. This is very clever and I feel an ingenious move on his part.
These bible elements really do make this novel and enhance everything that Davis has created in the previous two. For me, this instalment takes this series down a well deserved path where both the author and this series comes of age and into their own.
Davis has successfully created two adventures previously but the adventure in this instalment is much more involved and more of a challenge for Jamie and his Adventure team. It is in this story that Jamie becomes a better leader and his team becomes more cohesive, both those in the world of Thera and those left on Earth. The developing romantic involvements of Jamie and Shawna, George and Yoshi, and a new romance is done very well and this latter romance I was really pleased with as I was rooting for these two as the story unfolded.
Davis also balanced well the dual stories of that on Thera and that on Earth with each half of the Adventure team maintaining the objectives of the Team. The pacing of both kept you guessing what was going to happen next, which environment was the next chapter and of course, what every reader craves for and loves an author for, that "cannot put this book down" experience.
Davis has developed the violence that we have come to expect from this series (or any ninja novel for that matter), but on one instance he has taken it to the next level where it affects one of the Adventure team extremely negatively and it reduced me to tears. It was well positioned in the novel and leaves the reader wanting more from the next novel to show how the Adventure team copes with this tragedy and does this strengthen or weaken the Team?
I am really impressed with this novel and the path that Davis now takes us on as associate members of the Adventure Team (by the very fact that we are readers of this series!).
I now look forward to the next instalment, Quest for Yoshi much more than I have with the previous two.
World building 5/5
Spiritual level 4/5
Enemy spiritual level 3/5
Average rating 4.6/5
Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,
A Spiritual System for Rating Books written by David Bergsland,
and that this novel has elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Redemptive Fiction outlined in the previously mentioned booklet,
I award Jeffrey A. Davis with the
To read a preview of Gateway to Thera, click on the Preview button below: