Saturday, August 6, 2011
Review: Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates And Charlene Keel
In the quaint town of Middleburg, an abandoned train yard and old railroad tracks form the dividing line between two rival gangs—the posh, preppie Toppers and the working-class Flatliners. When Raphael, the leader of the Flatliners, falls in love with Aimee, a Topper girl, the rival gangs prepare to do battle . . . but not with guns and knives. Their martial arts training dictates a strict code of honor, which all of the gang members adhere to. The only hope for peace between the rival gangs lies within the giant X formed where the railroad tracks cross. The awesome power contained in the X sends the Flatliners and the Toppers on a mystical quest to fight against malevolent forces that threaten the existence of Middleburg—and maybe the world.
After getting this book and reading the write-up on the back, I was kind of skeptical about the idea of martial arts playing a large part within the story. On the other hand, I was also really interested because I don't think I've read much, if anything, like it before.
From the first few pages I was intrigued by the mystery behind the tracks in the town of Middleburg, and I was drawn into the rivalry between the Toppers and the Flatliners. The extreme hatred between the two groups is intense. It's also why the two main characters, Aimee and Raphael, can't be together. Sort of a Romeo and Juliet kind of thing.
I noticed throughout the story that it presents a positive message about being kind to others, treating them fairly, and doing what's right. That was another way that martial arts tied into the plot very seamlessly. It also shows through the characters' choices and attitudes that even if you come from less than perfect circumstances, you can choose to rise above.
There were a lot of fight scenes involving martial arts. I thought they were believable and easy to read. The use of martial arts and its principles is how the characters tap into their supernatural abilities, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
I look forward to seeing what happens with all of the characters in the next book, especially Ignacio. He turned out to be one of my favorites. Cool and confident mixed with bumbling and shy. I was pleasantly surprised by Dark Territory, and I'm looking forward to reading what happens in book two!
Publication Date: July 01, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal
Source: HCI Teens