(The Tracks #3)
By J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel
Middleburg's teen martial artists scramble to reunite the broken shards of the powerful and mysterious Shen ring, in an effort to locate their missing friend Raphael and avert worldwide disaster but it won't be easy. A pack of government agents, a secret order of Chinese kung fu masters, and a family of vengeful fallen angels stand in their way. Amid the struggle, tensions between the two teen gangs flare once again when one of the Flats kids gets jumped and put in the hospital. Zhai and Ignacio, the leaders of the rival factions, struggle to maintain peace and continue their quest for the ring shards amid the rising tide of confrontation. Meanwhile, Middleburg's leading ladies Maggie and
put their differences aside in an effort to wrest their friend Aimee from the clutches of the sultry and seductive Nephilim, Orias. But when a powerful fallen angel learns that Orias has imprisoned his father Oberon, a new supernatural menace is unleashed on Middleburg, one that threatens to bring all the conflicting factions together in one final, deadly conflagration. The only hope is that Middleburg's missing teen hero will somehow reappear and find a way to set things right but he's been gone for over two months, without leaving a single clue as to his whereabouts. As the situation grows more dire, all of Middleburg wonders: where is Raphael Kain? With mighty doses of kung fu, eastern mysticism, and star-crossed love, "Shadow Train" is the most poignant, romantic and explosive book in The Tracks series thus far! Dalton
I received a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Other books in The Tracks Series
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I’ve immensely enjoyed reading J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel’s YA series, The Tracks and I’m sad to see it ending. All the kung fu action, romantic entanglements, supernatural thrills, and captivating mystery come to an explosive head in this awesome conclusion. Picking up a few months after the events in Ghost Crown, the rival gangs of Middleburg find themselves in the middle of what could be a world disaster in Shadow Train. The Flats gang is desperate to find their missing leader Raphael and when one of their own is put into the hospital by a member of their rivals, the two gangs are out for each other’s blood. Meanwhile, Aimee is under Orias’ spell and barely remembers her true love Raphael. The Flatliners, the Toppers, Orias, a group of fallen angels, a pack of government agents, and a mysterious and dangerous ancient Chinese order are all on the search for the shards of the mystical Shen ring and its power. One final showdown could be the end of or the salvation of Middleburg.
Over the span of three books, Gates and Keel have crafted a wonderfully layered and endlessly exciting story full of kickbutt characters, addicting romance, and cool supernatural elements. I always walk away from these books completely entertained and impressed!
Like books one and two, Shadow Train has fantastic world-building and enthralling storytelling. Gates and Keel are a great writing duo, who has seamlessly and cohesively blended their talents. In this third book we are taken, not only to the magical and mystical areas of Middleburg, but to the depths of Hell, 19th century America, early 20th century Ireland, and an eerie, deliciously chilling in between world, and each of these settings is laid out with rich, vivid details and feel so real. The mystical and supernatural elements are a fun blend of refreshing originality and cool re-imagining. There’s such a well-crafted atmosphere in these books that feels both darkly whimsical and chilling.
One of the things I love most about this series is the diverse, eclectic cast of characters. Over the span of this series, Raphael; Aimee; Nass; Dalton; Zhai; Kate; Maggie; and the other characters have kept me entertained, charmed, and on my toes. These are all likable, believable, relatable characters with such organic and great character growth and development. I’ve come to be completely vested in their journeys, relationships, and individual stories, and they’ve come to feel like old friends.
At almost 500 pages, Shadow Train is a longer book, but thrillingly fast paced and never boring. The last quarter of the book is especially exciting and had me anxiously turning pages. And the explosive and electrifying final showdown is big and epic and makes for a hell of a satisfying ending.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I couldn't have asked for a more epic and enthralling conclusion to The Tracks Series! Shadow Train is explosive, entertaining, and full of chills and thrills. I'm sad to see this series ending, but have enjoyed the exciting ride and definitely think it's a must read series!
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J. Gabriel Gates