Saturday, 3 August 2013

ARC Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker


Author: Amy Christine Parker
Series: -
Pages: 384
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.

Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress--the Silo.

Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

Based on the cover alone (which I do love!) I honestly thought Gated was a thriller or horror novel or a book with paranormal elements so I was surprised to find myself reading a novel about a small cult community preparing for the end of days founded on the beliefs of their leader.

It took me a while to get into Gated because the beginning was quite slow paced and uneventful but by the half way mark I was intrigued by this fascinating tale and the uniqueness of it all – I haven’t read a lot about these types of communities, their beliefs or following so I was quiet curious about the overall story and the outcome.

If I had to pinpoint why this book failed to wow me exactly, I think it would be my lack of connection to the characters. Lyla Hamilton has been a member of the community in Mandrodage Meadows since childhood, when charismatic Pioneer the leader draws her and her family in after the kidnapping of her sister. Lyla’s inner monologue drove me batty but her assertiveness and strength of mind made her all the more likeable, we see some great character development for her throughout the book.

I don’t feel we really get to know the secondary characters all that well; Lyla’s parents drove me bonkers and Pioneer was manipulative and preyed on those who were vulnerable and weak, I didn’t like him right from the very onset, there was something off about him and in saying this I would have loved more insight about his background and how he became the way he was; I found that aspect a little vague. We also have a side of romance but it wasn’t the focus of this story.

The plotline was quite interesting, in this small community tucked away from civilisation everyone is more or less relying on Pioneer to guide them and he has taught them that the apocalypse is fast approaching so preparations need to be made; he has trained everyone to be cautious and hostile towards the outside world and knowing no different they follow his lead. There is a twist towards the end which shocked me and showed just how manipulative he really was, it became quite the intense read.

Overall, Gated is a thought provoking, realistic read that kept me entertained but didn’t captivate me unfortunately. Amy Christine Parker’s writing is engaging and despite the slow start I came to enjoy the overall story.

Thank-you kindly to Random House Publishing/Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Gated.

Amy Christine ParkerAbout the author: AMY CHRISTINE PARKER earned her degree in elementary education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and then proceeded to try out many different jobs, including collectible doll maker, fondue waitress, and inner-city schoolteacher. It wasn't until she became a mom and began making up bedtime stories for her children that she finally realized what she was meant to do. Now Amy writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Her first novel, GATED, debuts with Random House Children's August 6, 2013. Visit her at


  1. The cover does look like it would be a thriller/horror type book. I am glad it picked up before the ending though. Thanks for the informative review.

  2. I thought Horror too, but this does sounds interesting to bad you couldn't connect with the characters, that always makes it hard for me too.


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