The Gates of Gabriel is the first book in the Guardian Gates Trilogy by Marie-France Leger, and it follows the stories of Maya and Beau as they come together to do what feels like an impossible task.
Beau is a fallen angel who has had his wings taken away. He must now roam the world for many years until Maya is born so he can fulfill his mission. As he roams the world, he starts to commit some all to human sins, and the scars left from his wings slowly turn from pure white, to grey, to eventually black. Finally, he is one sin away from being condemned to Hell forever.
Maya is a normal girl. She lost her mother to a senseless murder a day before her birthday years ago, and now she is just trying to keep moving forward. In her future is traveling to college with her best friend, and living a life that makes her happy. Until she meets Beau.
This is a young adult fiction book from what I can tell, but if you are going to give it to your kid, I would recommend them being at least fifteen or older. Ultimately that decision does lie with the parents, but this book does cover some heavy topics. I just wanted to lay that warning out there.
As we delve into this book, I enjoy a lot of aspects of it. First the beginning, between Beau and Gabriel, has religious tones to it, without being overtly religious. I am not a religious person, and while I appreciate and respect people’s religions I generally do not do well when it is being shoved down my throat. I appreciated that the author was able to have this in her book without me feeling like I was in church.
Beau is an intriguing character in that he is not quite human, but he is no longer exactly an angel. I found his parts of the book to be more interesting than Maya’s and I almost wished we had more chapters from his point of view. I really liked how the author had the scars of his wings changing color with the sins he committed, but I will be honest. Some of the sins, such as having sex, were a bit ridiculous and old fashioned to me. I wish that part of it had been more, modernized is I guess the word I am looking for. Stealing, killing, sure. Change the wing color. But having safe sex with someone, really?
Another well written character in this book was Silas. Silas was an Incubus under Lucifers command, but when he was human, he was branded as a coward. Silas lived during WWI and refused to kill an innocent child. His commanding officer did not take well to that and Silas was punished. Watching his character arc develop and then finish was so satisfying, and as the reader I did find myself actively rooting for him.
One part of this story that kind of ripped me out of enjoying the book, was the drinking. I am fairly sure this book is set-in modern-day America. I did go back and look over the book again and may have missed a crucial plot point (and if I did, please feel free to comment and let me know) but from everything I saw, this did indeed happen in America. If that is the case, the fact that two nineteen-year-old girls went to the casino to drink, gamble, and go dancing, was so unrealistic. I live outside of Pittsburgh and there is a casino there that to even park in their parking garage they want you to be twenty-one. So for this to be happening was a bit jarring.
Overall – this was an excellent young adult fantasy book. Without spoiling the ending the author wrote such an impactful and interesting ending, you cannot help but want to read book two. That being said there some weak moments (such as going to a casino at nineteen) that can almost overshadow some of the stronger moments, but it is still well worth the read.
Plot – 9/10
Characters – 9/10
Originality – 9/10
General Joy of Reading – 9/10
Overall Score – 36/40
The Gates of Gabriel (Guardian Gates Trilogy) – Marie-France Leger
Cost* –Paperback is $13.99. Initially when I read this it was a Kindle Unlimited book but that seems to have disappeared from Amazon.
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published