Title: The Gatekeepers Challenge (Gatekeepers Trilogy Book 2)
Author: Eva Pohler
Date Published: 11/29/12
Ten agonizing months have gone by since Therese faced off against her parents’ murderer at Mount Olympus, and she suspects Thanatos’s absence is meant to send her a message: go on with your life. In cahoots with her new friend, who's gotten in with the Demon Druggies at school, Therese takes a drug that simulates a near-death experience, planning to tell Than off so she can have closure and move on, but things go very, very wrong.
Than has been busy searching for a way to make her a god, and he’s found it, but it requires her to complete a set of impossible challenges designed by Hades, who hopes to see her fail.
Awakening Your Inner Goddess (Sans Fifty Shades of Grey)
When I say girls need to awake their inner goddesses, I’m not referring to the kind of inner
goddess described by E.L. James in Fifty Shades of Grey (though I’m not opposed to awakening
that type either). What I’m talking about is the warrior goddess of power inside each one of
us, often latent and unrecognized in girls who continue to live in a world where men hold the
highest offices in government, church, and the work force. Girls are less subjugated today than
they were fifty years ago, and although the playing field still isn’t perfectly level, the real culprit
holding back most girls is themselves. As Alice Walker has said, “The most common way people
give up their power is by believing they have none.”
At the beginning of my Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, a young adult contemporary fantasy based in
Greek myth, fifteen-year-old Therese Mills believes she’s the least powerful person on the
planet. Her parents have just died. Her aunt has come to live with her in her beautiful home in
the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, but even though this means her friends and school won’t
change, Therese is ready to give up on life to join her parents. Death, known as Thanatos, has
Thanatos briefly meets Therese while she’s in a coma. Avoided by all gods and mortals because
of his job, he’s shocked when she throws her arms around him and calls him lovely. He later
makes a deal with his father, Hades, to go to the upperworld to win her heart. In return, Therese
must agree to avenge her parents’ murder.
Throughout book one, The Gatekeeper’s Sons, Therese struggles with her feelings of ineptitude.
Thanatos’s sisters, the fierce and beautiful Furies, help her hunt for the killer, but their strength
and efficiency make her feel weak. She feels small and insignificant until she learns her aunt’s
life is in danger. The desire to protect her loved one helps her rise above her self-pity to become
the warrior she never knew she was.
In book two, The Gatekeeper’s Challenge, Therese is required to complete a set of five
challenges designed by Hades, who hopes to see her fail because he’s disappointed with the
way things turned out in book one. Once again, her desire to protect a loved one—this time
Thanatos—pushes her past her doubts and insecurities into determined action. One by one, she
faces each seemingly impossible challenge—including Ladon (the one-hundred-headed serpent),
the Minotaur, and the Hydra—because it’s the only way to spare Thanatos from an eternity of
The final book of the trilogy, The Gatekeeper’s Daughter (to be released December 1, 2013),
once again forces Therese to look inward. All gods and goddesses serve humanity or the world in
some way, and in order to remain at Thanatos’s side, she must discover her unique purpose while
protecting her loved ones against antagonistic forces. In all three books, power isn’t something
Therese derives from her environment, but something she finds within her once she believes it’s
there. Girls need to awaken their inner goddesses and wield their power.
To celebrate the completion of this saga, I’m holding a contest from January 1, 2013 to October
1, 2013 for my readers. Details can be found at my website at http://www.evapohler.com/contest.
Eva Pohler teaches writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she lives with her husband, three children, two dogs, two rats, and her very large collection of books.