In the quaint town of Middleburg, an abandoned train yard and old railroad tracks form the dividing line between two rival gangs—the wealthy, preppy 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.
Dark Territory by J.Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel was an interesting story that kept me hooked despite, in my opinion, the extremely slow pace of the book. The writing flowed nicely and the main characters were honest and well developed, I felt I was more interested in their stories rather than what was going on around them. What really kept me interested was the everyday stuff between the two rival gangs, how Raphael and Aimee were going to be together when they were from opposite sides of the tracks. There was a few interesting side characters, one of which was Kate, a young Irish girl that lives in the train graveyard. Unfortunately we are given very little information about her, and by the end of the book we still know nothing about her origins or her role in the story.
The paranormal element wasn't truly revealed until practically the end of the book, and honestly I didn't find it all that mind blowing. I felt I was being led up to a huge event, and instead I was given a lack-luster revelation that left me slightly confused. The Wheel of Illusion has apparently existed within Middleburg since the beginning of time, and it's guardian, The Magician, holds the secret to finding the truth. Some people in the town are familiar with the strange events happening all around them, but their cryptic knowledge is kept hidden from both the readers and the characters, quite often leading the characters to flounder for themselves as they try to stop supernatural beings from destroying everything that they love.
All-in-all, I'd say that Dark Territory was quite an enjoyable read; the romance and tension are rife throughout the pages, and it's got just enough mystery to have you coming back for more.
This book was reviewed as a part of The Tracks Series blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. If you would like to view the entire Book Tour schedule and follow the rest of the stops, please find it HERE.