The Tracks

Dark Territory: The Tracks Book 1, by J. Gabriel Gates and co-author Charlene Keel. Now available at all major bookstores and online!

Order now (Amazon)

Order now (Barnes and Noble)

Order now (Indiebound)

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: winner of the 2011 Flamingnet Top Choice Award!


Gates and Keel make their YA debuts with a tale that’s part West Side Story, part supernatural mystery…. The overall effect is that of a summer action flick…

– Publishers Weekly

“Gangs, martial arts, super powers and a mystical quest. Sounds like a fabulous summer read.”

– Readergirls

“This is one of the best books I have ever read. I couldn’t set the book down — I had to read more! There are varied aspects of the book that make it amazing: romance, magic, adventure, and mystery…” Rating: 10 out of 10 Book Reviews

“Combining the class struggle of The Outsiders with the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet, The Tracks: Dark Territory packs a modern kung fu punch sure to please lovers of suspense and adventure.”

– Cynthia A. Walker, J.R. Arnold High School, Teacher of the Year 2010-2011

Dark Territory is an action-packed novel that will set you on edge, and keep you hanging on until the very end.
– Arizona Teen magazine, July 2011

“I’m reading Dark Territory . . . I smell movie,TV show and more in the future of this franchise!”
— Sean Hurley, app & electronic game programmer, Hurley Multimedia

“This is one of the best books I’ve read. It made me think, cry, laugh, and smile. It relates to me and people in my age group. [I want] to see Dark Territory in the library along with other books from the tracks series.”
—Jen, Age 13

Nobody goes deep into the unused train tunnels on the wrong side of the tracks in Middleburg until former friends and rival gang leaders Raphael and Zhai are sent there by a shadowy figure called the Magician. The tracks intersect in a nexus holding a dashboard that turns each tunnel into a passageway through time, and Raph and Zhai have lists of items to retrieve if they are to achieve their hearts’ desires: Raph, to save his first love, Aimee; and Zhai, to save his dying sister. Who will win?
– Booklist

What a great team of writers Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel are. They work fabulously together and this book is proof of it…As soon as you start reading you notice that there are dark forces at work…takes you on a journey with the teenagers of Middleburg, with all their own fears and trials going on. Ignacio moves to this new town to get away from gangs but what he moves to is much worse…Dark Territory is setting the stage for more in this series and I for one can’t wait for more.

This young adult fiction is sure to be a hit – it has block buster movie written all over it!
– Imagination-Café

Wow, I loved this book. I loved this book. I swear, it has everything; martial arts (action, action, action), romance, school plays, gangs, train tracks . . . Just wow.
– Simply Nerdy Book Reviews

** A high school workshop selection by the North Central Louisiana Arts Council **