Monday, 5 July 2010

Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Matt Freeman lost his parents when he was 8 years old. Ever since, his life has gone downhill. He aunt allows him to live with her, but doesn’t like him, he hooks up with the low life little brother of career thief and his school work starts to suffer. Then, one evening, he is caught stealing DVDs with his new best friend, who then stabs the security guard and then blames it on Matt. Matt is given one more chance to get his life back on track, the New Leaf Program. He is taken off to live with an elderly lady in the depths of Scotland, out of the tempting reach of criminal life in the big city. Only this old lady is not what she seems to be, and neither is Matt.

I had purchased Necromancer in an Audible sale without realizing that it was the 4th book in The Power of Five series, so I decided to go back and read the others first. Raven’s Gate is the first and sets up the story line for the rest of the books. There’s a little magic, a lot of stealthy mystery and sinister happenings but little proof of anything. Anyone trying to help Matt simply dies in a convenient accident before they can really do anything for him. Matt is alone and must learn to help himself.

I was a little disappointed in this one. I like a lot Anthony Horowitz’s work and assumed that this would be his usual high quality writing, but it just lacked something. You never really connect with the characters, possibly because you just keep expecting something more of them that’s constantly foreshadowed, but never comes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good story, just not a great one. I will however, continue to read the series because, not only do I already own book 4, but I want to see where he takes it and if it gets better as it goes along. I know they usually don’t, but I’ll give it a chance all the same.

3 out of 5, readable, but not brilliant.

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