Friday, July 29, 2005

Teen 'Views: Raven's Gate

Another review from YAB member, James M.:

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Hello. Welcome to Mr. Strange Guy’s review corner. Today, I will be reviewing a novel by the name of Raven’s Gate, book one of Anthony Horowitz’s new series The Gatekeepers. Raven’s Gate is set in various parts of England, focusing on a fourteen-year old boy named Matt. Matt is a bit of a delinquent, but when he witnesses a crime committed by a “friend” of his, he is also considered responsible, and given a choice: go to jail, or go live with a somewhat eccentric woman in a remote town called Lesser Malling. Deciding on the second option, he goes to live with Mrs. Deverill in her home of Hive Hall. While it seems normal enough at first, it quickly becomes clear that something unusual is going on, and Matt decides to seek out the truth. Unfortunately, everyone who attempts to help him seems to end up dead. Matt is going to find that jail may have been a better choice.

Now, this was an enjoyable read. At first, I was not overly impressed, but the farther I got into the book, the weirder it got, and the better it got. By the time the book kicked into high gear, I found I could not stop reading. The writing is well done, and the characters are all given enough time for the reader to get to know them, even those ones who only show up for a brief moment before suffering a nasty fate. Also, the mysteries are enticing enough to keep you reading in order to learn the answers. My personal favorite was trying to figure out how an abandoned nuclear power plant fit into the plot (trust me, it’s a doozey).

Although the book is good, it’s not perfect. It does start out kind of slow, but that’s understandable, considering it’s the first book in a series. Unfortunately, this also means we are not left with a completely conclusive ending, which was annoying. I hate it when questions are left unanswered. But worst of all, I have to wait for the next book! [Darth Vader voice:] NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Aside from the complaints which cannot be avoided because this is the first book in a series, Raven’s Gate really is a joy to read. Just try and make it past the slow opening, and you will not be disappointed.

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