Book review

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz (1983)

Part One of The Power of Five

Matt has always known he is different, although you wouldn't guess from looking at him. He's fourteen years old, fit, black hair, blue eyes, intelligent. And you wouldn't guess from looking at his record, which is not good. Parents dead, he lives with an aunt in a rundown part of town. No friends at school. Petty crime. Bigger crime. Possible custodial sentence.

So how is he different? Well, sometimes he seems to know what's going to happen, before it happens. It would be pretty handy if you could control such a power, wouldn't it? But he can't. Yet. And he can do other stuff too. Watch this. He's lying in bed and can't move:

He ran his tongue over his lips. His mouth was parched. For a moment, he thought he smelled something burning. The jug was so close to him - only a few metres away. He reached out to it, pulling it towards him with his mind.
The jug smashed.
It seemed to explode, almost in slow motion. For a split second the water hung in the air, its tentacles sprawling outwards. Then it splashed down on to the table, on to the pieces of glass.

Did I say custodial sentence? No. He's given a second chance. He's fostered out under a new government project. He's fostered by the sinister Mrs Deverill, who seems to know more about him than she should.

It isn't long before he knows for certain that he's being held prisoner in the remote Yorkshire village. He can't escape. Somehow, as if by supernatural means, the roads all lead back in on themselves, back to the home farm. And the one man who tries to help Matt dies a sudden grisly death before he can tell Matt anything useful.

Matt backed away, gasping. He thought he was going to be sick. Somehow he forced his eyes away and then he saw it, painted on the wall behind the door. In the last moments of his life, the farmer had managed to scrawl two words, using his own hand smeared with paint:


Any idea what it means? Read the book and you can find out, but I can reveal now that if it's a gate it may open. And perhaps that would not be a good thing... Does Matt have a part to play?

What can I read next?

It's a series. So you can just keep on reading!

Anthony Horowitz is brilliantly readable. If you enjoy the Power of Five sequence, I expect you'll enjoy Alex Rider too, though there's nothing supernatural about Alex Rider:

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