Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

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What would you do if one day you were told it was your job to save the world? That's what happens to fourteen-year-old Matt Freeman in Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz. After a problematic childhood in which he loses his parents in a car crash, Matt finds himself in custody for a crime he didn't intend to commit. He is given the option either to go to jail or spend a year in secluded Northern England as part of the LEAF project, a program that rehabilitates juvenile delinquents. Without thought, Matt chooses LEAF and meets his new foster parent, Mrs. Deverill. At first, it seems like an easy “get-out-of-jail-free card.” Yet, soon Matt realizes that his new home in Lesser Malling is much more complicated than a game of Monopoly.

Soon after his arrival, Matt becomes aware that there is something rather unusual about Lesser Malling and it's not just the surrounding forest that seems to mysteriously change without notice. Little does he know that Mrs. Deverill and all the townspeople are planning to set free an ancient, sinister, and supernatural force. Matt seeks help, but anyone who assists him mysteriously disappears or dies. To his dismay, Matt discovers that Mrs. Deverill actually needs him to execute the evil scheme, but then he also realizes he is also the only one who can stop it.

Anthony Horowitz, also author of the popular Alex Rider series, doesn't let the action and suspense let up for a moment. Every page is jam packed with imagery that keeps readers on the edges of their seats, always making them want to squeeze in another page before putting the book down. The single trait I loved the most about Raven's Gate was the subtle foreshadowing Mr. Horowitz uses throughout the book. Not only did this add to the interest of the plot, but also it put the reader on pins and needles trying to predict the next turn the book will take. Sometimes, the reader guesses right and other times wrong, creating an exciting challenge at the end of every chapter.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz. I recommend this science fiction thriller to any middle school student who enjoys suspenseful novels in which the reader is tempted to guess the next slice of the story. I give this book five stars and can't wait to read the rest of the series.





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