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Nightrise is the third book in the power of five series by Anthony Horowitz and the latest one available to date preceeding Evil Star. The next book in this series is looking at a possible October 2008 release titled Necropolis: City of the dead. The Power of Five series is a written version of the Pentagram series from the 1980s which Horowitz himself alluded to. If you have read the first two instalments of this series that you will know what to expect and Nightrise fulfils those expectations. There has never been much hype surrounding Horowitz's books, which baffles me because I find his books to be substantially better than books which receive pre-release hype.
The amount of research Horowitz undertakes to write each book does not go without notice. Before writing Nightrise, Horowitz flew to Reno to experience what life was in a detention centre. This transpires into the book where Horowitz picks up on the sense of boredom in the languid environment and this ensures his descriptions are brought to life. This is evident as a detention centre by the name of Silent Creek is a focal point of the book as this is where of the main protagonists Scott is held hostage. The book itself also is situated as the location of Reno which exemplifies the research Horowitz has put into the book.
The plot takes a breath of fresh air which I feel is beneficial to the series as a whole. The main protagonist in Nightrise is not Matthew Freeman but are two twins by the name of Scott and Jamie Tyler but the former is involved over the course of the book to some extent.
The twins, Jamie and Scott Tyler have special telepathic powers and show this off in a show where they telepathically communicate what the other can see. The audience believe there is a trick involved but this is not the case. The foster parent of the twins, Don White sells the twins off to an organisation called Nightrise. As Jamie and Scott try to escape, they are shot by two tranquiliser darts and a woman helps Jamie escape but unfortunately Scott is taken hostage.
Jamie awakens in the house of a women called Alicia, who herself had her son captured due to the extraordinary powers he possessed. It also emerges that the twins foster parents (the ones who sold them to Nightrise) have been murdered and Jamie is the prime suspect. Tension is high as the police raid the house in search for Jamie and with Scott already captured, events seem ominous.
At a meeting in Nightrise it emerges that a man called John Trelawney is gaining greater support than a Nightrise member, Baker and the organisation plans to assassinate Trelawney. The news of only one twin being caught is already mentioned. Alicia and Jamie find one of the men who kidnapped Scott, Colton Banes and when Jamie goes to meet Banes, he uses his telepathic powers to find out that Scott is injured in a juvenile centre at Silent Creek in Reno.
Jamie then acquires a false identity to infiltrate into the juvenile centre and with the help of an employee at the centre called Joe Feather. Feather, Jamie and Alicias son Danny all manage to break out and it emerges that Scott has already be taken away from the centre by Nightrise. As they try to escape, two members of Nightrise have heard of the escape and tried to prevent them. They fail but manage to severely injure Jamie.
Jamie survives and realises that Nightrise are using his brother Scott to kill John Trelawney (the opposition candidate to a Nightrise member) during Trelawney's birthday parade in Auburn.
Jamie, Alicia and Danny try to prevent the assassination and tries to send a telepathic message to Scott but it does not work. When they arrive Scott has commanded Trelwarneys' bodyguard to fire the bullet but at the last moment Jamie commands him to aim the bullet at a Nightrise member called Susan Mortlake. The bullet hits the women and the crowd disperse and the main events of the book come to a close.
Tension is maintained amicably during this period of events and the climax is full of twists and turns up to the point that the outcome is very hard to envisage!
Many have questioned Horowitz and his target audience as to being children, some even referring to his books as "juvenile fiction". This is totally mistaken as although most of protagonists are young, his dazzling narrative style is undoubtedly suitable for adults as much as children, always selecting words with great thought backed up with heavy research into key affairs to form the basis of the book. His style is always the same, but so very effective that each and every book he writes is easily distinguishable and this is why not only this book but all his books are brilliant.
The end to the book is truly exhilarating, from the moment we learn that Scott is to be used to kill Trelawney, until anarchy of the misfired bullet is over, the tension is maintained marvellously throughout the cycle of events. Our presumptions keep on altering, from expecting Trelawney to be saved, to expecting his death once the bullet had been fired, the twists and turns throughout this action packed ending are brilliant.
Overall Nightrise is a near-perfect novel, filled with wonderful imagination and most importantly addresses the lack of humour in Evil Star with moments of comedy coupled with the more serious nature of the plot. This is apparent in the scene where Jamie meets Trelawney, in an attempt to test his special telepathic ability, he asks Jamie as to what is inside his plain wooden box. Jamie tells him what is truly inside; nothing and goes on to state who made the box, what he normally keeps inside it and various other intricate details. Trelawney is visibly shocked and this is a moment of great humour. This book is highly recommendable and remarkably improves on his two previous books, Ravens gate and Evil star to formulate a masterpiece.