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I have always had taken to Anthony Horowitz and his books, most notably the Alex Rider series. When it became known that he was working on a new series (the power of five), I found myself looking forward to it in great anticipation. The first book in the power of five series called Ravens gate was an enthralling read based on more magical and evil elements and this is again apparent throughout Evil star, the second book in his latest series.
At the end of the first book, Ravens gate, Matthew had managed to escape from a peculiar town called Lesser Malling and a sinister women by the name of Mrs Deverill, from the jaws of death.
The second book, Evil star begins in a normal manner, with Matthew enrolling at a school but soon things transpire into huge problems. His aunt is being controlled by the evil old ones and attempts to kill him (as he is one of the special five who can banish the evil old ones). The second gate in Peru is to be openened and this will let the rest of the evil old ones out. Therefore Matthew and his compatriot Richard along with the assistance of an organisation called Nexus travel to Peru to prevent the second gate being opened. At Peru Matthew meets another one of the "five" gatekeepers called Pedro who saves him from an unexpected attack but unfortunately his friend Richard is kidnapped. It also emerges that there is a betrayer in Nexus who is passing information on about the whereabouts of Matthew. The mission to find the kidnapper leads to a man called Salamanda's Hacienda ( a person with a very large head and a very small body). I found this rather humorous!
It emerges that Salamanda is vying to open the second gate in the Nazca desert but Matthew and Pedro realise this very late and subsequently take to drastic means of action with such a short space of time remaining. The traitor in Nexus is found to be Fabian, a person who had seemed to be close to Matthew (to be honest I did not guess this!)
In the stunning climax we learn that Salamanda is using a satellite to take the form of a star, hence the name "Evil Star" and as Matthew and Pedro arrive on helicopter as the Nazca desert to prevent the opening of the second gate, the helicopter crashes and this causes Pedro to sustain a serious injury (broken ankle). This means Matthew has to go alone but the portal is opened before Matthew arrives and the evil Old ones begin to escape. The King of the Old ones arrives and faces Matthew. Matthew uses all the power inside him to wound the King but he able to survive and retreats to heal from the damage Matthew has caused. After expanding all his energy Matthew is left in a coma and is healed by his fellow gatekeeper Pedro.
Horowitz stated the series as 'bringing magic into real life without dragons and wizards' and this he has implemented his aim perfectly as the book does precisely this. The change of scenery is a breath of fresh air away from England (from the last book) into Peru (in this book) giving the book an exotic feel and also enables the reader to learn about the culture and tradition associated with Peru which I assure you are interesting. If I were to suggest one minor problem with the book is that it is serious throughout and as a result the amount of humour present in the book is scarce but I'm just being picky!
Overall this is a fantastic book which takes off where Ravens gate left off. What I feel Horowitz lacked in Ravens' gate was not maintaining a high level of tension and suspense throughout the book and this is rectified in Evil star as Matthew is taken through a rollercoaster of events throughout the book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough as I found it to be a brilliant book full of unexpected events and one which was very hard to put down. It is definitely worth a read.
I am not a fan of Horror stories, and for a long time this kept me away from reading Raven's Gate. But since it was Anthony Horowitz, who used to be a favourite of mine in days gone by, I couldn't resist. I found it to be every bit as horrific and grisly as I was told it would be, but I found that I couldnt wait to get my hands on Evil Star, the sequel to Ravens Gate.
The style is typically Horowitz. Though it does not have the humour that characterizes the Diamond Brothers series, it does have the action and tense moments found in the Alex Rider books. However, this time he has given it a different dimension, a darker and more evil perspective which is actually found in the Groosham Grange series, and his short horror stories, which do not shirk away from shocking the reader to the very extreme! (Have you read the story where a group of cannibals chop up a boy in a lift? See what I mean?)
Horowitzs aim was to write something like Lord of the Rings but in a more modern world, without having to create a fantastic world like Narnia, and so make it a more vivid reality for the reader. I must say that this blend of old-fasioned fantasy with a more sci-fi genre has given it a zest and flavour of reality. Matt is a normal boy, easy to identify with but also the powerful hero (albeit a reluctant one) who typically saves the world- like Alex Rider- and Frodo.
Evil Star finds us with Matt again, but this time he is not alone. He has a trusted friend in Richard Cole, the journalist who find himself embroiled in Matts unbelievable struggle with the Old Ones in the last book. The Old Ones- still not sure what they are. Hmmm, some sort of ancient spirits who want to take over the world again. They are sealed in a spirit world bound by gates around the world, and only five people have the power to keep them there. And Matt is one of them. He needs to find the rest of the Five, and in Evil star fate leads him to another of the Five when he agrees to go to Peru to seek out the second gate which has been foretold to open. Pedro becomes a fast friend and has an unknown power that makes him important. But more importantly Is there a traitor within their midst?
I know, I know typical fantasy, the sort of stuff that would turn anyone away. But I think there is a lot more to it than that. Theres the action for one thing. Those who like Alex Rider and Stephen King will enjoy this even if they dont like Lord of the Rings.
Id say Evil Star isnt as grisly as Ravens Gate where Matt was all alone and unaware of his powers or what he was up again. Id say Evil Star is a lot tamer, and does not leave as eager for the next book as I was after I read Raven Gate. But still it was a good read!
You can borrow it from a library or, if you want to buy it:
Evil Star (Power of Five) by Anthony Horowitz (Paperback - 3 April 2006)
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Evil star is the second book after ravens gate in 'the power of five'. After Matt and Richard Cole the Journalist return to the flat in york Matt is having trouble at school, nothing goes well and it only gets worse. He foresees a catastrophe and saves his school from inevitable death. He sees that he cannot just be a normal boy, he is one of the five. The Nexus have heard of a secret diary by 'the mad monk' and need to get hold of it to learn about the second gate, Matt is sent to retrieve it but someone steals the book before it is given to him. He has to fly to Peru, it is his destiny.
This book is a great read and if you've read ravens i'm sure you know. I think everyone should read it, it's great.