Tapestrymlp's Reviews > Raven's Gate

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
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's review
Apr 10, 08

bookshelves: young-adult, read-in-2008, paranormal
Read in April, 2008

Fourteen-year-old Matt Freeman is an orphan in a lot of trouble. After he's caught stealing he is funneled into the LEAF system, a new program that England has put in place to deal with youthful offenders. Through LEAF, Matt is "fostered" with the evil Mrs. Deverill, a satanic witch bent on torturing Matt. Everyone Matt gets close to has a bad habit of ending up dead and no one can seem to tell him about something called Raven's Gate - a mysterious place that is somehow tied to Matt's own psychic abilities.

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. It's possible that some of my disappointment with the book stems from the poor reading it was given. The narrator, Simon Prebble, has a very deadpan voice with little vocal range or variation. It could certainly have been done much better.

However there are a myriad of other reasons I didn't like Raven's Gate. Think of every cliche you have ever imagined about black magic - tada you've just met the cast of bad guys from this book! Lacking in originality or interest the bad guys are cookie cutter cardboard baddies with about as much oomph as an old B horror movie. Horowitz's writing is stacato and terse, and he doesn't embroider his tale with a lot of description - just short and to the point. There are many that enjoy that sort of writing, I am not one of them.

The plot feels thin and forced and the story is rather lackluster. I won't be picking up the rest of the series.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 2: by Cole (new) - added it

Cole I agree with my man Nodus!!!!!

Andrew Joyce Um...if you don't like magic stuff, why did you read it? If you like Harry Potter, you might have liked this.

Tapestrymlp I don't object to magic. I simply do not like the author's writing style. It's a personal preference.

If you look at my book list you'll see that the books I consistently rate high are usually very descriptive and character-centered. Horowitz's writing style leans toward surface description, lots of action and very little character substance. This isn't the first book I've read by him.

To me his writing feels formulaic and predictable. I read A LOT of books. Unfortunately that also means a lot of books start to sound the same - same plot, same villains, same descriptions and conversations. For a book to catch my interest it needs to work a bit harder at breaking out of the standard mold. Horowitz doesn't do that. He's unabashedly all action. And that's fine, that appeals to a lot of readers - just not me. I write reviews for my friends (who have similar reading tastes) and to remind myself about the books I've finished.

I'm glad you enjoyed the book - everyone is welcome to their opinion whether we agree about a particular book or not. Reading is highly personal and that's why there are so many books in the world, there's something for everyone out there.

Declan Quinn Yes I must admit that you have a bad taste in books. Whilst reading this book I found it very hard to believe that it could be found in the Junior section. Maybe it is you that lack's the imagination. A security man stabbed, a woman starving a fourteen year old, an orphan who had seen the death of his parents, and the unravelling of "ravens gate" no one to help or care for him, creepy people all around murdering what help he has left. The most disturbing scene was the "escape" through the winding paths that kept leading him back, pitch black at night, no cars, etc and then driving past "Hive Hall" in the opposite direction. Seriously creepy book. I have made my way to the 4th book and I haven't been disapointed.

message 6: by Oz (new) - rated it 3 stars

Oz Thought this was a pretty accurate review.

message 7: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Hofstetter I'm also listening to it on Audio book and I am really enjoying it.

message 8: by Kara (new) - rated it 1 star

Kara Kinsman I've only gotten through 8 chapters, but at this point I feel like I should have some kind of connection to the character that I'm just not getting, so I definately see what you mean about the writing not being character-centered. It's more event-driven than the books I enjoy reading. At this point I'm debating whether or not I even want to finish the book.

message 9: by Sean (new) - added it

Sean Curraoin Yeh this is pretty much a children's book
I'm 12 and I love it. His description of everything and of the characters is very good and gives you an exact image in your head of what he is describing.
It's a children's book so back off with this fancy posh know it all act

message 10: by DJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

DJ I AGREE WITH MICHEAL JACKSON! Five word never thought i would say

message 11: by DJ (new) - rated it 5 stars


Amelia I cannot believe how people have jumped all over you for this review. We're all entitled to our opinion.

colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ± Wow, the trolls really came out for this review - which is totally accurate, btw. The writing is pretty terrible and the story is very cliche and entirely forgettable.

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