I think the funniest thing about my absolute, unquestioned adoration for Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz is the fact that I don’t typically read or enjoy anything that falls into the genre of horror. And I think it’s fair to say that this novel definitely falls into that category. This was perhaps the first dark novel of this nature that I ever fell in love with. To this day I am overly fond of Raven’s Gate and the series that it belongs to, which I do occasionally find rather baffling considering the fact that horror is not something I usually care to waste my time reading. But with Raven’s Gate I never once felt as though I was wasting my time. In fact, I’ve always been incredibly invested in the life and journey of the main character Matt, a young boy living with his mother’s half-sister after the untimely death of his parents, who has always somehow managed to find trouble ever since. When an egregious mistake that involves the attack of a security guard, Matt is shipped off to a small village in the country as part of a government program to keep him out of prison. Unfortunately, Lesser Malling and his new guardian are not quite who they seem and soon Matt is in more trouble than he could have ever imagined.
Ironically, for how much I love this novel, I imagine I’ll forever do a rather paltry job of selling it. I find it’s somewhat difficult to describe how amazing the series is without giving away some pretty important spoilers. But basically it all comes down to the gatekeepers, of which Matt is currently unaware that he is one. It is this single fact that leads him down dangerous and scary roads to learn things he never imagined could be true about the world he lives in. There is a great evil that must be defeated, but one he knows precious little about thus far.
In my experience with this book, I can definitely see why someone might not love it. I recall recently looking at the reviews and feeling baffled by the fact that it’s not more highly rated, but the truth is that the series does get off to somewhat of a slow start. And while I may have fallen deeply and desperately in love with the story, the plot, and the main characters I cannot really blame others for feeling as though it’s difficult to get into. But if you can get into it, you leave reading the series utterly blown away. Raven’s Gate is just the beginning, with Matt at the center of a plot to return an evil to the world that will destroy life entirely as we all know it. He may not yet be aware of who he is, but he will certainly find out soon.