Sunday, 15 August 2010

Review: Raven's Gate - Anthony Horowitz

Published: March 2nd 2008, Walker

Series?: Yes, there are four books in the series

Acquired: Sent for review by Walker

Summary (from Goodreads): This is an atmospheric graphic-novel adaptation of the number 1 bestseller "Raven's Gate", from the creator of "Alex Rider".

Sent to Yorkshire on a rehabilitation programme, Matt Freeman finds himself in the midst of a sinister conspiracy of witchcraft and murder. He uncovers a terrible secret: the Old Ones - monstrous godlike beings once banished from our world - are trying to return.

Matt is about to discover that he alone stands between the forces of evil and the annihilation of humanity...Featuring striking, high-contrast black-and-white art with vibrant splashes of colour, this distinctive graphic novel captures the brooding atmosphere of the bestselling book.

My review: I’ve never read a graphic novel before and, though I’ve always wanted to, there seemed so much choice I really had no idea where to start. Then I came across the graphic novel adaptation of Raven’s Gate, the first book in the Gatekeepers series by Anthony Horowitz. I’ve always been a fan of Horowitz’s short stories so I thought this may just be the perfect book to pop my graphic novel cherry.

I love graphic novels! Well, I loved this one at least. The story in Raven’s Gate is a strong one and the distraction of the fantastic illustrations didn’t distract me from the plot at all. This really isn’t the kind of book I’d read day to day but it was great to read something outside my comfort zone and reminded me of why I should keep broadening my horizons.

Matt is a really great protagonist. It made a nice change to read about a boyish lead – I’m so used to protagonists worrying about makeup, dates and whether or not to sleep with the new bad boy at school that Matt’s uncomplicated way of thinking was really refreshing. The secondary characters in Raven’s Gate weren’t at all disappointing either – especially the cranky old wench who Matt is sent to stay with, Mrs Deverill. Watch out for her – she’s a bad one!

The action is fast paced from the outset of the story and doesn’t slow down for a second. Hands down, my favourite scene was in the Natural History museum – I think this one definitely benefitted from the illustrations. My only small criticism is that the ending was a little rushed. I hadn’t quite realised the story was over so had to go back and reread the last few pages so make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

All in all, Raven’s Gate is a thoroughly enjoyable rollercoaster of a read and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next installment. I’m still a bit lost as to which graphic novels to read next so if anybody has any recommendations please let me know!

First line: “I’m making a mistake.”

Final thoughts: Horowitz has said before that he thinks of this series as Stephen King for young readers and I have to agree with him here. I’m a huge Stephen King fan so I never say this lightly but there are elements of King within this book – always, always a good thing, I can assure you.

Read if you liked...: Alex Rider series – Anthony Horowitz

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Total: 15/20 (B)


  1. Great review :) I've always wanted to try graphic novels too but still haven't... Also, Raven's Gate is in my tbr pile, so I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Happy reading!

  2. Sounds awesome. Not a huge fan of Stephen King..:) But it is for young readers, so maybe I will enjoy it. BTW great review.

  3. I've read the normal novels of this series and they're really good. I've never read a graphic novel, but a few seem to be made into them.

  4. How exciting that they've made this into graphic novels. I'm in love with the series!

    Graphic novels. I'm just finding my feet with them. I really loved Persepolis by Marjane Sartapi and Maus by Art Spiegleman. Lots of people have recommended Blankets to me..

  5. Interesting idea! I'd recommend Alan Moore's V for Vendetta or Watchmen. They're both classic graphic novels (and British too).


Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.