|Series||The Power of Five (Originally The Gatekeepers)|
|Genre||Horror, Fantasy novel|
|1 August 2005 (UK)
1 June 2005 (US)
|Media type||Print Paperback|
|ISBN||1-84428-619-3 (Paperback edition)|
|Followed by||Evil Star|
Raven's Gate is the first book in The Power of Five series, written by Anthony Horowitz. It was published and released in the United Kingdom on 1 August 2005, by Walker Books Ltd and in the United States (1 June 2005) by Scholastic Press under the adjusted series title The Gatekeepers. It is followed by Evil Star, released in 2006, Nightrise in 2007, and Necropolis in 2008, with the final book Oblivion in 2012.
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Fourteen-year-old delinquent Matthew J. 'Matt' Freeman and his seventeen-year-old friend Kelvin Johnson break into an Ipswich warehouse late at night, to steal electrical products but are caught by the one security guard in the building. Matt is shocked and is about to confess, but Kelvin sneaks up behind the guard and stabs him in the back, leaving him for dead. Matt tries to get help but the police come, arrest Matt and Kelvin, and take the wounded man to the hospital.
In the station, Kelvin blames Matt for the man's stabbing and Matt is taken by police for his version of event. A young black police detective, Superintendent Stephen Mallory, comes up and interviews him, and finds Matt to be likeable. Then, later on in the night, Mallory meets Matt's aunt, Gwenda Davis, who has been summoned by the police to talk about Matt. Matt wakes up in the hospital, apparently dying of thirst. In a sudden trance, Matt stares hard at a glass jug of water, smells burning, and stares in amazement when the jug explodes, even though he is ten feet away. He is amazed for a while, but then he goes back to sleep; upon waking up the next morning, he sees no evidence to suggest that the glass exploded, leaving him thinking it was just an odd dream.
In the next week, Matt is given a role in the Liberty and Education Achieved through Fostering Project, aka the LEAF Project. It is for delinquents who are being reassimilated into society. Mallory is involved with the project and he introduces Matt to his new guardian, Jayne Deverill, an old, strict woman who Matt immediately dislikes.
Matt and Jayne Deverill move to Hive Hall, Deverill's home somewhere in Yorkshire, and she gets him to fit in. But she seems attracted to him in a sinister way when she sees his blood fall on the floor after her cat bites his hand. Matt faints, become ill with pneumonia, and has a nightmare in which he sees Jayne Deverill and a woman who looks like her cure him with dark magic. Matt doesn't know what to believe, but he feels different and more confident following his recovery. Jayne Deverill gets him to work on her farm with her evil farmhand Noah, who is threatening and silent, as well as being mentally damaged. Early on, Matt is sent to Lesser Malling, the local village, to get something from the chemist, and he meets Jayne Deverill's sister, Claire, who is disfigured with a birthmark covering half of her face; it later transpires that she was the other woman Matt saw. Claire and the other villagers come out and they are revealed to be all either disfigured or insane, or both. A seemingly normal man, Tom Burgess, comes up and tries to be friendly with Matt, but he warns him to leave the village before harm happens to him.
That night, Matt is awoken from a chanting in the woods. He searches the house for money, determined to leave, and then the cat attacks. He cages it in a log basket and searches for money. But he finds, to his horror, that Jayne Deverill somehow had a picture of him when he was eight years old at his parent's funeral. They died on the way to a wedding that Matt didn't want to attend. Somehow, he knew they were going to die, but he stayed at his neighbour's house and let them go to the wedding; en route, they died in a car accident. The photos appeared to be taken by a camera, but Matt thought that no photos were taken. He also finds a secret police report about him marked CONFIDENTIAL, stating that he has precognitive abilities. He decides to leave immediately. He leaves empty-handed and takes the bicycle that belonged to Jayne Deverill's late husband, Henry. To Matt's disbelief, each lane he takes in order to try and leave takes him back the way he came. Frustrated, he gives up and starts back on the way to Hive Hall. He says to himself he will try tomorrow, and escape in the light.
In the woods the following day, Matt once again meets Tom Burgess by an old experimental nuclear power station, Omega One, who tells him to come to his farmhouse the next day and he will help get him out. Tom gives Matt a pendant with a key etched on it; Tom says it unlocks the maze of roads and it seems to do so, breaking the 'spell' on the roads in the local area. Matt goes to Burgess's, the next day, only to find the farmer dead, murdered by some sort of animal, and the place in a wreck with the words "Raven's Gate" painted on the bedroom wall. He runs out and finds a police car. The policemen in the car don't believe his story that there's been a murder. They go back to the house and, to Matt's surprise, it is all neat again. Two of the villagers, including Joanna Creevy (whom Matt had met in Lesser Malling) are in there, and she seems to have rearranged everything, erased all traces of the murder, and Tom Burgess' body has vanished completely.
Matt leaves to go to Greater Malling, and he goes online to search about Raven's Gate. But another man named Dravid contacts him in a pop-up box, asking about him. Matt doesn't know what to say so he asks who Dravid is, then Dravid leaves the chat room. Matt meets a journalist named Richard Cole, at the offices of the town newspaper, The Greater Malling Gazette. He tells him the story of what happened, but Richard doesn't believe him. Matt storms out of the Gazette in anger; to his shock, Jayne Deverill is waiting outside. She takes him back to Hive Hall and accuses him of fabricating his story.
Jayne Deverill says that Tom Burgess never died, and she even gets 'him' to call on the phone, even though he is dead. Matt listens to the voice of Tom. But Matt doesn't speak; he hangs up and goes to bed. The next day he sees Stephen Mallory pull up on the drive. Mallory says he is there to check up on him and he is shocked by how ill and thin Matt looks, as well as signs of an earlier altercation with Noah. He gets into an argument with Jayne Deverill, accusing her of breaking the law by working Matt to the bone and keeping him out of school, and says he will have her arrested and have Matt put in other care. Mallory drives home, but he hears unearthly whispering in his car radio, on every station, and the car speeds up by itself and topples over a motorway bridge and smashes into a lorry, killing Mallory. (In reality, Mallory had visited Hive Hall after researching Matt's case, including interviewing Kelvin before his trial and visiting the neighbour he stayed with when he was orphaned, and discovering that Jayne Deverill had been pursued by a drug addict and mugger on the day she was given custody of Matt; the man in question later committed suicide. He also heard of Matt saying that Tom Burgess had been murdered at Glendale Farm.)
Matt is awoken by Jayne Deverill who tells him about Mallory's death. Then he tries to escape when he sees that Jayne and Claire Deverill are going out. He follows them, into the woods, and sees a dark magic ritual there. He tries to eavesdrop, but triggers a security alarm and Jayne Deverill summons two black demon dogs which chase him through the woods and then he is finally trapped in a bog. But Richard Cole suddenly appears and rescues him. Richard kills the dogs by incinerating them, and he and Matt go to York, to Richard's flat. Richard hears Matt's full story, and Matt thinks the villagers are witches, to what Richard laughs.
Richard phones Sir Michael Marsh, a government scientist, and Susan Ashwood, a medium, who wrote about Raven's Gate. Sir Michael Marsh is ostensibly boring, and explains to Matt and Richard about nuclear bombs and how the villagers could not have uranium, despite Matt thinking he saw radiation suited men and uranium boxes. Afterwards, they visit Susan Ashwood in Manchester and deduce that although she seems good, she is thoroughly mad. Finally, Richard calls Dravid himself who works at the British museum. Dravid agrees to meet and he tells them the reason the villagers are evil.
Long ago, the world was ruled by the Old Ones, who were demons of pure evil. They killed many people and waged war against humanity, but were banished by five children. The children are expected to return when the Old Ones break out, and this is what Jayne Deverill and the villagers are seeking to do. Dravid also explains that Lesser Malling was home to a gate to the Old Ones' prison, and that the villagers intend to have Matt ritually sacrificed in order to bring them back and rule the world.
Dravid is killed by dark magic that brings the skeletons of dinosaurs in the museum to life. Jayne Deverill captures Richard and Matt and she takes them to Lesser for the sacrifice. Matt kills Noah in a brief fight and he runs out into the night. But Sir Michael Marsh drives up and suddenly betrays Matt by revealing himself as the coven leader, the man responsible for building the Omega One power station, over the site of the Stone Circle (Raven's Gate), that separates the prison of the Old Ones from our world. He takes Matt to the power station to kill him. Jayne Deverill and the villagers are there and they try to kill Matt, unleashing a portal to the Old Ones' dimension and a huge dark creature, Chaos, the King of the Old Ones, appears in the gate. Chaos tries to free himself, but Matt finally realizes the smell of burning makes his power work because of how his mother burned the toast on the day she died. Matt's power awakens and he stops Sir Michael, by causing the handle of the knife to melt in Sir Michael's hands. Even Chaos retreats. Matt commands Richard to come with him and frees Richard. Jayne Deverill runs after them, and she fights Richard over a tank of acid but Richard knocks her in and she burns to death.
The other villagers get scared that the Old Ones will come out and run away, but the power station is breaking up and they burn in the flames. Sir Michael stands by the altar and he frees Chaos with a single drop of Matt's blood. Chaos comes out onto Earth, and he grabs Sir Michael and kills him as his reward/punishment. But Chaos is sucked back into his prison, when the radiation is sucked into his realm. Chaos is trapped again.
In the next few weeks, Richard is fired from the Gazette, having not showed up for days, and appears to be unable to get a job. A society named the Nexus, to which Dravid belonged, contacts Richard, and tells Matt that another gate is opening in Peru. A man named Fabian, from the Nexus, appears and tells Richard and Matt that they need to be in Peru to stop another gate from opening. The Old Ones will be free and rule the world if the gate is not closed again...