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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oblivion (The Gatekeepers #5) by Anthony Horowitz

The final, thrilling conclusion to #1 New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz's masterful series!

Matt. Pedro. Scott. Jamie. Scar. Five Gatekeepers have finally found one another. And only the five of them can fight the evil force that is on the rise, threatening the destruction of the world.

In the penultimate volume of The Gatekeepers series, a massive storm arose that signaled the beginning of the end. Now the five Gatekeepers must battle the evil power the storm has unleashed - and strive to stop the world from ending.

Released: November 1st 2012          Pages: 590
Publisher: Scholastic                        Source: Library

This review has to begin with a recap of my thoughts on this series back in 2008.  Trust me, it's important to the rest of this review.  In middle school, I read Raven's Gate.  I loved it--I thought it was creepy.  I went right ahead with Evil Star, which felt totally different but better than its prequel, and also PEDRO (I may or may not have had a huge crush on Pedro in middle school.  True story.  But come on, guys--isn't he adorable?).  Nightrise was up to par, and Necropolis equally awesome. 

And then I hit a wall.  The fifth and final book--at the time, I didn't even know a title--wasn't out.  So I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I waited for four years until the 2012 release (and then some since my library took forever to get it). 

It makes me wonder.  Why were the first four published in succession ('05, '06, '07, '08), but there was a lull until 2012?  This article says a tiny bit, but not much.  It always makes me suspicious when this kind of thing happens with any series.

Honestly, I wish the book could have come out in 2009, or even 2010.  I would have enjoyed it so much more back then.  Now, though, the book drags a few problems with it, and some of them are on my end.  The first problem is that, well, I haven't read this series since '08.  This distance never does good things for my enjoyment of a series finale. 

The second problem is that my tastes have changed.  I'm less likely to give a good rating now than I was three or even two years ago.  If I had read this a few years ago, there's a good chance I would have loved it like the rest of the series.

It's also quite possible that, no matter when I had read any of these books, Oblivion just isn't on the same level as the first four.  Three/four-ish years can be a long time for any author to take a break from a series.  Maybe that's an explanation. 

There was also a bit of genre shift, and that threw me.  The first books were all very paranormal/urban fantasy.  At the end of the fourth book, though, the characters are thrown ten years into the future.  Suddenly, the story becomes more of a dystopia than anything else.  That bothered me, and I never could get used to it. 

POV shifts are quite common in this series, and it's normal to see the story from any of the Five's POV, plus some other side characters.  Oblivion introduced us to Holly, which was fine, except her narration was all in first person.  Now, I've only read one series that successfully switched off from first person to third.  Just one.  And in Oblivion, it didn't really work.  There were so many third person chapters that the random first person here and there was distracting and annoying.  Also, I wanted to hear more from Jamie's side of things, but every time his storyline was featured, Holly was narrating.  I'm not even sure what Holly's purpose in the story was--she didn't do anything except tag along with Jamie.

And yet, this book still managed to keep itself out of two- and three-stardom.  Though it took a long, long time to get there, the climax was exciting and intense.  I saw the beginnings of a cool dynamic between the five Gatekeepers (though more would have been awesome).  I loved the relationship between Matt and Richard, and how it developed since the first book.  The reappearance of the past versions of some of the Five was a nice touch, and brought things full circle.

Overall, my likes and dislikes balance out, making this an okay book.  Again, I'm not sure if my tastes have changed and this series isn't as good as I remember, or if there's a serious drop in awesomeness between the fourth book and this one.  Either way, three stars.

Similar Books: It features an ensemble of teens saving the world from an ancient power like The Lost Hero, has some paranormal elements that remind me of The Light, and it feels a bit like the Pendragon series.
Side Note: I've just spent the last half hour fangirling over this Lorie Line version of 'Think of Me', as well as Kyle Landry's version of the Game of Thrones theme.  I have decided that there should be a version of The Phantom of the Opera with Tom Hiddleston as the Phantom (if he can sing, which I'm not sure of) and Benedict Cumberbatch as Raul.  Emilia Clarke as Christine?  Maybe?  I'm begging movie directors all around the world--MAKE IT HAPPEN.  PLEASE.
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1 comment:

  1. I had the same problem. I loved the first four books, but after such a long time, I'd my enthusiasm for the next one had waned, because I no longer felt fo involved in the storyline. That's probably why, when I found out the last one was finally out, I didn't leap at the chance to get it. I'll probably borrow it from the library instead of buying it like it bought the other books (which is sad because I like having a full collection).
    Also, that would be an awesome Phantom of the Opera cast :D I'm playing a medley of the songs on my violin at the moment :D


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