Monday, July 06, 2009


Necropolis (The Gatekeepers)Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz, Scholastic, 2009 -- Library download

The title, Necropolis, evokes an image of a dead city so it is no surprise that this book spins the Power of Five (aka Gatekeepers) saga into even darker territory. There are no happy-clappy moments in this story.

In the previous three books, the identities of four young gatekeepers were revealed. Thousands of years ago, it was the combined power of five young people that saved the world from destruction at the hands of the Old Ones.

Now, Matt, Pedro, Jamie and Scott have identified the fifth and final member of their group, a girl named Scarlet. Matt and Jamie set off to alert her to her role and rescue her from the Old Ones who are getting ready to open a giant can of "End Times" on the planet. The boys' search takes them to Hong Kong where Scarlet has been lured into the hands of the nefarious Nightrise Corporation. Nightrise is preparing the way for the Old Ones' return.

Before you can say,"Midsomer Murders," the bad guys are killing innocent bystanders and each other, left and right. The body count reaches stratospheric levels. This is Evil Incarnate after all. The Old Ones and their henchmen are mass murderers.

As a screen writer, Horowitz vividly captures dozens of fine details about the city of Hong Kong. He also supplies horror elements with hordes of flies, animated dead bodies, shape shifters and "Old Ones" versions of Tolkien's Nazgul. This is truly a creepy story.

Although the ultimate end to the tale is probably not in doubt, Horowitz supplies this installment with plenty of action and fight scenes along with a cliff hanger ending. He also infuses his storytelling with a whiff of current events and political themes.

This is by far the best book in the series. I did not know what to expect when I started listening to these but I am utterly hooked now.

Simon Prebbles is the voice of Anthony Horowitz, Inc. for Recorded Books. He provides a solid and highly entertaining performance here.

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