31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous conclusion to the series
It's been a long wait for the final instalment in this series. But it was worth it. This is a remarkable series. From the dark and perplexing mystery of Raven's Gate onwards, the books went from strength to strength. For me personally, the series peaked with Nightrise; the taut spare writing, the brooding atmosphere and the almost unbearable tension were...
Published on 4 Oct. 2012 by ML Jensen
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much shooting 'em up!
I waited a long time for the book to come out. Seems ages since the last. I ended up skipping bits as the battles seemed to be repetitive. Perhaps I've got old waiting for it. (OK, I admit, I'm 65 - doesn't mean I don't like a lot of this type of book and I loved the initial 4). I did enjoy the story itself. More teenage than adult, perhaps.
Published on 8 Nov. 2012 by Clithers
Most Helpful First | Newest First
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous conclusion to the series,
It's been a long wait for the final instalment in this series. But it was worth it. This is a remarkable series. From the dark and perplexing mystery of Raven's Gate onwards, the books went from strength to strength. For me personally, the series peaked with Nightrise; the taut spare writing, the brooding atmosphere and the almost unbearable tension were breathtaking.
I felt Necropolis was slower to get going, partly because Scarlett was less vividly drawn as a character, but also because the reader was now being spread across a number of points of view. This is an issue that dogs Oblivion too. It was inevitable, as we need to follow all five characters - and yet another point of view is added with Holly. But in Oblivion, although this makes the story long (this is a huge and heavy tome in hardback, all 668 pages of it) the switching viewpoints never make the story slow. It is thrilling from beginning to end; you never quite know where the story is going. Although there are mysterious clues and dark foreshadowings along the way, the tension of how the tale will play out is maintained right to the final pages.
At the end of Necropolis, the gatekeepers had been confronted by the Old Ones in Hong Kong and come close to being defeated. They had scarcely met before they were attacked and Scarlett was wounded. With a typhoon tearing Hong Kong and the temple apart, they had no choice but to flee back through the door. Injured and in disarray, they didn't have time to agree a destination and so they were scattered across the globe; Brazil, England, Italy and Egypt. As if that isn't bad enough, the fabric of time itself has been torn and in Oblivion the gatekeepers emerge ten years later to a very changed world.
Like in the other books in this series, Horowitz shows he is a master of thriller writing. He rarely wastes words, each description conjuring a clear picture, each step in the adventure carefully woven in. The male characters are as consistent and strong as in the previous books - each of the four male gatekeepers feels like someone you know well. We could do with some more vibrant and kick-ass girls, but they are the one thing that's lacking here.
If you've forgotten the previous books (it has been a long time!) there is just enough information in Oblivion to jog your memory without boring you. It's a nail-biting adventure; it is dark, violent and at times really bleak. The novel shows a lively social and environmental conscience which adds to it greatly in my opinion. And the ending is both moving and satisfying.
Recommended for teenagers (12 +) and adults who enjoy teen books.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Of Five: Oblivion,
It's a long time coming, Oblivion, and by heck is it worth the wait. Horowitz proves once again that he is a master of his craft, providing a chilling tale of the end of the world. His prose is, thankfully, far less "and now we'll pause for some irrelevant information that the character isn't going to know but I'm putting it in to show that I do my research", a personal bugbear of mine that carries over from his previous series, Alex Rider, and far more tense for it. There will be reviewers that comment on some things they don't get (I'm pretty sure we'll never get all the answers to this one, like just how the hell they managed to jump 10 years ahead) but in the end, they don't matter. Oblivion is a powerful, dark work that leaves a bittersweet taste in the mouth by it's end, and yet doesn't feel bad at all.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This novel stole two days of my life.,
I waited so long for this book to come out that I had all but forgotten what happened in the others by the time I got to reading it! The logical conclusion to this would be to re-read the other books but they're at home and I'm at university, however Oblivion does an excellent job of jogging your memory without leading to the tedious business of re-telling the other stories in full as many authors might have ended up doing. I first read Raven's Gate when I was 13 and it is great to finally get to the last book now I'm 19.
Following the events of Necropolis the books is broken up into several sections to spend time with each of the five in their challenge to reunite with one another. Jamie finds himself in England, Scarlet in Egypt, Pedro and Scott in Italy and Matt in Brazil. It is ten years in the future after the rise of the old ones and Horowitz has created a very bleak picture of the world. There is little in the way of light relief in this book so be prepared when you start to read! We are initially introduced to the new character of Holly, a girl who has been living in an isolated village in a post-apocalyptic Britain for the last ten years. She seems to play only a tiny role in the novel and I suspect that her sole purpose in the book is to act as the 'stupid' character to explain the happenings of the previous book to.
Some may complain that the way that Oblivion is divided into several short parts is annoying but I enjoyed it as it kept the story from growing stale, and kept my blood pressure nice and high as each character was left right in the middle of a tricky situation as we move from part to part. I also liked the 'social awareness' that Horowitz brought to the book through the dilemnas of Scott, yes the world we find ourselves in is a terrible one, but how much of that is to be blamed on the old ones and how much is simply the way that humanity, both in fiction and reality, was headed anyway?
This book was an excellent read, it tied together the loose ends from the previous books well and, especially in the case of Matt, there was a real sense of character development. If there were to be one flaw it is that after the final battle you can't help but wonder how exactly humanity does plan to restore itself? A question that is never really answered. This book stole two days of my life as once I had started reading I couldn't put it down. I accept that I am a big kid at heart and still love my 'teenagers save the world' books, however I genuinely think that this is a series of books that anyone could sink their teeth into. I am now at a total loss as to what I am going to read next!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bleak and brilliant,
This review is from: The Power of Five: Oblivion (Mass Market Paperback)
After the long wait - the ending. Completing the book and the series brought, for me, a moving sense of loss and closure; the narrative all through has been so powerful. Horowitz is truly a master story-teller. I think he himself once said that he didn't write literature, he told stories. No shame in that. Perhaps 'literature' needs more story-tellers.
Be prepared, Oblivion is unrelentingly bleak and harsh; everywhere the world is in ruins and pain. The device of scattering the Five at the outset means that Horowitz can spend the book bringing them back together, each with his/her individual battles to fight and enemies to be overcome. Along the way there are a few far-fetched coincidences and some issues unexplained. (First the nuclear missiles can't be used, then they suddenly can. How would Nexus have known years in advance which canal would be used and at which point the boat would be attacked?) There are also moments of pure Tolkein at the last battle as the deformed and modified creatures attack the fortress, and perhaps even of C.S.Lewis with each of the Five having their personal weapon-gift.
But these are trivialities. The final twist genuinely caught me by surprise and there is real sadness in the ending, but I have to say I was hooked all the way. In fact I re-read the last pages because I didn't want the book to stop!
Unlike the Alex Rider series, the Power of Five is very much a continuous narrative and the books need to be read in the right order for the saga to make sense, so if you haven't read them you need to start with Raven's Gate not Oblivion.
They may be addressed to young (male?) teens but their appeal, as with all Horowitz, is universal. Completely immersive and engaging. Totally recommended.
(Note to publisher: Why didn't you make the spine of the book match the previous four?)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids,
I discovered this series after listening to an Anthony Horowitz interview on Radio 2 - which in itself will give you some indication that my teens are far behind me! Two weeks ago, I downloaded the first installment, Raven's Gate to my Kindle and today, I have just finished the last book, Oblivion, marking the end of a reading frenzy such as I have not indulged in for some time. The series follows five teenagers who are the Gatekeepers, guardians of a portal that stands between the world as we know it and the terrible destructive powers of 'The Old Ones' and a Lovecraftian world of evil. The books are well written and grip the reader from the start as you follow the fortunes of the five young heroes in a race against time. There is good characterisation and Horowitz keeps the tension up admirably with a refreshing lack of cliches as is so often the case with books aimed at the teen market. Certainly, the Power of Five series knocks spots off the Pittacus Lore novels with more believable characters and a wonderful lack of teen angst. It is one of the few series I have read in recent times that kept me turning the pages almost complusively.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The epic conclusion to a mind blowing series,
It did the Five justice. This book is beyond imagination. Brilliantly written, well thought through. The way Anthony Horowitz has written the final installation to the Power of Five series is ingenious. We follow the story from all kinds of perspectives, the twists and subplots in the story are those of a mastermind, and the ending is utterly brilliant. Not the bittersweet ending that I, deep down, was half-hoping for, but the ending it needed and deserved.
And if you're worried that the book might be too long (668 pages), don't be. I read it in a week. Every page has you eagerly reading, not wanting to put it down. The further away the ending, you'll think, the better.
Buy this book. And if you haven't read the others, buy them too. Another work of art by Anthony Horowitz. An honour to be able to read it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising,
This dark, dystopian fantasy is packed with adventure right from the start. Having read the 4 previous books, I couldn't wait for the final chapter and this did not disappoint. In places, I found it brutally shocking. The earth is not as we know it - more like something torn apart by the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse with whole countries ravaged by nuclear and biological warfare; whilst others have suffered environmental destruction in the guise of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, leading to terrible famine and pestilence. Death has embraced humankind on a massive scale. The Old Ones are the ultimate force of evil, an unimaginably foul species, whose single ambition is to destroy and it seems there is little left for mankind to fight for. One can almost imagine that this is exactly where the planet could be heading, if evil was allowed to reign and good people did nothing to conquer it. I saw this novel as an early warning signal, with the sad realisation that none of it is impossible.
But there's worse. The five gatekeepers have been scattered and against all odds, must find each other. The book is beautifully segregated into their individual stories, each one a gripping story line in its own right, as they battle to escape deadly enemies to rediscover the secret doors which will ultimately allow them to be reunited - but even that poses a problem. The doors have been locked by Chaos, King of the Old Ones and it is really down to one Gatekeeper to carve those pathways open again. I loved this story from start to finish and especially enjoyed the parts told by the one new character, Holly, whose own personal account seems almost designed to tug at your heart strings - it turns what is otherwise a chilling fantasy into something almost real.
The action is non-stop. I could barely put it down and was even compelled to read a slightly gentler novel in between chapters, to cope with each terrifying twist as it was revealed. It really is as thought provoking as it is dark and there were times when I could barely take it all in. As if the story of each character was not intense enough, the book reaches its terrible conclusion when they are finally brought to Antarctica, where the Old Ones have built their fortress. There are times when you think all is lost - that they cannot possibly win. Yet it takes real human courage - terrible sacrifice and the most powerful forces of good to finally overcome the horror.
I was appalled by Matt's fate - I don't think it should have ended like that, for such a brave and courageous character. I so much wish he could have made better use of his powers. But it sometimes takes a nightmarish scenario such as this one, to reach deep into the reader's mind, as well as make a saga truly memorable. This is quite possibly the most cleverly crafted series I have read, next to Harry Potter and although it is marketed as a children's series, the underlying concept will definitely appeal to adults. Utterly mesmerising!
5.0 out of 5 stars A great end to a great series,
Some people have been waiting patiently for four years for this final instalment to The Power of Five series to be released whilst Anthony wrote a fantastic end to the Alex Rider series, and a brilliant addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories. However, some people (me included) have been waiting just a little bit longer for Oblivion - it has been twenty three years since Day of the Dragon, the fourth book in the Pentagram series, was published, a series that Anthony would go on to rewrite as The Power of Five. I did not discover these books back in the 80s when they were first released - I had to wait until I discovered them in a Birmingham charity shop not long after I started teaching in 1995, but seventeen years is still quite a wait. Was it worth it? Hell yes!
Before I say any more, I want to remind you of the closing lines of Necropolis, words that sent many a Power of Five fan's heart racing with concern, and no doubt caused howls of frustration to echo out across the land:
"The Five had entered the door without knowing where they were going, so none of them would have arrived in the same place. They would be as far apart now as they had ever been. Worse than that, the door had been disintegrating even as they had passed through it, and the final blast had played one last trick on them. If the five of them had survived the journey, they would find out very soon.
It would be a very long time before they found each other again."
What a cliffhanger that was! It left fans wondering whether all of The Five would survive, and where on earth the doorway would take them. It was also the perfect set-up for Oblivion. I don't think it is creating a spoiler to say that not only are The Five scattered around the world (again), but the doorway also sent them all ten years into the future, by which time the King of the Old Ones has had his wicked way with Planet Earth. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong - war, famine, disease, environmental meltdown, death and destruction - you name it, it has happened somewhere or other. Nowhere on earth has gone unaffected, giving the poor, unsuspecting Five quite a shock as they arrive through a variety of doorways, not knowing where the others are, or even if they survived the hasty escape from Hong Kong. They also quickly discover that the doorways are all inexplicably no longer working, meaning they will have to rely on more traditional means of travelling if they are to come together again to banish Chaos and the Old Ones back to whichever hell they came from.
You would be right in thinking this a seemingly impossible task, especially given that the minions of the Old Ones have had ten years to prepare for their arrival. Have no fear though, this is an Anthony Horowitz book and the man does have a knack of bringing things together to create a nice neat ending. Be warned as well though, this is an Anthony Horowitz book and the man does have a propensity for killing off main characters. There are both sides of the coin for you. What would you prefer? A nice neat ending with a favourite character being slaughtered by the Old Ones? Or perhaps a death-free end for The Five and their friends, but loose ends left blowing in the wind. I would certainly prefer the former of the two, and again, it's not really creating spoilers when I tell you that this is the road that Mr Horowitz chooses to travel, although you could stick hot pins under my toenails and I still wouldn't tell you who dies and who lives, or whether any of The Five manage to fully triumph over the forces of evil.
I'm rambling now, and that is because I am finding it very difficult not to create spoilers. I was one of the incredibly fortunate few who received an early proof of this book (naturally I dropped everything to read it) and I have been agonising over this review for some time. It is only now, the day before its release, when I feel I can no longer put off writing it any longer, and so I have forced myself to sit down and get it written. Why am I finding it so difficult? Well, I really, really loved this book but to really explain why would just create so many spoilers. I loved the characters, and the way Anthony really tests them to their limits; I loved the many, many action scenes (he does action so well); I loved the varied (almost) post-apocalyptic locations and their (often insane) inhabitants who have all been affected in some way or another over the past ten years. And most of all, I loved how Mr Horowitz has taken many of the issues facing our planet and its population today, and imagined what they would be like after ten years of Chaos and his Old Ones. The imaginary future he creates is all the more scary because in the back of your mind you realise that unless something is done pretty damn soon by the world's numerous governments then his fiction could become a very painful not-too-dissimilar reality for us all.
Oblivion is more than 650 pages long, and I am sure there will be some who will question this. However, I doubt many of these detractors will actually read it, and if they did they would quickly realise that when your five main characters (and various friends) are scattered around the world, it does take many, many words to lead them up to the ending that he delivers for his fans. However, I'm also not going to sit here and say that the book is perfect, as in my mind it isn't. I have one small gripe, and that is I felt it could have been just a handful of pages longer. Just twenty or thirty, as after the wonderful (or should that be horrific?) journeys he creates for his Five, the final climactic scenes in Antarctica just seemed to come to an end a little too quickly for my liking. However, I don't want to dwell on this as I had so much enjoyment reading this final instalment to a series that in one way or another has kept be enthralled and entertained for more than fifteen years.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent plot, brilliantly written all in all an epic conclusion,
it had been 8 years since Ravens Gate had been published, my son was 13, which is how I got into the Power of Five series. Then a five year gap between the last book and this, Oblivion the final installment. The original fans are all grown up and its almost like the series has matured with the readers, there's almost an analogy with the 10 year leap forward in time in the book and the time we have had to wait!
It doesn't disappoint, it's a huge book, at 668 pages more than twice the size of Ravens Gate, the pace is fast with just the right amount of information to remind of the story so far without being tedious, and leaving you with cliffhangers within the book as it jumps between the gatekeepers and the insurmountable obstacles they face has you reading faster.
The research that has gone into this is breathtaking, and to immerse yourself in writing a book that leaps between East Anglia, Naples, Cairo, Belem Brazil and Antarctica places Anthony Horowitz as one of the greatest YA writers of our time, but this isn't just for kids, I loved it, even the lump in throat ending, and so would my Dad have :( so I would highly recommend this to anyone that likes a little escapism a lot of action and a generous sprinkle of dark magic
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't often review but just had to...,
Given the massive cliffhanger we were left with at the end of Necropolis (book 4), and given how long we have waited for this final book, it was fair to wonder if it could live up to expectation and give a satisfactory conclusion...well Oblivion certainly delivers. We follow all the characters, and some new ones, all over the world in twisting paths, that are all held skillfully by Horowitz - jumping between the stories could have been messy, but not at all. The descriptions are vivid and give the reader every detail you could want - bringing the characters, the landscapes - so ravaged by the old ones - and the emotions to life. It all built up to a thrilling and tense climax, and brought the series to a dramatic, but then sombre finale, tying up various story lines.
I'm not often moved to review on amazon, but this the series as a whole, and this fantastic book especially, will stay with me long after I've finished reading. Truly, a great book.
p.s. the final book has enough information to refresh your memory, but I'd recommend rereading the whole series from the start to build up to the final - if you can wait! You really appreciate the growth of the characters and the story that way, especially Matt.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Power of Five: Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz (Audio CD - 4 Oct. 2012)