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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
The Power of Five: Oblivion
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 25 February 2013
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!
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on 13 January 2013
After Necropolis came out I was beginning to seriously wonder whether that had been the last book of the Power of Five series but it was great hearing early last year that the final book would soon be published. I have to admit though that it took me a while to finish it but I will honestly say that it is the best book I have read in a long while. It will certainly leave a lasting effect on you and the burning question inside you at the end of the book will be: what happens next? I would highly recommend it!!!!
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on 6 January 2016
Great read
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on 12 July 2017
Great read
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on 16 January 2013
A great end to a first class series! I finished the previous book just as this one came out, so it was perfect timing as I could read the follow on straight away! I loved it!
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on 4 October 2012
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.
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on 6 October 2012
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.
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on 30 May 2017
It made me cry because 2 of the main characters die and Holly gets old and the five leave
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on 12 August 2013
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?)
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on 25 October 2012
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.
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