Matt Freeman has always known he was different. There was the dreams. And then the deaths. When Matt gets in trouble with the police, he’s sent to be fostered in Yorkshire. It’s not long before he realises something is very wrong with his guardian, and with the whole village. Soon Matt learns about the Old Ones, how he’s connected to them and how he’s supposed to be able to stop them. No one would believe him, but first there’s Raven’s Gate to contend with.
Matt’s fourteen years old and alone. He’s been with his neglectful aunt for years and after being peer-pressured into crime he ends up in Yorkshire in a youth fostering program. Matt isn’t stupid or a bad person but he’s never really tried at school so it’s easy to see why so many of the adult figures in his life give up on him. Matt also gives up on himself in a way because he doesn’t understand the things that sometimes happen to him, he just knows that people around him get hurt. Matt’s a pretty believable character as he is often angry and compulsive as he tries to figure what’s happening to him though it does end a little cheesy as it’s so predestined that he’ll (apparently) save the world.
Raven’s Gate is quite a creepy book and some horror elements can be quite graphic. There’s the weird things that happen in the village, like if you try and leave, no matter in which direction, you end up back at the same crossroads, which is unsettling. Then there’s the more graphic stuff like when Matt comes across a dead body or when he is drugged and can’t move.
I read Raven’s Gate for the first time ten years ago and while I still enjoyed it, I thought some elements were a bit predictable – not because I’d read it before, I couldn’t remember much at all, but because I’ve now read more and am used to different tropes. Still as I continue rereading the series I feel it’s getting better and better.
Fast-paced and creepy, Raven’s Gate does a good job at setting up the series but the best is still to come. 3/5.