The Power of Five

Thoughts on… Binge Reading a Book Series

A few months ago in September I started rereading The Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz for the ReReadathon 2.0. The main reason I wanted to reread that series was because I had never read the fifth and final book in the series and really wanted to see how it all ends.

I was doing well, I read and reviewed three out of five books but when I got to the fourth book I struggled to get more than 70 pages into it. I had got bored of the series. I was disappointed in this but I’m not surprised.

I have big problems with binge reading series’. It has happened to me before, I read three or four books and then I just can’t seem to continue. The story and the characters just seem too much the same and no matter how much I’m enjoying what’s happening I just get a bit apathetic towards it.

I’ve found that if I want to read a series, it is best if I space them out a bit. I’ve been taking part in The Lunar Chronicles (Re)Readalong so I’ve been reading (for the first time) one book in the series a month and I read completely different books in-between. This has worked out really well for me. I can enjoy each book but don’t get bored because I’m not in the same world for a long period of time.

I’ve left it a little while so that I can go back to the fourth book in The Power of Five series with the story still pretty fresh in my mind but I’ve had enough of a break and read other things in the meantime that it should be OK. I’ve got a few other books that I really want to read before the year is out so maybe I’ll try book four in January.

Does anyone else have problems with binge reading book series? I know it’s a big thing in the world of book blogging and booktube but it’s something I’ve found I just can’t do without getting bored of a series that I’d usually have no problem loving.

REVIEW: Nightrise by Anthony Horowitz

Night Rise ElenaSquareEyesFourteen-year-old twins Jamie and Scott Tyler perform a mind-reading act in a dingy theatre Reno, All the other acts our fake but theirs is real. When a sinister corporation kidnaps Scott, Jamie is left alone for the first time in his life. As he struggles to find his brother, taking any leads he comes across, Jamie learns he and Scott are a part of a bigger world, a world with powers and the evil Old Ones.

As this is a sequel, there may be some vague spoilers for the first two books in the series, Raven’s Gate and Evil Star, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.

This is the first book in the series that Matt isn’t the main character so it’s a bit weird to start with because you are suddenly with new characters that don’t know anything about the Old Ones and as the reader you know more about them and what is likely to happen than they do.

Jamie has a great story arc in Nightrise, he starts out a bit of a wimp and naïve as his twin brother Scott is the one who has always looked after him and made all the decisions. But when Scott is taken, Jamie slowly gains confidence in his ability to look after himself and in planning what to do next. Jamie’s relationship with Alicia is almost like a mother-son relationship. Alicia is a woman who is searching for her missing son Danny who she believes was taken by the same people that took Scott. Jamie opens up to Alicia and trusts her and they work together to find Scott and Danny. Alicia proves to be very smart and loyal and she’s not afraid to get in trouble with the police to help Jamie. Alicia’s just plain awesome. (more…)

REVIEW: Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz

Evil Star ElenaSquareEyesMatt thought his troubles were over when he managed to close Raven’s Gate but really they were just beginning. When news of a second gate in Peru reaches him, Matt travels there with journalist Richard Cole but they are soon separated and Matt is in danger. On the streets of Lima, Matt meets Pedro, they don’t speak the same language but their fates are entwined as Pedro is special like Matt. Together they are Two of the Gatekeepers and they are stronger together than they are apart.

As this is a sequel, there may be some vague spoilers for the first book Raven’s Gate but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.

In Evil Star Matt now knows who is and it makes him more likeable as even though he’s still a teenager who makes mistakes, he has become more resourceful and willing to believe in his role as a Gatekeeper. Matt still doesn’t have full control of his powers though so when he’s separated from Richard he really struggles until he meets Pedro. (more…)

REVIEW: Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Raven's Gate ElenaSquareEyesMatt 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.

WWW Wednesday – 16 September 2015

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It’s a simple meme where you just have to answer three questions:
– What are you currently reading?
– What did you recently finish reading?
– What do you think you’ll read next?

I think it’s a great way to share my recent reads as my reviews are always way behind what I’m actually reading.

So here’s my answers!

What am I currently reading?
Night Rise by Anthony HorowitzNight Rise ElenaSquareEyes
As it’s the ReReadathon I’m rereading The Power of Five series. Night Rise is the third book of five and even though I only started it yesterday and it is 400 pages long I’m making good headway with it. It’s a bit odd being with new characters as in the previous two books the focus has been on Matt so not following him was a bit strange to start with but that being said it’s great to learn about Scott and Jamie who are two of the Five.

What did I recently finish reading?Evil Star ElenaSquareEyes
Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz
The second book in The Power of Five series is my favourite so far and it’s actually the one that I could remember the most about even though it’s been almost 10 years since I first read it. The last third in the Nazca Desert is action-packed and what happens with the Nazca lines was pretty scary and one of the things that always stuck out about this series.

What do I think I’ll read next?
Necropolis by Anthony HorowitzNecropolis ElenaSquareEyes
And continuing the ReReadathon with the fourth book in the series! I really want to power through these now, even though they are now getting longer and more complicated with more characters, because I’ve never read Oblivion (the fifth and final book in the series) and really want to see how it all ends.

ReReadathon 2.0

I have decided to sign up for the ReReadathon which runs for two weeks from 7th September and is hosted by An Armchair By The Sea.

I’m going to use the ReReadathon to return to an old favourite series. The Power of Five by Anthony Horowitz was one of my favourite series as a teenager but there was such a gap between book four and the final book in the series that I don’t know how it ends. The first book was released in 2005 and one book a year was released until 2008 when the fourth book was released, then there was the big wait till 2012 for the fifth and final book! Needless to say when that book came out I couldn’t remember much about the series at all and of course there was the obligatory cover change since there was such a gap in the series (WHY?!). My memory of the series is that it features five kids that discover they have powers or that they are reincarnated and together they can stop these old gods. At least that’s what I think the series entails.

FullSizeRender (100)

So I hope to read at least two of the books from the series during the ReReadathon. I won’t necessarily focus all my reading during the two weeks on the challenge but I do want to re-read a couple and see if I still like the series enough to continue and to see how it finally ends – I hope I do.

Let me know if you’ve read The Power of Five series and what you think of it – I’m intrigued to see how it all ends and if it’s as good as I remember.