Necropolis - a deathly, gripping page-turner


The first week back after the break has been good, despite being extremely tiring! A while ago I finished Necropolis, an excellent book by Anthony Horowitz. Necropolis is Horowitz's latest book, released the day before Hallowe'en last year. It is the fourth book in the Power of Five series (or The Gatekeepers in the USA) - based on an unfinished series by Horowitz called Pentagram. The series follows five teenagers - Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scarlett - who are the eternal Five, and they must protect the world from the Old Ones; the previous inhabitants of Earth, who are attempting to reclaim their territory. In the previous books the Old Ones have tried to enter the Earth through different gates; so far in Lima (Peru) and Yorkshire.

In this book we get to know the last one of the Five; Scarlett Adams, from Dulwich, a sleepy London village-like suburb. Her world is turned upside-down when strange things start to happen - she dreams of the Dreamworld, a supernatural world in which the Five meet, and on a class trip to St Meredith's church, she finds a door which leads to a monastery in Ukraine, where she is locked up and is prepared to be taken to the Old Ones. She finds out that she is one of the Five, and horrible events begin when she is summoned to Hong Kong by her father, who works for Nightrise - a company which works for the Old Ones. Hong Kong is a city which is plagued by a mysterious pollution, and the whole city is dying. There is no colour, no enjoyment - practically no life; hence the title of the novel. The city is controlled by the Old Ones, and she literally walks straight into their trap. She finds out that there is an organisation that has been protecting her since her birth, but she is eventually captured by the Old Ones. Three other members of the Five are frantically looking for her, and they are also trapped in Hong Kong. In the Dreamworld, Scarlett has seen a dragon storming towards Hong Kong, and the dragon's breath* becomes a reality - she can control the weather... The dramatic ending and escape of the Five is a real cliffhanger, and really, really leaves the reader wanting more.

Necropolis (the Greek for City of Death) is one of those books that you pick up and can't stop reading - it is filled with continuous adventure and is absolutely fantastic. Horowitz is one of my favourite authors, and I was really chuffed when I found a signed copy of the book in Waterstones! But it's a real disappointment to hear that Horowitz is planning on releasing the next (final) book in a few years! If you do decide to read the series, I hope you enjoy it!

*Dragon's breath is a Chinese metaphor meaning storm.