Friday, June 1, 2007

Nightrise, by Anthony Horowitz

Forgive me, but this review is a little off the beaten track, in two ways:

1) Nightrise, by Anthony Horowitz, is not on the list of books that I am supposed to be reading for this project.

2) The content of Nightrise is pretty unusual; basically, the plot entails an encounter between two twin, telepathic brothers and an international corporation called Nightrise. This corporation seeks to spread chaos across the globe and restore to power hugely evil "Old Ones," conceived centuries and centuries ago, who promise to suck the life out of all humankind.

Pretty far out, huh?

Even though Nightrise is a little out there, it is an excellent book, by one of my favorite authors. When I saw it recently in a bookstore, I couldn't resist purchasing it, especially since both of my sons have read the first two books in the series (The Gatekeepers in the US, the Power of Five in the UK) and we are all nuts about it.

If you are looking for something beyond Harry Potter, something a little more edgy and sensational, Horowitz is a good choice. His compelling action plots, strong writing, and intermittent commentary on the contemporary world make his books a favorite with many teen and adult readers.

This is my favorite passage in the book. It involves an explanation of the political context in which the novel unfolds:

"'The current vice president and the chief of staff both used to work for Nightrise before they went into politics. When they leave the White House, whoever wins the next election, they'll go back on the board. Nightrise has about three hundred companies around the world and many of them do work for the U.S. government. There's one that manufactures bombs. The bombs are dropped. Then there's another one that's hired to rebuild the cities that the bombs destroyed. You see what I mean? Business and politics go hand in hand.'"

Does this sound like a U.S. vice president and larger political situation that you know?

My obvious political bias aside, this is a great thriller, one that teachers will abhor, but teens and early adolescents--especially boys--will adore. The book is only available in hardback right now, but expect to see it in paperbook soon, and on the list of best books for young adults next year.

No comments: