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The Power of Fivenote  is a supernatural thriller series by Anthony Horowitz, author of the New York Times best-selling Alex Rider series. This is in fact a rewrite of his unfinished Pentagram series from the 1980, consisting in five books:

  • Raven's Gate
  • Evil Star
  • Nightrise
  • Necropolis
  • Oblivion

The story focuses on five 14-year-olds (Matt Freeman, Pedro, Jamie and Scott Tyler, and Scarlett) who are the reincarnations of five beings who saved the world from the Old Ones, ancient incarnations of evil who once ruled the world, by sealing them away into a hellish dimension only accessible in certain parts of the world. Unfortunately, a evil organization wishes to unlock those parts to release the Old Ones onto the world once more and become rulers of the world. Now it is up to Matt, Pedro, Jamie, Scott and Scarlet to prevent the world from falling into darkness once more.

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Raven's Gate: Matt Freeman is sent to a nice village after being arrested for stealing from a warehouse as part of a government program. However, things are not as they seem as a series of strange events leave him in strange danger. He cannot escape, he cannot contact anyone, and the roads out of the town loop. Along with a journalist called Richard Cole he meets, he discovers the townspeople are trying to unleash the Old Ones. Oh, and Matt finds out he is destined to save the world with his newfound telekinetic powers. Eventually they win. The novel as a whole seems inspired by Lovecraft and is essentially a fantasy horror story.

Evil Star: Matt and Richard travel to Peru to find the next of the Five. Richard is kidnapped. Matt meets a boy called Pedro who winds up being one of the Five. They find a lost city and try to foil a convoluted plot to bring back the Old Ones using a satellite. This book has a more fantasy themed plot.

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Nightrise: This book focuses on Jamie and Scott, telepathic twins who work at a playhouse in Reno, Nevada. One night, they are attacked by mysterious assailants. Jamie manages to get away, but Scott isn't so lucky. The former is saved by Alicia McGuire, an aid for a presidential candidate named John Trelawney, who needs Jamie to help her get her son back from prison. With a common goal, the two go to free their lost loved ones from prison, while the reader begins to learn about what life was like when the Old Ones ruled. This is the first book not to focus on Matt, although he does cameo in the ending.

Necropolis: Scarlett is introduced here after being teased in the Nightrise. Scarlett goes on a school trip to an ancient English church for her art class. It is there that she sees an apparition of Matt pass through an unusual door at the end of the hall. She follows him, only to find herself in Ukraine and in the hands of a satanic cult called the Monastery for the Cry for Mercy. She manages to escape, only to be plastered all over the news and revealed to the Nightrise organization, forcing her to head to Hong Kong to figure out Necropolis actually is. Meanwhile, the rest of the Five plan to save her when tragedy strikes, forcing Matt and Jamie to split up from Scott and Pedro and head to England.

Oblivion: Ten years after the events of Necropolis, the Five are once again separated from one another due to the destruction of the magical door as they were using it. Matt and Lohan are in Brazil, Richard and Scarlett are in Egypt, Jamie is trapped in a closed-off village in England, and Pedro and Scott are captured in Italy, where the Old Ones try to tempt Scott into joining them. The last dregs of humanity are gathering in Antarctica, preparing for the final battle against the Old Ones in the desolate land of Oblivion. But Matt has read his own book in the Library, and he knows that this ending may not necessarily be a happy one...


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: It is revealed in Matt's backstory that when he was taken under the 'care' of his Aunt Gwenda and her boyfriend, they spent all of his inheritance; after they lost all his money, they started beating him up. In Jamie and Scott's backstory, when things start to go bad for their adoptive parents, they start abusing them to the point where Scott snaps and tells the father figure to 'go hang himself'. Considering that the twins have the power of telepathy and mind control, this ends very badly. Oh, and let's not forget wonderful Uncle Don...
  • Action Survivor: Richard. Small-town journalist drawn into saving the world because Matt once called out telepathically for help. But he has followed Matt all over the world and done his best to protect him, without the benefit of training or powers, and is still alive as of the Bittersweet Ending of Oblivion.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Some characters come across less pleasantly than they did in the Pentagram series. For instance Matt is bullied at the beginning of the second book of The Power of Five, while he didn't have any problem with his classmates before they were frightened by his visions in Pentagram book 2. And in that same book, David Goodage (the original counterpart of William Morton) was far less mercenary, spending a great deal of his own money buying the diary for the purpose of destroying it, rather than picking it up for next to nothing in an old bookstore and then forcing The Nexus to pay for it (although he still wanted them to get it instead of Chaos).
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted, most of the prominent adults, such as Richard and the Nexus members, are quite competent and Genre Savvy, it's just that the kids are more competent.
  • All Myths Are True: Played with. More like "all cultures' ancestral magic is real."
  • America Saves the Day: Defied. The Old Ones are well aware of this trope, and rig the US presidential election so that it doesn't happen.
    • Despite this, the World Army that fights the Old Ones in South America is led by American Naval personal, although it's downplayed given that they don't end up contributing much compared to the main characters.
  • Anachronism Stew: The first war against the Old Ones happened 10,000 years ago, but humankind didn't invent writing until about 5,000 years ago, let alone steel swords and plate armor. This falls under Acceptable Breaks from Reality.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Scott and Jamie don't like to read minds for exactly this reason. Considering they're both fourteen and have lived in abusive families for most of their lives, it's understandable.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Most of the Old Ones are described as being vaguely similar to real animals, albeit building-sized, twisted and nightmarish, rather than being truly incomprehensible. That's why the Nazca Lines look so weird.
  • Anti-Villain: The Catholic priest from Oblivion who poisons Pedro stands out as pretty-much the only villain in the series to be tragically misguided rather than selfish or inherently evil.
  • Anyone Can Die: If you're an adult who has even met the Gatekeepers, you might as well start saying your prayers now. The only significant adult companions of the Five who survive more than one book are Richard Cole and Lohan. In fact, even the Gatekeepers themselves aren't safe - Scarlett and Pedro are the only ones who are never killed and then replaced by their past selves.
  • Apocalypse How: Planet Earth starts off in Oblivion as a Class 1 then then later becomes Class 2. However it is all but stated, especially in the Distant Finale, that humanity will eventually recover.
  • Arc Number: Five, of course, corresponding with the number of sides of a pentagram and the number of main characters.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Played straight and averted with both The Nexus and Nightrise recruiting rich people to their cause.
    • In Oblivion, Nightrise rewards the hundreds of the richest, most famous and most repulsive people that joined them by mutilating them into soldiers for the upcoming battle.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Horowitz takes a few liberties with the belief system of the Incas, several Native American myths, some Ancient Chinese legends and even the theology syllabus of Roman universities in order to work the cosmology of the series into them. Also, in a more nitpicky example, he claims that the five-pointed star symbol of the Gatekeepers has "nothing to do with Christianity", which isn't strictly true - a few examples of early Christian artwork do use a similar five-pointed star as a symbol of Christ. It would still be a bit odd to find it carved on a secret door in the Vatican, but it wouldn't be as unbelievable as the book implies.
    • The Incan tumi given to Richard is described as having a sharp point. Tumis do not have points; the blade is semicircular.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: All Five Gatekeepers, once the Old Ones are defeated for good, leave and live in the Dream World, which is implied to be the Afterlife.
  • Asshole Victim: The rich and powerful of Nightrise who helped the Old Ones bring the apocalypse in Oblivion are rewarded by forcibly mutilated and conscripted into the Old Ones' army.
  • Badass Boast: Two crackers from Shang Tsung:
Master of the Mountain: I do not recall how many men I have killed to be where I am now, but I would hazard a guess at 25.
Master of the Mountain: I mentioned that I had killed 25 men to attain my position. The man who asked me [if he would be willing to work for the Old Ones] was number 25.
  • Badass Bystander: Richard Cole. He rescues Matt from a bog and sets a Hell Hound on fire.
  • Badass Normal: Richard has moments where he's at least as competent as any of the Five. Oh, and then there's Lohan in the final book, who casually (and efficiently) murders his way across South America in his quest to survive and help Matt.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: The Nexus is a secret gathering of immensely wealthy and influential people, who pull all the strings they can to ensure that the Five Gatekeepers are protected and given the means to save the world.
  • Big Bad: Ultimately, Chaos, the King of the Old Ones, is this for the whole series. However, he spends most of his time as an off-screen Greater-Scope Villain while the humans trying to unleash him take the Big Bad role for each of the first four books:
    • Sir Michael Marsh in Raven's Gate.
    • Diego Salamanda in Evil Star.
    • The Chairman in Night Rise and Necropolis.
    • Finally, Chaos himself in Oblivion.
  • Big Good: Susan Ashwood, the de facto leader of Nexus.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sir Michael Marsh, Fabian and Anne Keyland.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The final book, "Oblivion", ends like this: the Old Ones have finally been defeated for good, but half the world's population has been wiped out in the process, including Matt and Scott, and it'll probably take humanity a long time to recover from the destruction the Old Ones caused. Also, all Five Gatekeepers decide to leave the world behind for the dream world.
  • Blind Seer: Susan Ashwood, the Big Good, of the I See Dead People variety.
  • Blood Magic: One of the things required to open Raven's Gate is Matt's blood, exactly the reason why he was adopted by Mrs. Deverill.
  • Body Horror: Diego Salamanda forcibly mutilated as a baby. His head was put between two planks and forced to grow up. By adulthood, his head was nearly twice as long as the average man and his face is equally deformed.
  • Break the Cutie: Pedro endures a lot of this in Oblivion, what with witnessing Scott's betrayal and being forced to swim though raw sewage. He then almost dies from poisoning when another of his supposed allies betrays him. There's only so much The Heart can take.
  • Burn the Witch!: Pulled off at the end of Raven's Gate in a dramatic fashion: with nukes!
  • Canon Foreigner: Numerous characters weren't in the original Pentagram series, most notably The Nexus and its leaders.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Richard is given a tumi knife by the Incas at the end of Evil Star, with the warning that he would come to "hate them" when he had to use it. Its purpose is unrevealed until the end of Oblivion, where Richard has to use it to kill Matt to spare him further suffering at the hands of the Old Ones after they were both captured. This allows Matt's past self to be summoned to the present, whose presence is instrumental to the second and final downfall of the Old Ones.
    • Also, the way the Old Ones were tricked the first time is, with a little variation, also their downfall the second time.
  • The Chessmaster: The Chairman of Nightrise Corporation is a pretty impressive example of this - he rigs a US presidential election, manages to capture two of the Five, takes over Hong Kong and already has a business empire that controls most of South East Asia.
    • Matt Freeman is perhaps the best example in the series, outwitting both the King of the Old Ones and the aforementioned Chairman.
    • The Master of the Mountain is another heroic example.
  • Chosen Ones: The Gatekeepers are this. With all the perks and mostly the downsides included in the package.
  • Cliffhanger: Anthony Horowitz must have really wanted to piss his readers off when he was planning out Necropolis, where in the end Scarlett gets shot and it is revealed to the reader that all five gatekeepers, who need to stay together in order to defeat the Old Ones, are going to be separated by even greater distances than before.
    • What made it worse was that we had to wait four years for Oblivion.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: All over the place. Most often, the kids get beaten up by whatever adults are gunning for them. But they also get more specific too. In Nightrise, Scott gets sleep-deprived and drugged until he becomes compliant, and in Oblivion, Pedro and Scott are captured by the Old Ones and deliberately starved and beaten instead of just killed.
  • Cool Gate: The Gates that keep the Old Ones at bay are kinda cool, once you look past how terrifying the entire concept is.
  • Cool Old Lady: Professor Joanna Chambers, the world's best expert on the Nazca Lines. As it turns out, however, the cool factor isn't quite enough to fend off the Old Ones.
    • Jayne Deverill is a villainous example.
  • Cosmic Keystones: The Gates.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The Nexus has identified members from England, Germany, America, Australia, France, China, Peru, and India. By the fifth book, Susan Ashwood mentions that they have agents in Egypt, Argentina and Saudi Arabia, and had also set up outposts in Japan and Turkey before those were wiped out.
  • Crapsack World: The past segment of Nightrise give a glimpse, and Oblivion shows in all its horror what the world looks like under the Old Ones' tyranny. It's an endless string of natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, plagues, refugees, crazed despots, dystopian police states and, of course, the occasional Eldritch Abomination attack.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: There's one in Jayne Deverill's house in Raven's Gate. It's supposedly of her distant ancestor...
  • Creepy Child: The children of Lesser Malling.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pedro. He's The Medic and The Heart, and the only one of the Five with no combat-useful superpowers. But when he has to, he's perfectly capable of escaping a Nightrise-run prison specifically designed to break his spirit, using a combination of Sherlock Scan, Batman Gambit, Impossible Thief and Groin Attack.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Matt, when the Old Ones torture him. He even gets a barbed wire necklace in imitation of the Crown of Thorns.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: There's quite a few, but Raven's Gate takes the cake. The thug in the beginning, Ms. Deverill's acid bath, being crushed in the hand of your god... Yeah.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Played straight with Matt, Pedro, Jamie, and Scott. Subverted with Scarlett, whose had the nicest life out of all five Gatekeepers.
  • Darker and Edgier: While Pentagram was plenty serious and gritty, it was more light-hearted overall, with plenty comedic moments and Richard being a bit of a Butt-Monkey. The Power of Five on the other hand, aims for a much more mature audience.
    • The series was pretty dark from the very start, but Oblivion is notably even moreso.
  • Dead Guy Junior: The epilogue of Oblivion reveals that Richard named his son "Matt" in memory of his friend. Holly notes that the boy does bare a striking resemblance to his namesake.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Richard Cole.
  • Defector from Decadence: Commander Cain provides an excellent example of this in Oblivion, having an inner monologue describing how America has been falling apart since the Old Ones returned, which is why he didn’t’ hesitate to abandon his official duties and go North to fight them. It's implied that this is also true of most of the other members of the World Army.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The main character experience a few, and Commander Cain is left pretty shaken and defeated after seeing half of his army wiped out by magic and Matt captured.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: This is what the Five are destined to do with the Old Ones. They pulled it off in their previous incarnation by sealing them behind the Gates. Matt, with a little help from Pedro, manages to single-handedly incapacitate them for a little while when they finally break free. Finally, due to a quirk of timing at the climax of Oblivion, the Five banish the Old Ones one last time and - just before the portal closes - the British Navy accidentally nukes Hell, and this seemingly kills or permanently imprisons them.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Colton Banes is The Dragon for most of Nightrise, but dies at almost the exact halfway point - immediately after shooting Jamie.
  • Disney Villain Death: In Raven's Gate, Mrs. Deverill falls to her doom when she is pushed by Richard off a railing into a tank of acid.
    • Noah falls through a hole in the floor that Matt made by loosening nails and covered with a rug, where he lands on his sickle and dies.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue to Oblivion features Holly, decades later and now an old woman, reminiscing on the time she spent with the Five and what became of them after they disappeared.
  • Downer Ending: Evil Star, and Necropolis. Nightrise, less so.
  • The Dragon:
    • Jayne Deverill in Raven's Gate.
    • Captain Rodriguez in Evil Star.
    • Susan Mortlake in Nightrise, with Colton Banes as her own Dragon.
    • The Chairman is the Big Bad in Nightrise and Necropolis, but he is this to the Old Ones.
    • the new Chairman in Oblivion, with Jonas Mortlake as his own Dragon.
  • Dream Land: The place where the Five can gather and speak no matter the distance and the language spoken. It contains the Magical Library compiling the destiny of everything and everyone.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The main villains are the Old Ones, god-like entities clearly inspired by H. P. Lovecraft that used to rule Earth before the humans defeated them ten thousand years ago and sealed them in another dimension. The Nazca Lines were created as the seal, and the animal shapes drawn into the Earth were actually representative of each of the Old Ones. The familiar animals being the closest approximation the human mind could come to the Old Ones' horrifying appearance.
    • Chaos takes the cake, being a mountain-tall, vaguely humanoid being covered in pure darkness, too gigantic to fully see and too Eldritch to fully concieve, who can appear as a constantly changing, gigantic mass of black fog, and whose few features described may just be how the character can process him. He does like to appear as a Humanoid Abomination, but that does not make it any better.
    • The portrait itself acts like a CCTV camera and even directs Matt to go to bed on one occasion.
    • The Diary of St Joseph of Cordoba has this effect on just about everything around it.
    • Many of the denizens of Hong Kong in Necropolis.
  • Eldritch Location: Several.
    • Whatever dimension is on the other side of the Gates.
    • Hong Kong is turned into one over the course of Necropolis
    • Anywhere that the influence of the Old Ones is particularly strong begins to smell awful and naturally repel people.
    • The enormous hidden ice palace in Antarctica that the King Of The Old Ones makes its base in after being summoned in Evil Star.
    • The Nazca Desert. Yes, the whole thing.
  • Empty Shell: Scott Tyler is one of these at the end of Nightrise. Probably understandable, considering he spent most of the book being tortured, both physically and mentally.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Triads may smuggle drugs and serve as assassins, but they're not about to let the Old Ones take over the world so easily.
    • Michael Marsh claims he doesn't like hurting children unnecessarily. This is fifteen minutes before he tries to cut Matt's heart out.
    • Lohan has this reaction when he sees a vivisected child being prepared for use as a 'drug mule'. He admits to using kids to smuggle drugs, but compensates them generously.
    • The treacherous Fabian objects to Salamanda's men wanting to kill Matt in Evil Star. It gets him killed faster than you can say Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves, or No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Old Ones have this effect.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In Oblivion, the cannibalistic villagers of Little Moulsford attack the Chaos-following policeman. Holly is left wondering it was because they'd heard about the massacre said policemen had carried out and either wanted revenge or feared a similar fate, or if "they saw a year's supply of prime steak inside those blue uniforms".
  • Face Death with Dignity: Surprisingly, the later servants of the Old Ones do this. This is probably to show the difference between the rather quaint Lesser Malling folk and serious players like Nightrise Corp:
    • Father Gregory calmly walks out of a window when he is informed that he has failed the Old Ones by letting Scarlett escape.
    • The Chairman simply stands, sipping his fine cognac, watching his death coming all the while.
    • Colton Banes is nonchalantly prepared to accept being executed as punishment for his failure to capture Jamie, admitting he did make a few mistakes, which is why Susan Mortlake chooses to spare him and instead kill his Never My Fault partner.
    • Heroic examples of this trope are Professor Chambers and Matt.
  • Familiar: Asmodeus, Mrs Deverill's cat, is implied to be one as well. And a demonic one at that. It not only perfectly understands English, it apparently survives being shot with a shotgun, is implied to have killed Tom Burgess, and follows Matt around. It is also unaccounted for at the end of Raven's Gate...
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: All over the place.
    • Sir Michael Marsh is crushed to death by the King of the Old Ones, the very one he dedicated his entire life to.
    • Jayne Deverill falls into a vat of acid and is graphically dissolved to death.
    • Claire Deverill is burnt to death by radiation.
    • Diego Salamanda has his neck broken when he falls over and his oversized head hits the ground wrong.
    • Mrs. Cheng has her head chopped off by two Triad hitmen.
    • Both Nightrise chairmen get pretty brutally impaled - one by a boat and one by a falling stactite.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sir Michael Marsh and both Nightrise Chairmen. They speak perfectly cordially and with quite aristocratic poise, but don't even try to hide their hatred, scorn and fanaticism.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Old Ones influence hundreds of condors to attack the heroes in Evil Star.
  • Five-Token Band: Matt is the only white Gatekeeper. Pedro is South American, Scarlett is Chinese, and Jamie and Scott are both Native Americans.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Scott had several of these, after a nice spell of Mind Rape and Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Flies Equals Evil: When they are part of the Old Ones and can assemble to shape-shift, you bet they do.
  • For the Evulz: It's explicitly mentioned that the Old Ones literally feed on human misery - so they don't just want to destroy mankind, but to make sure that humanity's end is as drawn-out and agonizingly painful as possible.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Not quite mad, but William Morton is clearly terrified and unhinged after reading the diary of Joseph Cordoba and discovering the truth about the Old Ones and what they'd do to the world if they ever break through the gates. Discoveriving that they have modern followers who want to bring them back and are prepared to kill him for the diary probably didn't help.
  • Go Out with a Smile: William Morton. after seeing proof that Matt is one of the Five immediately after being fatally stabbed.
  • Good Shepherd: a rarity in the series, but one of the Nexus leaders is a Catholic Bishop, and is dedicated to their cause despite doubting the existence of the Old Ones. Also, Reverend Johnstone, one of the villagers in Oblivion, while a bit of a ditherer, is a kind-hearted man who votes against turning Jamie over to the Dirty Cop.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Old Ones are the source of all evil and the driving force of the conflict, but they almost never enter the fray by themselves, preferring acting through their corrupt followers.
  • Green Rooming : The story starts off with Matt, who then vanishes after book 2, gets a brief mention in book 3, and then is gone for the first half of book 4.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Scott spends most of Nightrise being tortured by the Old Ones but seemingly redeems himself at the end, only to join Nightrise in the final book, before finally rejoining the Gatekeepers at the cost of his own life.
  • Hell Gate: What the Five Gatekeepers are there to guard and - when necessary - create.
  • The Hero Dies: Matt.
  • Hero of Another Story: Most of the members of Nexus for the series as a whole, and The World Army in Oblivion.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Egyptian freedom fighters in Oblivion, to Richard's disgust.
  • Hidden Elf Village: the village where Jamie comes through a gate in Oblivion after the Time Skip is an example of one of these fallen on hard times.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Jones Mortlake makes this argument in Oblivion. The series plays the trope straight with Nightrise and worshippers of the Old Ones, but averts it just as well with Nexus and the allies, showing humanity's best and worst aspects at the same time.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Chaos appears as one in his last two appearances, looking like a huge, featureless humanoid shape in a dark armour, who cuts its way in out of the very fabric of space and absorbs everything around as he moves.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: All five of the kids wish this at some point.
    • Richard occasionally does this too, as it's implied he has some role in taking down the Old Ones. It turns out that his role was actually to stab his best friend in the heart.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Quite a few, given the nature of the series, including Pedro, Jamie, Scott, Scarlet, Professor Chambers, the Nightrise Chairman, certain members of The Nexus, the Incas, Lohan, Holly, The Traveller, and Commander Cain.
  • I See Dead People: The Big Good Susan Ashwood is a powerful medium, who can chat with the dead as easily as with any visitor.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: A village of cannibals shows up for one chapter of Oblivion.
  • Ignored Expert: Zigzagged in Oblivion, when The Traveller whose also a ember of Nexus, and therefore not only far more knowledgeable about the situation than they realize, but also invested in keeping Jamie safe. gives a speech about what it's like outside the village and why they shouldn't remind the outside world that they exist by contacting anyone. Sir Ian Ingram reluctantly agrees and casts the deciding vote in Jamie's favor, but one of the other council members contacts Eleanor Strake anyway, bringing the Chaos-following policemen to the village.
  • Immune to Bullets: Holly's first reaction to seeing Chaos is to empty his pistol into him, though it does jack squat to the demon but she scores many points for trying.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Both Nightrise chairmen. The CEO, however, just gets normal-impaled.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Matt and Richard's friendship could be viewed this way. It doesn't end well.
  • It's Up to You: Generally averted, as all five of the Gatekeepers need to be present in order to defeat the Old Ones. It is subverted at the end of Oblivion, when the only one who can save the Five is, of all people, Scott, who pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to unlock the doors and allow Jamie and Pedro to reach Oblivion.
  • Kidnapped by an Ally: Richard in Evil Star by the Inca. although to Matt, it looks like a straight-up kidnapping.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: What Richard has to do with the Tumi.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: He isn't happy about it, but Commander Cain pulls out of Antartica near the end of Oblivion due to his army having lost half of their soldiers and most of their morale in a defeat at the hands of Chaos, and running low on food and medical supplies for everyone whose left. Although he does authorize a parting missile launch at the Old Ones citadel.
  • La Résistance: The Nexus, combined with a bit of Omniscient Council of Vagueness.
  • Lawful Stupid: Sir Ian Ingram in Oblivion initially wants to turn Jamie over to the police, despite many some very good reasons on why that would be a bad idea, simply because his face is on a wanted poster that's ten years old, although he is convinced otherwise by The Traveller's speech.
  • The Legions of Hell: The Old Ones.
  • Lovable Rogue: Zack Martins, in Oblivion, an Australian smuggler who flew guns for at least one faction of freedom fighters, dreams of retiring in Alice Springs, and flies Richard and Scarlett to Antartica with his pilot, Larry. Larry himself is mostly a subversion, being an Ungrateful Bastard, but he is impressed enough by Scarlett's powers to see the necessity of taking them there, and also says goodbye to the two later on.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Powerful and incomprehensible as the Old Ones are, the Five and their allies can occasionally whoop dey asses. Case in point, they end up defeated.
  • Made of Evil: The Old Ones, each and everyone of them no matter the rank. Chaos of course takes the cake, and the whole bakery while he is at it.
  • Mercy Kill: Present!Matt is killed this way by Richard, after being captured and tortured by the Old Ones.
  • Messianic Archetype: Matt. Both of him.
    • Also played with in the dreamworld. Matt finds a library, and the librarian is a friendly Middle Eastern man with shoulder-length dark hair, a beard, and sandals. He then provides some straightforward and helpful advice about how the books work, but leaves it up to Matt to choose. The implication is obvious.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Professor Chambers is mortally wounded by zombies and dies not too long into Necropolis.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Commander Strake and Field Marshall Akkad in Oblivion.
  • More Than Mind Control: This is what Susan Mortlake does to Scott in Nightrise, essentially.
  • Mugging the Monster: Occurs early in Raven's Gate,when someone tries to mug Mrs. Deverill, Matt's new foster parent. She's a Wicked Witch who mind rapes him into committing suicide with his knife. One inch at a time.
  • Narrator All Along: Holly, at the end of Oblivion.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Nightrise.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Professor Chambers breaks out a gun when servants of the Old Ones come for Matt, Pedro and the twins.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In Raven's Gate Superintendent Mallory and Mr. Burgess the neighboring farmer both help Matt against the villagers of Less Malling but die for it. Also, several members of the Nexus throughout the series.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The modus operandi of the Old Ones, who not only wish to wipe out all life on earth but to also draw it out as long as possible.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Downplayed with the Nexus (who become the backers of the heroes). In Raven's Gate, they meet to discuss the signs that the Old Ones are returning. Their conversation, goals, and allegiance are initially cryptic, but are established by the end of the scene and fully explained by the end of the book.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted; there are two separate characters named Susan.
  • Over Shadowed By Awesome: The World Army is made up of elite soldiers from every country in the world who came to Antartica to fight the Old Ones and restore balance, but the story belongs to the Gatekeepers, and not them.
  • Path of Inspiration: Every great religion becomes this after the Old Ones openly take over, with their highest hierarchy worshipping them. Granted, it is not known whether they do it out of survival or conviction, and many lower ranked shepherds still go against them.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Scarlett definitely gives off this vibe at the end of Necropolis, when she all but destroys Hong Kong. Matt can become this - when Richard sees his older, more experienced past incarnation in Oblivion, he sees no reason to assume that the kid is incapable of parting the seas or rending apart the sky.
  • Phony Psychic: All of the other performers in Scott and Jamie’s show in Nightrise (Two acts are even the same fraud with the guy using a fake beard in one of them). Subverted with the twins themselves, and Susan Ashwood, who are the real deal.
  • Police Are Useless: Zigzagged. David Tarrant is a senior member of Scotland Yard who sits on the Nexus council and is a a competent ally, and Superintendent Mallory from Raven's Gate is a Reasonable Authority Figure with a good head on his shoulders. But most of the other cops who appear (especially outside of England) are loyal to Chaos.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Richard executes this successfully in Oblivion with two identical cars, one of which contains a bomb.
  • Portal Network: There are twenty-five doors, all in sacred places around the world, which the Five can use for this purpose. Two in different churches in England, one in a Tuscan monastery, one in the Ukrainian Monastery of the Cry for Mercy, one in a Native American sacred cave, one in an Inca sacred site in Peru, one in a temple in Hong Kong, one in an Italian church, one in the Vatican, one in Mecca, one in the Pyramids of Giza, one in a Brazilian temple, one in a rock wall in Oblivion, Antarctica... which is apparently sacred to someone... and a bunch of others at unspecified locations. They're sacred because the portal networks are there. The reason there's no church in Antarctica is, well, There's no one to find it sacred.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Probably in several instances, but most notably with Matt at the end of Evil Star. Even put him in a Convenient Coma, to show off Pedro's power.
  • Reality-Writing Book: Matt finds a library in the dreamworld that contains already-written biographies of everyone on Earth. He has the chance to read his own, but holds off for fear of what it will say.
    • Eventually, he reads it to find out what he has to do. He's rather saddened by the fact that it isn't even one hundred and fifty pages.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Nexus members, who do whatever they can to help The Five, and also come up with some plans and strategies of their own. Commander Cain tries to be this in Oblivion but has limited success. Reverend Johnstone and the Flint's for the village council. The Native American shaman, Inspector Mallory, Han Shan Tung and the Inca elder are also authority figures who aid the five.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After betraying the other Gatekeepers to the Old Ones, Scott regrets his actions and sacrifices himself to open the portal at Antarctica after it was sealed by the Old Ones, allowing Pedro and Jaime to reach the other Gatekeepers and put a stop to the Old Ones.
  • Refusal of the Call: Matt tries to do this several times, but no avail. Why? Because he and the others just can't fight fate.
  • Reincarnation: The Five have lived ten thousands years ago, and are reborn now, with the exact same looks and powers but without the memories. When one dies in his time, their double from the past or the future replaces them.
  • The Remake: The Power of Five is actually a rewrite of Horowitz's earlier series Pentagram, originally published in the late eighties; specifically, Raven's Gate was a rewrite of The Devil's Doorbell, Evil Star of The Night of the Scorpion, Nightrise of The Silver Citadel and Necropolis of Day of the Dragon. (The Pentagram Chronicles ended prematurely without the final book being released, so Oblivion has no original counterpart.)
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: So how are the hundreds of people who joined Nightrise and screwed over humanity rewarded? By being horrifically mutilated into soldiers for the Old Ones' army.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • In Raven's Gate, a museum security guard flees at the first signs of dark magic rather than try to fight it or spread the alarm. This saves his life.
    • In Necropolis, many residents of Hong Kong are fleeing the city and refusing to say why as the Old Ones take over.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Scott, with good reason.
  • Shout-Out: In Evil Star Matt goes to a school with teachers named Mr. King, after Stephen King, and Mr. O'Shaugnessy, named after the real name of Darren Shan.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Scott does an effective version of this to Jonas Mortlake in Oblivion by using his powers to hurt him while pointing out to him that Scott is far less expendable for Nighrise's purposes than Mortlake himself.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Scott is an arguably sympathetic example.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: William Morton is a fairly minor character, only appearing a few times in Evil Star, but it was his discovery of Joseph Cordoba's diary which led to Chaos's followers finding the second gate once they got the diary, and he it is the test he demands of Matt that also lets both Matt and the readers witness the power of the gatekeepers for the first time.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Anthony Horowitz's unfinished Pentagram series from the 1980s.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome/ Sacrificial Lion: Professor Chambers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Albert Remy, one of the few Nexus members to appear in person, is this to Nexus Council member Danton (although apparently both served on the council at the same time and Remy was just never singled out before Oblivion).
  • Take Over the World: The goal of Nightrise.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: The Five can do this. They all meet in their dreams before any of them meet in real life.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: In Evil Star, when Pedro and Matt first meet; granted, Pedro tried to steal Matt's watch, so...
  • Theme Twin Naming: Subverted in Jamie and Scott's case; their first names came from the box in which they were found and their last from the doctor who checked them out.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: Downplayed early on Oblivion. The Dragon gathers his faction's various wealthy supporters, lays out his plan, and shoots the first man to protest. Of course, his plan involves drafting all of them as soldiers and subjecting them to painful and potentially fatal surgical augmentations before sending them on suicide missions (largely For the Evulz). Also, the people who aren't shot don't so much agree as wail helplessly while they're dragged from the room by force.
  • Time Abyss: The Librarian, and the Old Ones also count.
  • Timeskip: The beginning of Oblivion features a 10-year time skip from Necropolis.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Lohan in Oblivion. Arguably Scott, too.
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: The dream world has a library that holds the book of every persons who has ever lived (and possibly who will live). Each book tells the entire life story of that person from birth to death. Matt reads his in order to find out how to defeat the Old Ones.
  • Torture Technician: Susan Mortlake.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Lesser Malling in the first book. The secret is that all the villagers are working to open a gate which will let the Old Ones, and the protagonist is one of the five tasked with making sure that such things don't happen.
    • There's also a village of cannibals in the last book.
  • Triads and Tongs: Due to Even Evil Has Standards, they're the good guys for once!
  • True Companions: Matt and Richard develop into this. After meeting in the first book, Richard accompanies him everywhere, ostensibly for writing material, but really because someone needs to look after these kids.
  • Twin Telepathy: Jaime and Scott Tyler's power; both can read minds but decided to read each other's minds instead of other people's because of the evil thoughts humanity can possess.
  • Uncertain Doom: Several of Holly's fellow villagers, such as Sir Ian Ingram and the Flint's, aren't killed onscreen, although it's heavily implied she was the only survivor.
  • Vice President Who?: The epilogue implies that Commander Cain became one of these in the aftermath of the Old Ones defeat.
  • Voluntary Shape Shifting: Some of the mightiest Old Ones are able to assume a human aspect.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Several of the villains who impede the collective progress of the Five in Oblivion aren't even working for the Old Ones; they're just taking advantage of the chaos they cause. Examples include the Sheik who tries to marry Scarlett, the cannibals, the slave-drivers who capture Matt and Lohan, and the priest who tries to kill Pedro.
  • Wasteland Elder: Several such characters appear in the fifth book, after a Time Skip and ten years of war, famine, and Apocalypse Anarchy.
    • Sir Ian Ingram is the oldest and most serious person in Holly's village (which has been spared from the recent horrors by its isolation). He is the leader of the seven-member town council and the author of the code of laws they live by. He's a sour ditherer with some Lawful Stupid moments, but the main characters are able to reason with him during his brief page time when it comes to making important decisions.
    • Susan Ashwood, a Blind Seer and member of the Benevolent Conspiracy featured in the previous books, leads a group of people living in a bunker, hiding from the Old Ones and their servants.
    • Fifty-ish Major Michael Higham is the leader of a village eking out an existence several miles downriver from Holly's village. It turns out that they've survived by becoming a Cannibal Clan.
  • Wicked Witch: Jayne Deverill, full stop.
  • World of Symbolism: Matt is Jesus, the dream world is Heaven, and the lady that Scar saw in the Library is the Virgin Mary. Scott could also be seen as Judas.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Commander Cain shows some of this, fighting demons with tactics better suited for human opponents, although he’s smart enough to use Scarlett's magic to provide cover in the form of an ice storm.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Rule number 1 of this series.
    • There is even a Librarian who guards the records and life stories of every being that's ever existed. Naturally, he isn't very helpful, at least in Necropolis.


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