First published in 2005 by Scholastic Press
Matt is being punished for a crime he saw, but didn't commit. Instead of being locked up, he is being sent to the middle of nowhere to live with a new foster mom, as part of a government scheme called The Leaf Project. But Matt's new home provides anything but peace and quiet. His new guardian is involved in very sinister things . . . and the whole town seems to be on her side. Everybody who tries to help Matt winds up disappearing . . . or dead. The truth is much bigger than Matt or the town -- but Matt is the only person who can stop the ultimate evil from being unleashed.
I figured I would take a break from older romances and listen to some older YA novels. This book has been sitting on my MP3 player for months. After listening, I wish I had not waited so long to try it out. I thoroughly enjoyed Raven's Gate. It reminded me of one of those movies from the 60s where the newcomer moves to a strange town and everyone seems to be crazy. Something weird is going on and the newcomer can't find anyone to trust. This book is pretty creepy and kept me engaged right through to the end.
I liked Matt. Despite his delinquency record, he is actually a good kid who has just had a crappy life since his parents died. There is also something special about him. I admired his strength given he is only 14 years old. The evil characters were well written and definitely gave me the creeps.
As a parent, would probably keep this to the over 14 crowd. It is a bit violent, but nothing a high schooler haven't seen in a video game or recently in the Hunger Games movie and books. There are supposed to be a total of 5 books. The fifth one is supposed to come out later this year. If you haven't discovered Raven's Gate yet, give it a shot. I know I will be seeking out the other books in the series.