A RUTHLESS KIDNAPPING
Jack West Jr and his family are living happily on their remote farm… when Jack is brutally kidnapped and he awakes in an underground cell to find a masked attacker with a knife charging at him.
THE GREAT GAMES
Jack, it seems, has been chosen – along with a dozen other elite soldiers – to compete in a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfill an ancient ritual.
With the fate of the Earth at stake, he will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight cruel assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him like he has never been tested before.
TO HELL AND BACK
In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: The Four Legendary Kingdoms.
He might also discover that he is not the only hero in this place…
First off, let me be honest: reading a fiction novel not written by Matthew Reilly is like walking through a cave filled with precarious debris and rowdy miners, but every now and then you’ll end up bumping your head on the ceiling or tripping over a loose piece of wood.
You’re pretty much forced to sift through all that rubble until you find what is you were looking for: that golden reprieve about a character called Jack West Jr (or Shane Scofield for those like me who dig the fearsome Scarecrow) who makes Indiana Jones look like a rookie.
What Reilly did this time, though, was hand you a nice cold one when he had Jack West Jr and the Scarecrow team up in the bloodiest competition of the year! Ingrained in Reilly’s brilliant mythos are the legends of Hercules, Hades, and Zeus – to name a few.
Clive Cussler? David Baldacci? Tom Clancy?
Sure, in all fairness all three have their specialty fields of fiction would satisfy any adrenaline-junkie when they dive through the pages.
But they don’t have the kind of characters Reilly has.
Reilly writes with an ease that makes the craft look oh-so-easy. His characters have strong connections with the reader, invoking a sense of adventure few authors these days do – the majority I have come across would rather dazzle with fantastic landscapes or architecture, whereas I feel that Reilly reignites that sense of excitement and daring he puts his characters through. There’s plenty of danger, not to forget, but there’s more than 2-dimensional perspectives about both the protagonists and antagonists.
By adding his own personal touch to the lore revolving around the ancient gods and their challenges, in The Four Legendary Kingdoms Reilly easily dispels common myth from fiction, giving additional layers to what we originally perceived as folklore. I like reading about Hercules beheading the hydra as much as anyone, but Reilly twists the concept on its head and not only gives it a figurative kick in the shin, he also inputs some intellectual know-how (read the book. You’ll know what I mean.)
You have people stabbing each other in the eye, blasting rockets at enemy cars on a racetrack, and shoving opponents down wells in which some unlucky bastard falls to his death.
What’s the icing on the cake about this particular novel?
The novel is the icing and the cake, oh boy, is Reilly’s awesome arsenal of books.