Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the tag “Matthew Reilly”

Lying about books you’ve (not) read

book-pic

As with most things Hank and John Green are involved with, I have become a fan of Mentalfloss. Their recent article on embarrassing things we all do was interesting, but had one point in it that made me think “what the hell is wrong with you people”.

By “you people” I obviously mean it in the pejorative dissociative sense, in that I’m not having a shot at you, or Mentalfloss, just the ubiquitous and ethereal “them” and “you”. Unless of course what I’m about to write does hit home, in which case, stop it now!

One of the items listed as an embarrassing thing that everyone does, was people claiming to have read books and watched movies they haven’t in order to appear more intelligent. I have previously discussed the list of books people claim to have read and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve haven’t read certain “classics”. I do have to admit to having claimed to have read a book I haven’t, To Kill a Mockingbird (still on my TBR pile), but that is also why I’m coming out against the practice.

And that is the point I wish to make here, there is no shame in not having read a classic book or watched a classic film. Maybe you don’t like extraordinarily long and self-indulgent wedding scenes in a movie (Deer Hunter). Maybe you don’t like novels with more than 450 main characters (War and Peace has over 500). There isn’t any shame in that. And how many “classics” have gone unread because they were in the wrong language, poorly translated, never got published, or just lucked out (John Green made mention of this recently).

Essentially we are worried about our subjective taste disagreeing with someone else’s subjective taste. The stupidity here is that we are being judged for something we haven’t done, rather than a strong opinion one way or the other on the actual topic. If we came out and said “Well, I hated 1984, it was rubbish” or conversely “Well, I loved 1984, and anyone who says it’s rubbish is a poo-poo head” we’d get into deep arguments about the relative merits of the novel. That is perfectly acceptable. But if we say “I haven’t read that one (yet)” or “Never seen it” then the response is something along the lines of calling us crazy, implying we have lived too sheltered a life, and/or that we have missed out on something great.

They could be right, of course. We may have missed out on the single most impressive book or movie ever. Our lives may be dramatically improved by reading or watching the work in question.

Or not.

The reality is that it really doesn’t matter. Some people will never have enjoyed a Jack Reacher adventure, or clung to the edge of their seat reading a Matthew Reilly novel, because they have been busy reading all the “great literary works”. Who is to say that their choice of entertainment was superior? Some people prefer to watch sports: are they any less entertained?

I think we have to stop pretending that our subjective opinions are something to be ashamed of. Like what you like, don’t be ashamed to say so either. I’m always amazed at the number of closeted Buffy fans there are, which only shows how damaging this mindset of “worthiness” is.

From Cracked.com

From Cracked.com

Book review: The Tournament by Matthew Reilly

The TournamentThe Tournament by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just about everyone has already commented how this novel is a departure for Matthew Reilly. It’s still unmistakably a Matthew Reilly novel, but instead of a thriller, this is a mystery novel.

Whilst this was an enjoyable novel, I can’t rate it as highly as his others. The key to enjoying the change in Reilly’s murder mystery cum chess tournament is to remember this is a mystery and not a thriller. Seriously, some of the reviews I’ve seen sound like they were expecting Scarecrow to time travel back at any moment and start shooting mutant monkeys, and were annoyed when that didn’t happen.

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Book Reviews: Velocity by Steve Worland

Velocity (Judd Bell & Corey Purchase, #1)Velocity by Steve Worland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whenever there is a new thriller author on the block, especially if they are Australian, there is always someone drawing a comparison to Matthew Reilly. You can just about guarantee that this comparison will be drawn by someone who hasn’t read Matthew Reilly’s books or hasn’t read the new author’s book/s. Finally there is an author with whom this comparison is valid.

Well worth the read.

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Book Review: Arctic Floor by Mark Aitken

Arctic FloorArctic Floor by Mark Aitken
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is nothing quite like a marketing executive, especially when they work in publishing. These are the people who come up with the fantastic ideas like: dog on the cover because dogs sell books, no dogs in the book; bright and cheery cover art, book about a serial killer; quotes recommending the book by famous authors, authors that have the same publisher. In this case the marketing department came up with a brilliant idea: Matthew Reilly is an Australian author who sells a lot of books, let’s mention him on the cover, despite the fact that the two authors write in a completely different style.

I grabbed Mark’s book from my local library because I saw he had a new book out, the third in a series, and I hadn’t heard of him previously. A fellow Aussie author, with a comparison to Matthew Reilly on the cover: this should be gold. Needless to say, the marketing people drew me in with false advertising. Mark’s book is a thriller and was a decent read, but he was more Cussler or Archer than Reilly. In fact, I was more reminded of Sahara (swap baking temperatures for freezing cold) than I was of Ice Station.

False advertising aside, this is quite a decent thriller. Worth a read, if you are after a James Rollins or Clive Cussler style novel. I’d expect later books in this series will probably “grab” the reader more, so maybe check out Mark’s new one.

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Book Review: Temple of the Gods By Andy McDermott

Temple Of The Gods (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #8)Temple Of The Gods by Andy McDermott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ridiculously fast paced action, check. Plot that squirms and worms its way along as fast as the action, check. Nina and Eddie blowing up everything they come across, check. Must be another adventure by Andy McDermott.

In my book Andy McDermott and Matthew Reilly are the kings of fast paced action novels. There is no stone left unthrown, no ancient monument left intact, no bad guys die peacefully: brilliant! Of course this style of novel is not for everyone, especially if you have a pacemaker or take beta-blockers. Some people like to read literature, so there is no accounting for taste.

I have unfortunately missed the previous installment in the series, Empire of Gold, jumping straight from The Sacred Vault. This didn’t affect my enjoyment, but there is reference to past adventures throughout in the plot, so it is best to read the series in order. The cadre of evil billionaires are back again, something the world never seems to run out of for some reason, causing more trouble in their quest to dominate. If you take a close look you will recognise who the people are based upon, Gina Rhinehart and the Koch brothers being alluded to as evil: who’d have thunk?

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Book review: Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais

The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)The Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am the reason that author’s of series have to write novels so that they can stand alone. That’s right, I don’t read series in order all that often. I started with Lee Child’s 61 Hours, Michael Connelly’s City of Bones, JK Rowling’s’ Goblet of Fire, Jo Nesbo’s Nemesis and Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow. Long time fans don’t appreciate readers like me.

The first Elvis Cole novel I read was Sunset Express, which I enjoyed immensely. I decided to read the series the right way, so I went out and bought the first three Elvis Cole novels. Robert Crais kicked off this series with Monkey’s Raincoat, which was a shorter crime thriller.

Wit, humour, action, a weeping widow and drug dealers: mix and stir. Crais is definitely an author I’m trying to emulate and enjoy his writing and characters. I’m looking forward to the next two instalments.

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Genre vs Literature


During a discussion the other day my favourite authors and books came up as a topic of conversation. Needless to say I listed off writers like Lee Child, Matthew Reilly, Robert Crais, Matt Hilton, etc. Now these people weren’t exactly literary snobs, but they did respond as if I was supposed to list the authors of classic literature and contemporary literature.

Seriously?

Can we all stop pretending that there is something superior about literary fiction. I’ve seen discussions of social problems in crime fiction, fantastic use of literary techniques in horror, exploration of character and humanity in science fiction; all performed with more skill and insight than I have seen in the literary genre.

How about we go back to judging a book by its cover.

Book Review: Temple by Matthew Reilly

TempleTemple by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a little sad. Not because of this book, this book was great. I’m sad because I’ve now read all of Matthew Reilly’s books at least once. I have to wait for his next book to be published: wait!!

If anything, Temple is probably one of Matt’s best books. In typical Reilly style it redefines fast paced and action packed, but this also feels more complete than the Jack West Jnr series. It is also one of his longer books, so plenty of entertainment in this novel to keep you going.

In short, read it.

For those Matthew Reilly fans like me who are awaiting Matt’s next release, it seems he is back writing again after the tragedy last year. Hopefully he is on the mend emotionally as well and can continue to entertain us. Apparently his fans have been out in force to see him at the Supanova events, including the Doc.

A harem of Leias?

Guess this makes Matt the taller version of Marty McFly.

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Book Review: Map of Bones by James Rollins

Map Of BonesMap Of Bones by James Rollins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Picking up a James Rollins thriller is a guaranteed good read. He has the knack of providing a solid thriller that moves along at a fast pace.

Now, we aren’t talking Matthew Reilly pace, and not Andy McDermott either. Rollins is in that pacey category with (his good friend) Steve Berry and Clive Cussler. So this is “does my side have air-bags” as opposed to “my parachute isn’t opening”.

Map of Bones is part of Rollins’ Sigma Force series. I like that the heroes are highly intelligent military operatives; it is a nerd’s wet dream. This is the second book in the series and the first to feature Seichan, the nemesis of protagonist Gray Pierce. You know you have a good series when the bad guy is this interesting.

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Book Review: Hover Car Racer by Matthew Reilly

Hover Car RacerHover Car Racer by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m very tempted to give this book five stars, but I’m not sure I can give a young adult audio-book like this such a high rating.

Eleven CDs kept me entertained while I was on the road for work this week. Matthew managed to keep me wide awake despite the long hours on the road. On many occasions I found myself holding my breath and gripping the steering wheel, hoping that Jason and The Bug were okay.

Hover Car Racer is essentially Matthew Reilly for tweens and teens. This is Matthew Reilly we’re talking about, the King of fast paced adventure that never lets up until the final page. He makes sure that every teen angst and tragedy befalls Jason Chaser, to the point that you hate all the bad guys for being so mean. Yes, I’m probably too old to be calling characters meany-pies.

This isn’t really a book for adults, despite how much I enjoyed it. My wife found it a little too childish in language use for her liking, were I was able to ignore that issue, as the pace rocketed along. As such, give this to any young boys you have in your family, especially if they aren’t big readers. Hover Car Racer is likely to be one of those books that hooks kids on reading.

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Tyson Adams’ 2011 Book Awards: The Awesomes

I’ve read a few books this year (+140) and have decided that I needed to talk about my favourites of 2011.  I also thought it fair to award my favourite reads of the year an Awesome.

As you will have noticed, my reviews of books are more about my impressions of the book and talking about how much I liked the book, rather than a recap of the plot, etc. My reasoning behind this is simple, I want to say “read this book” to people rather than fall into my bad habit of spoiling the ending.

My list is based upon what I have read this year, so obviously some great books (Snuff) have missed out due to lack of reading hours in the year. Also my read list does include some books that were published prior to 2011. There were some categories that were sadly under-represented and some that had some very intense competition.

Also, the fact that I finished a book shows that it was worth reading. I have my reading rules that stop me wasting valuable reading time on books I’m not enjoying. This means that any books on my read list are entertaining (well, unless I was particularly disgusted with the crappiness of the book in question).

Awesome of 2011

10 hours of non-stop reading fun, 12 if you count meal and toilet breaks. I could not put this book down, it had me enthralled with Reilly’s fast paced thrills and explosions. This books defines The Awesomes.
Also, I would like to extend my condolences to Matthew and his friends and family on the loss of his wife Natalie.

Awesome Literary Fiction
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Mystery & Thriller
This is one of two heavily over-represented categories in this year’s Awesomes. 
Awesome Crime

Blood Work – Michael Connelly
13 Hours – Deon Meyer (technically I started it in 2011, but only finished it this year)



Awesome Fantasy
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Paranormal Fantasy
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Science Fiction

Peace Army – Steven L Hawk



Awesome Horror

Dead Man Series – Lee Goldberg, Will Rabkin, et al.



Awesome Romance
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Humor
Right What You No – Tyson Adams’ blog
I’m allowed to be self-congratulatory. Plus I didn’t read any funny books this year.
Awesome Nonfiction
This is an oxymoron, so it is invalidated as a category. Having said that I did read several nonfiction books this year, mostly on climate change. I should make mention of On Writing by Steven King, which really had me agreeing with Steven’s insights.
Awesome Graphic Novels & Comics

The Boys – Garth Ennis

This is the second over-represented category on my list. 


Awesome Indie

Awesome Poetry
Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Book review: Sahara – Clive Cussler

SaharaSahara by Clive Cussler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not sure of what to think with this book. I’ve read a few Clive Cussler novels, most recently The Chase, but this was my first Dirk Pitt adventure. Before I go any further I should say I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I had just finished The Chase when I was in a bookstore that was having a receivership sale. For e-book fans, a bookstore is a place where the good trees go to die. I was browsing the remaining stock and picked up Sahara, knowing I would enjoy it. Even the movie was able to rise above Matthew McConaughey’s terrible acting – thanks in large part to Steve Zahn’s terrific turn as Giordino.

Reasonably fast paced (remembering that the last few books I’ve read were by Matthew Reilly and Andy McDermott) and with a couple of plots, Sahara is an entertaining read. The doubts I have are two fold: pushing the envelope of human endurance and the generational gap. The first point is that Dirk and Al are dragged through hell and back, most of the time running on fumes. For anyone who has really pushed themselves you know how long it takes to recover from that sort of ordeal. The second point is that Cussler’s take on the world is ‘old school’. He has some quaint things to say about women, despite their strength and indomitable presence in the story. Oh, and I can’t be an Aussie without mentioning the fact that no-one in Australia drinks Fosters beer. The only time I have seen it on sale is when I have been overseas.

Either way, Cussler’s novels are always entertaining.

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Book Review: The Sacred Vault – Andy McDermott

The Sacred Vault (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #6)The Sacred Vault by Andy McDermott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Australia has Matthew Reilly. The US has Clive Cussler and James Rollins. The UK has Andy McDermott.

The Sacred Vault is Andy’s sixth Nina and Eddie adventure and he just keeps the adrenalin pumping as much as ever. I’ve met archaeologists, they make soil scientists seem exciting by comparison. Yet the world has more archaeologist adventurers than any other science: Indiana Jones, Jack West Jnr, Dirk Pitt, Nina and Eddie, the list goes on. But who can blame writers for picking archaeologists over the other sciences, ancient stuff doesn’t go in the sci-fi section.

Andy has served up another thriller that doesn’t let up. Much like Reilly, he knows how to keep you glued to the page and blow things up. What I also like is the humour he manages to weave into the dialogue, making for a fun and exciting read. Something I noticed with this book in the series was that as the action peaked, so did the amount of witty banter.

This is definitely a book (and series) for thriller and adventure fans.

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Book Review: Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly

Scarecrow and the Army of ThievesScarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a small quote at the start of this book that sums up this fantastic new installment in the Scarecrow series:

The President looked at a wall clock. I was now 5 pm, or 6 am at Dragon. ‘Are you telling me that in five hours an unknown force is going to set off some kind of superweapon that will ignite the atmosphere or the northern hemisphere?’
‘That’s correct sir,’ Gordon said. ‘We have five hours to save the world.’

I was looking for a fast paced adventure/thriller novel a few years ago, I was recommended James Rollins. His books are fast. Then I discovered Andy McDermott; his books are Rollins on caffeine. Matthew Reilly books are what you get from the amphetamine addicted, ADD offspring of both authors. Simply, Matt is in a class of his own in terms of intense and fast paced thrillers.

Sure these are a big budget action movie on the page, a veritable Michael Bay blockbuster on speed, but that is exactly what makes these books so great. Unlike a Bay movie, however, you don’t feel cheap and dirty afterwards.

Scarecrow is my favourite of Matt’s series of books. The Jack West Jnr books have become steadily better adventure novels, but Scarecrow is a straight up thriller, and only becoming more intense with each outing. Fans have had a long wait for this latest adventure. The Army of Thieves book was an eight year wait, but the 10 hour non-stop thrill-fest was worth the wait.

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Book Review: The Affair by Lee Child

The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16)The Affair by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was a little perturbed when I found out this year’s Reacher novel would be a prequel to the series. Since Killing Floor, Lee Child has evolved Reacher into a one man wrecking ball for truth, justice and hot women. Reacher has essentially become Superman without the need for external underwear and the ability to actually have a broken nose. This doesn’t exactly mesh with the Reacher before his adventures in Killing Floor.

This aside, Lee has served up another fantastic Reacher tale. The mystery unfolds, the intertwining clues and events are right there for you to pick up on and only implicitly used later – something I like about Lee’s writing. Reacher makes good use of the local train and his characteristic walking everywhere is in no short supply. In short, this is another fine Reacher novel.

Despite having pre-ordered this book it didn’t arrive until quite a while after its release date, something that has annoyed me for several books now (Matt Hilton’s Dead Men’s Harvest arrived late, Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves still hasn’t arrived). It was worth the wait though, as 50 pages in I was reminded why I had pre-ordered The Affair in the first place. I’d hazard a guess and say that next year’s releases by my favourite authors are more likely to be received on their release date, straight onto my Kindle, just as soon as Amazon starts selling the new Kindle Touch outside of the US (bastards!).

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Why E-books Will Win

A few books from our favourite book store – Busselton Books.

I love books. I’m not one of those e-book fans that has denied his love of old fashioned books – I recently sat down to read a good scroll. But lets face it, we live in an electronic age.

Just because we have great new toys technologies doesn’t mean we should be burning books like its 1933. There has to be a point, an advantage, in changing from paper to electronic books. Quite simply, this picture explains why.

NB: Picture explains nothing.

This is the photo of my latest book acquisition and my cute little dog-pie, Fox. I have pre-ordered 3 books in the last month, in order to receive them as they are released here in Australia. Matt’s Dead Men’s Harvest arrived in the post recently, several weeks after release, Fox was very possessive and wants to read it first. The approximate delivery dates for Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and Lee Child’s The Affair are at least a week after their release.

Simply, I have to wait for my paper. I have to sit out in the pouring rain, waiting for the mail-non-gender-specific-person to bring my books. My imitation vampire skin (non-sparkly) will be burnt by our harsh Aussie sun waiting. I don’t want to wait, I want my books now.

I live on the corner of Middle and Nowhere, so my online book stores are actually closer than my physical stores. But still I wait. Given how popular book stores are at the moment with receivership’s I’m sure many of you will also be losing your physical stores too. You too will wait.

E-books just won.

E-books: Return of the Reader

Just like the previous two installments of this e-book saga there will be allusions to some non-existent struggle, my thoughts on the changing publishing industry, no Leia in a bikini, and definitely no Wookie. When we left our hero writers, they were diligently trying to decide whether they wanted to sign with a traditional publisher or self-publish like an indie rebel. Publishers had the track record, the self-publishing indies had the jump on the fastest growing segment in the industry: e-books.

Now hold on just a second. Traditional publishing is behind? As has already been stated in this blog, his mouth to my post, Michael Connelly is selling 45% e-books. His publishers are clearly on board of this new market place. James Rollins and Steve Berry have both released exclusive e-book short stories on Amazon and B&N as lead-ins to their next books (pity non-US people can’t buy them, not being close enough to the centre of the universe and all). I even noticed that Aussie authors like Tara Moss and Matthew Reilly are available on Kindle for under $10. Behind isn’t quite right.

On the other side of the great divide, all the cool kids authors are self-publishing. People like Konrath, Eisler, Mayer, some guy named John Locke, are doing well out of self-publishing and doing all the work themselves (or hire for service). Clearly all authors should be grabbing their manuscripts and uploading them now.

I’ll pause so you can upload your book now. Don’t forget to spell check first!

Well it seems that 10′s of thousands are doing just that. Given that 90% of everything published is probably crud, you have to question how wise it is to rush to publish. We also have to remember that e-books are still a minority share of the market place (this will change of course). Shouldn’t quality come first? Spend the time on crafting a fine book, see what industry professionals have to say about it, then publish? Preferably not the professionals that published Snooki. Basically writers will have to find the best publishing deal for them, even if it is swapping their novel for a packet of magic beans.

And here is a startling fact: readers don’t care if writers are traditionally published, indie published, self published, or published by a small Scottish Terrier named Rolf. Readers want to read something entertaining and well written. So writers shouldn’t care how they are published. To quote Nick Spalding:

“Writers on the traditional publishing side of this particular conflict want to be successful and earn a decent living as a writer, appealing to an audience with their work. On the other hand, writers on the self publishing side of this particular conflict want to be successful and earn a decent living as a writer, appealing to an audience with their work.”

What I love about e-books is that they are made for readers. Well Duh! Stick with me on this one. Lets say that it is August 2010 and I’ve just finished 61 Hours by Lee Child. Now Lee may or may not have finished with a cliffhanger in that particular book. Despite the fact that the next Reacher novel is finished and ready in boxes to go on shelves, I have to wait until the end of September to read Worth Dying For. With e-books there is no need to delay because of printing, shipping, and shop displays still being filled with James Paterson’s books. In fact, with e-books I can have the entire Reacher series downloaded the minute after I’ve finished 61 Hours to keep my spirits up while I wait.

Essentially the gap between writer and reader has been shortened. The reader is King.

So what about publishers? Well they sell books. Authors write those books for them. I don’t think that in the long run they will particularly care whether they are selling an e-book or a DTB. In fact e-books could really cut out a lot of their middle men costs.

A lot has changed in the past year or two, some of the big companies are behind to some extent, but are more likely to catchup. I still can’t believe that e-readers weren’t dreamt up by publishers and bookstores. But then again I can’t believe that Australia – lots of sun – has sent solar technology to Germany – no sun – and politicians are wanting to move from coal to gas.

As long as publishers are paying advances, advertising/promoting authors and fronting costs they will be who most authors will turn to in order to publish. And when the publisher rejects it, and the crying has finished, the author will release it, plot holes and all, on their own.

Bookshops look like the real loser here, despite their claims to the contrary. Apparently people love the smell of books. Solved. Apparently people like to browse in bookstores. Yes, nothing like spending hours in a store with your head at a funny angle to find the store doesn’t stock what you are looking for. Apparently people love the feel of books. Admittedly books are much better to throw at an intruder, although War & Peace is regarded as a lethal weapon.

Can I just point out that an e-book is a book. That you can read. Thanks for letting me clear that up.

Tenuous reasons for bookshops continued existence aside, I don’t see why there won’t be purveyors of fine literature, and the stuff I like reading, into the future. Online stores are often seen as more reputable when they have a physical storefront. Even if that storefront is never visited by anyone because it is located down a side street, off a back alley, near a crack den. Plus POD could make book buying like a trip to the deli counter for lunch.

“I’ll have the new best-seller and a long white to go thanks.”
“Did you want that signed or unsigned?”
“Hold the signing, but I will take the first chapter of the sequel at the back.”

As a reader and as a some-day published author, I think that the future is so much brighter for readers and writers. Readers will have access to more good books than ever. Writers will have greater access to an audience than ever. The future of books is very bright and may even step out of the shadow of DVD’s, when DVD’s become obsolete.

Book Review: The Six Sacred Stones – Matthew Reilly

I think I have always loved thriller and adventure novels. Sure I like my fantasy, sci-fi, crime, occasional horror, maybe a book or two about the struggle of a single mother to overcome the loss of her cat, but thrillers are my rock. A well written thriller will always leave me wanting more: the next adventure.

Now understandably some people don’t like thrillers. Just as some people’s idea of fun is finding a rare stamp, some people just don’t care for action, thrills and adventure. Reviews thusly follow these preferences. Whenever I read a review for a Matthew Reilly book I am immediately putting the reviews into one of two categories. Category G – they got it. Category M – missed the point.

Reilly is one of the best at writing books that could be an action movie directed by Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer. They are meant to be a flat out thrill ride of action and adventure. So many reviewers seem to expect Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky and are understandably under-whelmed. I on the other hand was expecting a novelised action film, so I was whelmed or possibly super-whelmed.

I am a huge fan of Reilly’s work. Whenever I read one of his books I can see the Indiana Jones moments written on the page. I read Reilly’s first Jack West Jr book, Seven Deadly Wonders, in 2010 and while it retained Reilly’s breakneck pacing and adventure, it lacked reader involvement. Things just happened, you didn’t feel thrilled by the adventure, and the book had me second guessing the series. This second Jack West Jr novel, The Six Sacred Stones, stands in stark contrast and is Reilly at his sterling best. While the Scarecrow series is his best work this series is impressive and worth reading.

Apparently my view on Seven Deadly Wonders is not uncommon. Rest assured that The Six Sacred Stones is the Matthew Reilly you know and love. Although, a little warning: buy both Six Sacred Stones and Five Greatest Warriors, as you will want to read them back to back, just as I am doing. There may or may not be a cliff-hanger that can’t wait.

Reilly fans will also be pleased to hear that the next Scarecrow novel, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves, is due out later this year.

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