Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

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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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Six Sacred Stones – Matthew Reilly

  1. Okay, guess I'm going to have to go check out a Matthew Riley book or two. Thanks for the tip.

  2. No problems Doug.I know Reilly is not everyone's cup of tea, but I love his work. If you have enjoyed Andy McDermott or James Rollins then you are likely to get a kick out of Matthew Reilly.

  3. When he hired my swordfighting group to perform at his signing in Perth, I had NO IDEA who he was. Bro-in-law got 5 Greatest signed and I read a bit. Then, I forced myself to put it down and went and got "Contest" at the 2nd hand shop.Within weeks, I had ALL his titles and I have mates back in the US that are all, "You haven't read Matthew Reilly? He's like 'Die Hard' in books!" LOVE his stuff, and I had actually stalled out in Seven Ancient Wonders, so you've inspired me to pick it back up and rock on.Cheers mate!

  4. No problems Judd. I remember you saying you'd met him.Amazingly the first time I heard of him was when he appeared on the First Tuesday Book Club (ABC TV Australia for everyone else) with Bryce Courtenay, Lee Child and Deb Morrison. We already had a pile of Bryce books on our shelves, so I invested in Reilly and Child and loved every moment.Yeah, I know, Johnny Come Lately. Better late than never. Curse my literary snob period; I wasted so much time.

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