Friday, 13 March 2009

Seven Deadly Wonders

I saw complaints on Amazon that this was a cop out, calling the same book by two different names (Seven Ancient Wonders, Seven Ancient Wonders, they're identical). To be honest, I think anyone who buys a book and then complains it's the same as one they've already read and enjoyed is a bit of a twit. If you enjoyed it, surely you'll realise when you read the blurb that it's very similar to the one you read. And then maybe you'll have a little look and realise that 'oh, it's identical, just with a different title'.

Anyway, that little rant aside, this is a very good book. I admit, the character realism isn't always the best (Lily is my main complaint, she's not the most realistic ten-year-old girl ever, but then again, I suppose her unusual upbringing, and her inherited skills would make her a little unusual). But it's more than made up for by the fantastic action. The sheer scale of the book is phenomenal. Matthew Reilly writes the fastest paced thrillers I have ever read. The action is explosive, big scale, great fun. It's not a serious read, it's not the sort of book you sit down and study for English Lit exams. It's the sort of book you pick up to read and enjoy, that you pick up because you feel like getting away from the world for a bit.

It's about a quest to rebuild the capstone to sit on top of the Great Pyramid at Gaza. The complication? Each of the seven pieces is hidden in one of the seven ancient wonders. Clues to their locations have been written in the word of Thoth, a difficult script which gets increasingly complex. The ability to read it has been lost to all but the son or daughter of the Oracle, who develops the ability at the age of about ten. Lily is the child of the Oracle, who died. She's the younger child, the second twin, and the only time that there has ever been more than one child. Rescued by Jack West, they embark upon a race against time to find the golden capstone to save the world from a sunspot that's about to align with us. The extra complication? The older child of the Oracle has been taken by a group of nations from Old Europe, who've set up a powerful expedition force to go find them. And the Americans want in on it too, because whoever recovers the capstone has the ability to rule the world for a thousand years. Jack West is the leader of a group of smaller nations that are determined that the capstone is used only for good, to save the world, to ensure the words of power are not recited over it.

Lots of trap beating, lots of fighting, and a very interesting plot with plenty of nice twists and turns. Oh, and an assault on Guantanamo Bay. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who feels like getting away from the world for a bit. Don't expect complete realism, but the details are often very convincing. It's a book you read to enjoy. So enjoy it.

No comments: