Tuesday, March 24, 2009

7 Deadly Wonders

7 Deadly Wonders by Matthew Reilly was originally published in 2006. My hardcover copy is 392 pages. Despite review blurbs trying to make the connection, Reilly is not comparable to Michael Crichton. (Crichton was a more thoughtful, intelligent, and technically competent writer.) What Reilly does is write pure action-adventure novels that more closely resemble a movie script. If one must compare him to another writer, it would be Clive Cussler. If you like Cussler, you are probably going to like Reilly (although Cussler is also a better writer). This novel is for action novel junkies only. The characters jump with mind-numbing speed, with little or no preparation, from one adventure to another. To enjoy the novel, however, all aspects of Reilly's writing style must be overlooked. He has random paragraph and sentence breaks. He overuses exclamation points, capital letters, dashes, ellipses, and italics. All the characters are really one-dimensional. In all honesty, 7 Deadly Wonders reads like a movie. It is helpful that Reilly includes many necessary pictures and diagrams to make sense of the action. I am going to make sure this book finds it's way to Movie Dude, who will truly enjoy it. It would also make a good airplane book. I do wish Reilly didn't make the Americans the bad guys, though.
- whump! - for action-adventure junkies only!

Mathew Reilly's 7 Deadly Wonders is a lot of things--fast-paced, clever, action-packed. But mostly it's perfect for a Jerry Bruckheimer treatment. The novel reads like a screenplay meets video game with one harrowing chase after another.
The breakneck action stems from an Egyptian sun cult which has hidden pieces of the capstone to the great pyramid in the husks of the seven wonders of ancient world, leaving clues that would flummox Indiana Jones. Here's the deal: whichever nation can locate and assemble the capstone in time for a cosmic event designed to end life on Earth will rule the world. Enter a ragtag team of commandos representing non-superpowers (read, in a Da Vinci Code context, not the European Union, the United States or the Vatican) who stand to lose in this eventuality. The team pits itself in a race against the formidable forces of the western world, cosmic calendar, and traps set by ancient-wonder-hider, Imhotep V. Complete with Mario-Brothers-style drawings, the book lurches from one great escape/victory/defeat until its final climax atop Cheops' Pyramid. It's a thrilling ride, perfect to enliven a lazy vacation or long plane ride. The real question is: Brad Pitt or Matthew McConaughey?--Jeremy Pugh

"It towered like a god above the mouth of Mondraki harbor, the main port of the island state of Rhodes, much like the Statue of Liberty does today in New York." opening sentence and paragraph

"The nine figures raced through the crocodile-infested swamp on foot, moving fast, staying low.
The odds were stacked against them.
Their rivals numbered in excess of two hundred men.
They had only nine." pg. 5

"He was handed a glowstick, which he cracked and tossed down the hole.
It fell for twenty feet, illuminating a pipelike stone shaft on its way down, before - splonk! - it landed in water and revealed -
Lots of crocodiles. Nine crocodiles.
Snapping, snarling, and grunting. Sliding over each other." pg. 11

"Wizard popped up out of the manhole, his grenade launcher raised. He fired it three times, each shot emitting a loud puncturelike whump.
The rounds that burst out of the grenade launcher looked like grenades, but they weren't grenades - fat and round and silver, they fanned out to three corners of the giant cavern, little red pilot lights on them blinking. pg 30

"The result was stunning.
The superthin waterfall of oil became a superthin waterfall of fire...
...then this flaming waterfall hit the oil-stained lake at the base of the cavern and set it alight.
The lake blazed with flames.
The entire cavern was illuminated bright yellow.
The crocs screamed, clawing over each other to get to safety." pg. 34

"And still the traps didn't stop!
A wide low-ceilinged chamber met them: its ceiling was maybe two yards off the floor... and getting lower.
The chamber was about thirty meters wide and it's entire ceiling was lowering!" pg. 36

"We are gathered here today because we believe that the Capstone should not belong to any one superpower. Its power is simply too great. In short, we are here to save the world." pg. 77

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