I guess this is what happens when you are a mood reader – you buy a book in a favorite series by your favorite author and leave it on your bookshelf for two years without even trying to read. And then finally when you start it, you finish it in a single sitting and wonder, what the hell you were doing not reading it till now… That’s exactly what happened here my friends. This book is as amazing as the previous installments of Jack West Jr’s adventures and I’m so sad that I waited this long to indulge in the fun.
It’s been so long that I had actually forgotten how brave and resourceful Jack has always been, but when we meet him here in the beginning, he is clearly not at his best. It takes quite some time in the book for him to gain his footing and figure out what the hell is going on, and I thought it was a great way to show us that Jack can be vulnerable too. But he is also extremely knowledgeable and once he understands the myth behind the Great Games, he not only uses his strength but also his brains to overcome the challenges. But the best part – even the circumstances of fighting to the death can’t change his inherent compassionate nature and that plays such a major role in turning the tide in the story.
I have been a huge fan of Reilly’s work since I read Ice Station and I have never looked back. This series particularly has always enthralled me because of the deft way he incorporates fast paced nonstop action with age old myths and legends from across the world and the hero’s quests we all love in our adventure novels. This book plays on the myth of the Twelve Labors of Hercules and the Legend of the Minotaur and intertwines it with the concept of shadow kingdoms that rule our modern world and all of the story occurs in a matter of days, which makes for some breathtaking action sequences among deadly mazes and booby traps with Jack fighting for his survival and that of the entire universe. The stakes are very high and I was literally on my toes every page, wondering what was gonna happen next.
If you already know who Jack West Jr is, I don’t need to tell you that this book is a lot of fun to read. Also, for fans of “all” Matthew Reilly novels, you have a delightful surprise awaiting in this installment – so don’t make the mistake I did and read this one immediately. If you don’t know about Jack but you love a lot of adventure in your books with a hefty dose of mythology, then I highly recommend this series. Be prepared to be enthralled !!! And now I’m off to read The Three Secret Cities because I can’t wait.