ARC Review: The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly

the three secret cities

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A shadow world behind the real world 
When Jack West, Jr. won the Great Games, he threw the four legendary kingdoms into turmoil.
A world with its own history, rules and prisons 
Now these dark forces are coming after Jack…in ruthless fashion.
That is reaching into our world…explosively 
With the end of all things rapidly approaching, Jack must find the Three Secret Cities, three incredible lost cities of legend.
It’s an impossible task by any reckoning, but Jack must do it while he is being hunted…by the greatest hunters in history.

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Wow what a thrilling ride. I’m so glad I picked this up right after finishing The Four Legendary Kingdoms, because this helped me remember all the juicy tidbits before diving into another Jack West Jr story. This book gave me all the feels that I first felt when I discovered The Seven Ancient Wonders but it was also very emotional and exciting at the same.

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The best part of this book is that the author decides to go back to the original formula of telling Jack’s story – a globetrotting adventure with a looming deadline. It picks up right after the ending of The Four Legendary Kingdoms and gives no time for Jack to rest before he is off to save the world again. There is a lot of hopping between places – New York to London, Italy to Greece, Venice to Venezuela and many many more. Our favorite crew gets separated into teams to discover the three secret cities, so we don’t see all of them together much. Reilly also manages to device some very new torture methods we haven’t seen before and I just want to tip off my hat to his imagination. We get the usual story of figuring out the locations of the secret cities, finding the immortal weapons, some daring escapes and puzzling through booby trapped avenues while racing against time to perform another ancient sacrificial ritual to save the world.

What makes this book extra special is the emotional pull throughout. We see some beautiful moments between Jack and Lily, Alby, Zoe and even Nobody and the other members of the crew. After this feeling of joy, the author decides that we have been happy enough and we are shocked to our core by the deaths of some key characters and I just couldn’t believe that they happened. It just made the story all the more real and every scene felt like the harbinger of more death. Coming to the action side of it, we have one of the most inventive rescue by a beloved character from Scarecrow and that scene just delighted the Reilly fan in me. As always, the author manages to interweave the story of many myths and legends but I absolutely loved the way he utilized the symbolism of Medusa’s curse and how he turned the legend of the Knights of the Round Table on its head. And that ENDING….. it almost killed me and then gave me just enough hope to hang on to.

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This book is a dream for any adrenaline junkie reader and fans of Jack West Jr and I promise, you will be thrilled on every page. And if you haven’t read this series, but love a jet setting adventure, a relentless hero, lots of mythology and the end of the world looming – what are you waiting for… Just go ahead and start this series from the beginning. As for me, it’s going to be a long wait till 2020.

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PS: Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.

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