The One Impossible Labyrinth by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly , Orion , Thriller / February 11, 2022

Please note, The One Impossible Labyrinth is the final book in the Jack West Jr series. If you haven’t read the previous six novels then this is not the place for you. There will be minor spoilers. THE END IS HERE Jack West Jr has made it to the Supreme Labyrinth. Now he faces one last race – against multiple rivals, against time, against the collapse of the universe itself – a headlong race that will end at a throne inside the fabled labyrinth. AN IMPOSSIBLE MAZE But the road will be hard. For this is a maze like no other: a maze of mazes. Uncompromising and complex. Demanding and deadly. A CATACLYSMIC CONCLUSION It all comes down to this. For it ends here – now – in the most lethal and dangerous place Jack has encountered in all of his many adventures. And in the face of this indescribable peril, with everything on the line, there is only one thing he can do. Attempt the impossible. In a break from tradition, this review is going to be short and sweet. If you’re here, then chances are good you’ve read the rest of this series. This is the final book…

The Two Lost Mountains by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly , Orion , Thriller / January 28, 2021

Please note, The Two Lost Mountains is the sixth book in an ongoing series. If you haven’t read what has come before then chances are the review below is going to contain minor spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  AN INCREDIBLE VICTORY BUT AT A TERRIBLE PRICE… Against all the odds, Jack West Jr found the Three Secret Cities but at a heartbreaking cost. His beloved daughter Lily, it appeared, was slaughtered by Sphinx in a cruel ancient ritual. TO THE MOUNTAINS AND THE FALL! With his rivals far ahead of him, Jack must now get to one of the five iron mountains-two of which have never been found-and perform a mysterious feat known only as ‘The Fall’. Although what is this object on the moon that is connected to it? A NEW PLAYER ARRIVES Amid all this, Jack will discover that a new player has entered the race, a general so feared by the four legendary kingdoms they had him locked away in their deepest dungeon. Only now this general has escaped and he has a horrifying plan of his own…  Wow! So here we are, the penultimate novel in the Jack West Jr series by Matthew Reilly….

The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly , Orion , Thriller / November 8, 2018

Please note, The Three Secret Cities is the fifth book in an ongoing series. If you haven’t read books one to four then it is highly likely that the following review is going to contain some minor spoilery type elements. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 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. I suspect each time Matthew Reilly sits down to write a new book he asks himself the same question. “How can I push the action quotient further than I did last time?” The good news, from our perspective at least, is that he keeps managing it. I can sum up each new Matthew Reilly novel in four simple words – Bigger, Better, Faster,…

Sleeper 13 by Rob Sinclair
Orion , Rob Sinclair , Thriller / June 28, 2018

As a child he was smuggled to the Middle East from his London home, to be trained as one of the most elite insurgent soldiers of his generation. For years he was forced to do things no child should do, for a cause he couldn’t believe in. But while his brothers were preparing to kill, he was looking for a way out. Now, on the eve of the deadliest coordinated terrorist attacks Europe has ever seen, he’ll finally get his chance. He will break free and hunt down those responsible for making him a monster. He must draw on all his training, all of his deadly skills to survive. He is Sleeper 13. When it comes reading action thrillers, I have a few criteria that the story needs to meet. Firstly, the plot has to capture and hold my attention. A well-judged sense of pace is also key, and if the story manages to pull off a cinematic feel, so much the better. Rob Sinclair’s latest novel, Sleeper 13, ticks all these boxes and then some. At its heart, Sleeper 13 has a fascinating premise. The central protagonist has been trained for years as a terrorist, and it is what…

The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly , Orion , Thriller / January 6, 2017

Please note – The Four Legendary Kingdoms is part of an ongoing series of books and it is entirely likely that if you haven’t read the first three books in this series that this review may contain a spoiler or two. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! A RUTHLESS KIDNAPPING Jack West Jr and his family are living happily on their remote farm… when Jack is brutally kidnapped and he awakes in an underground cell to find a masked attacker with a knife charging at him. THE GREAT GAMES Jack, it seems, has been chosen – along with a dozen other elite soldiers – to compete in a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfill an ancient ritual. With the fate of the Earth at stake, he will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight cruel assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him like he has never been tested before. TO HELL AND BACK In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: The Four Legendary Kingdoms. He might also discover that he is not the only hero in this place… If you haven’t ever read a Matthew Reilly novel before, then…

The Tournament by Matthew Reilly
Historical , Matthew Reilly , Orion / July 27, 2015

England, 1546. A young Princess Elizabeth is surrounded by uncertainty. She is not currently in line for the throne, but remains a threat to her older sister and brother. In the midst of this fevered atmosphere comes an unprecedented invitation from the Sultan in Constantinople. He seeks to assemble the finest chess players from the whole civilised world and pit them against each other. Roger Ascham, Elizabeth’s teacher and mentor in the art of power and politics, is determined to keep her out of harm’s way and resolves to take Elizabeth with him when he travels to the glittering Ottoman capital for the tournament. But once there, the two find more danger than they left behind. There’s a killer on the loose and a Catholic cardinal has already been found mutilated. Ascham is asked by the Sultan to investigate the crime. But as he and Elizabeth delve deeper, they find dark secrets, horrible crimes and unheard-of depravity. Things that mark the young princess for life and define the queen she will become. If you had told me a week ago I was going to be reading a historical thriller set against the backdrop of an international chess tournament, I’d imagine…

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly , Orion , Thriller / January 23, 2015

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for 40 years. They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed. A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong… When it comes to thrillers from Matthew Reilly, phrases like ‘high octane’ and ‘intense action’ don’t even come close to adequately convey how much insanity he manages to cram into every novel. I’ve come to expect twisty-turny plots that rattle along at a breakneck pace and that I’ll be so caught up that I’ll be frightened to even blink. The good news is that The Great Zoo of China is no exception to this rule. Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron is cut from…

Scarecrow and The Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly , Orion , Thriller / September 30, 2013

At an abandoned Soviet base in the Arctic, a battle to save all life on Earth is about to begin… THE SECRET BASE It is a top-secret base known only as Dragon Island. A long-forgotten relic of the Cold War, it houses a weapon of terrible destructive force, a weapon that has just been re-activated… AN ARMY OF MURDERERS When Dragon Island is seized by a brutal terrorist force calling itself the Army of Thieves, the fate of the world suddenly hangs in the balance. But there are no crack units close enough to get to Dragon in time to stop the Army setting off the weapon.  ONE SMALL TEAM Except, that is, for a small equipment-testing team up in the Arctic led by a Marine captain named Schofield, call-sign SCARECROW. It’s not a strike team; just a handful of Marines and civilians. It’s not equipped to attack a fortified island held by a small army. But it will go in anyway, because someone has to.  THE ULTIMATE HERO IS BACK, FACING THE ULTIMATE ARMY OF VILLAINS. Reviewing books can sometimes be a bit of a double-edged sword. On the plus side, I get to read some of the best…

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson , Fantasy , Orion , Young Adult / August 21, 2013

It’s about high time we had a guest review so here’s one right now. Something a bit different today though, Mr Sam Strong has pricked up his ears and has taken a listen to an audio book. A killer is on the loose . . . Joel is fascinated by the art of Rithmatics – with its lines of power and ability to bring chalk drawings to life – but only a few have the gift and he is not one of them. When Rithmatic students from Joel’s school start disappearing, he is keen to investigate. Since he’s not a Rithmatist, Joel seems to be safe – but others are dying. Can he find the killer before the killer realizes just what a threat Joel really is? The Rithmatist is Brandon Sanderson’s first foray into the world of YA fiction. Perhaps best known for his Mistborn series, Sanderson is a bit of a machine, regularly churning out epic fantasy novels that tend to have incredibly detailed magic systems. I’m a big fan of the Mistborn series (except for that bit at the end where Sanderson’s personal beliefs are thrust upon the unsuspecting reader) so when Sir Cheesecake offered me the chance…