I read this over Christmas and Matthew Reilly is one of my most favourite authors. Matthew is Australian and began writing when he was twenty-two with his first novel “Contest” which he self published before being noticed by Pan Mcmillan. “Contest” was based in the New York State Library so I was instantly hooked, I mean a book about a library?!!!!! He has now written seventeen novels and a handful of short stories.
(from his website : http://matthewreilly.com)
He has created two heroes “Scarecrow” and “Jack West Jnr” and this book is one of the Jack West novels. It does sort of follow on from the others but you can read it as a stand alone.
Jack West is visiting a top-secret base near his farm in Australia, the next thing he knows he wakes up in a cell with the door opening and an Ape of a man attacking him. He realises that he is not in Australia and is now part of a contest from the Middle Ages and everyone else around him knows what is happening and how to compete and he doesn’t. How will he get by? If you don’t win or come high up then you are executed along with several hostages that mean everything to you, including Jack’s daughter!
It is a page turner and I finished the book in two days (which is what Christmases are for?) If you like action and adventure that this book certainly has it. I read his second book, “Ice Station” first and then bought “Contest”. I loved Ice Station so much I gave it to Eldest to read (it is just up his street) and he then went on to read all of Matthew’s books!
One thing I did want to discuss here is when Authors who have had very successful careers but as they get older don’t want to be on the treadmill of producing one or two books a year, decide to then release books with a co-author. I have found at least three of my favourite authors who have started to do this and the books are terrible!
The first Author who I found did this was James Patterson. His early books were great but then I read this book with a co-author and you could tell that Mr Patterson had written every other chapter and the co-author the others and it was so disjointed and in fact poorly written.
Very much to my disappointment Stephen King has also started doing this and I do sometimes wonder whether the co-author writes the whole book and then the known author just adds his name. Well I read the book written by Stephen King and his son Owen King and really did not like it at all. It made me realise how much I longed for the early Stephen King books which were just amazing and off the wall.
The final author who has now started doing this is Wilbur Smith. I am a huge fan of his work, I own all his books until his latest which has a co-author and so far everyone who has read it has said the same thing, not to Mr Smith’s standard at all.
Saying all this the only author who has had co-authors for a while is Clive Cussler and he seems to have gotten it right with the co-authors who he has worked with. I have read several of his later books and they are still as great as his early books.
I understand the reasons why the writers do it but on the other hand I do think they need to find the right people, like Mr Cussler, so that their body of work does not suffer. So far the Authors I have mentioned above I have not bought another of their books which are co-authored and don’t see me doing so because the ones I did read really were a disappointment.
I hope you lovely lot have a wonderful weekend, I am off to my sewing space over the weekend but will fit my reading in around it.
Hugs, Susie xx
Matthew Reilly’s book based in a Library!!!!