HELL ISLAND by Matthew Reilly, Review: Action-packed morsel

Matthew Reilly’s Hell Island was originally released in 2005 for the Australian Books Alive initiative. The novella was given free with the purchase of any novel or book that was part the extensive Books Alive range, selected specifically to encourage reading across all demographics.

Hell Island Matthew Reilly

Hell Island Synopsis:

It is an island that doesn’t appear on any maps. A secret place, where classified experiments have been carried out. Experiments that have gone terribly wrong.

Four crack special forces units are dropped in. One of them is a team of Marines, led by Captain Shane Schofield, call-sign: SCARECROW.

Nothing can prepare Schofield’s team for what they find there.

You could say they’ve just entered hell. But that would be wrong.

This is much, much worse.

(Pan Macmillan Australia)

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Action-packed. Although I am a huge fan of Matthew Reilly’s work, I wasn’t expecting that much from Hell Island. I honestly didn’t think the Scarecrow story (normally chunky, around 500 pages) would translate well into novella format — I was wrong.

Reilly has managed to retain all the great qualities of the Scarecrow series in this short and punchy story – an exotic location, our favourite characters Scarecrow and Mother, the dry humour and unspoken communication between characters, life or death predicaments, the doublecross/twist and the never-say-die attitude.

I consumed this in audiobook format so credit also goes to the narrator Sean Mangan who built the intensity well and displayed excellent timing in delivery of the battle scenes.

This is a quick read or listen that I highly recommend for fans of the previous books in the Scarecrow series.

UPDATE: Hell Island was reprinted in 2007 due to growing demand for this rare Shane Schofield story.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

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Other Matthew Reilly books

We have also reviewed many other Matthew Reilly books including The Three Secret CitiesThe Four Legendary Kingdoms, The Great Zoo of China, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves, The Five Greatest Warriors, The Six Sacred Stones and Seven Ancient Wonders. Although read prior to this website’s existence Hover Car Racer and my first ever Reilly title Ice Station are highly recommended also.

This book completes my reading of Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow Series and so counts towards my participation in the Finish That Series Challenge – 1st series completed.

Matthew Reilly is an Australian author, so this book also counts towards my Aussie Author Challenge.

Other reviews of Hell Island

Curled Up With a Good Book, Inside a Dog, Bookworm’s Musing, Pulp Fiction Reviews