The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly, Review: A series maturing
The Three Secret Cities is the 5th book in Matthew Reilly’s bestselling Jack West Jr. Series.
The Three Secret Cities Synopsis:
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE FOUR KINGDOMS SCORNED.
THE HUNT FOR JACK WEST JR HAS BEGUN.
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 …
(PanMacmillan Australia, 2018)
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First, a little context. I have now read 11 titles by Matthew Reilly. That is not because I admire his writing skill. Quite frankly, these days I often find myself cringing at the prose quality. I mean really, how does an author get away with using “a sh!tload of” as a descriptor?
Matthew Reilly does because he is the supreme teller of tall tales. He takes historical fact, fable and myth and bends them entirely to his will. In Reilly’s version of our world, one that is often secretly at the brink of global disaster, no problem is impossible to solve with grit, determination and most importantly, the help of loyal friends with good hearts, that are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Characters with heart
Sure, Reilly’s Jack West Jr Series delivers on unadulterated escapism, but it is this series’ eclectic character set with heart that keeps me coming back for more. The Three Secret Cities finishes right where The Four Legendary Kingdoms left off, Jack and his ragtag bunch escaping by the skin of their teeth after winning the Great Games. But since our hero has upset the secret world order, his opportunity for rest is short-lived.
In my review of The Four Legendary Kingdoms, I said:
“The only let down for me was the more passive roles allocated to previously feisty female characters in this outing. That said, The Four Legendary Kingdoms overtly sets the framework for at least two more instalments in the series, so am hopeful they prove to be stages for the ladies to shine.”
I am delighted to say Reilly delivered on my hopes in this regard.
Also, in a sign of both the Jack West Jr series and its youngest characters Lily and Alby maturing, Reilly takes a few poignant breathes in this instalment. In taking precious moments to reflect on challenges and loyal friends past, he really dials up ‘the heart’ in The Three Secret Cities.
The Three Secret Cities sees my favourite Matthew Reilly series back to its best and sprinting towards what will undoubtedly be a gripping and memorable conclusion.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4.8 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5 — Overall 4.15
Get your copy of The Three Secret Cities from:
Book Depository | Amazon | Kobobooks | B&N | Indigo | Booktopia(Aus)
Genre: Action-Adventure, Thriller, Mystery, Drama, Sci-Fi-Fantasy
This review counts towards my participation in the Aussie Author Challenge 2019.
About the Author, Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is the internationally bestselling author of the Scarecrow novels: Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and the novella Hell Island; the Jack West novels: Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors and The Four Legendary Kingdoms; and the standalone novels Contest, Temple, Hover Car Racer, The Tournament, Troll Mountain and The Great Zoo of China.
His books are published in over 20 languages, with worldwide sales of over 7 million copies.