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Seven Deadly Wonders: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2006

262 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Jack West, Jr. Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Mathew Reilly's 7 Deadly Wonders is a lot of things--fast-paced, clever, action-packed. But mostly it's perfect for a Jerry Bruckheimer treatment. The novel reads like a screenplay meets video game with one harrowing chase after another.

The breakneck action stems from an Egyptian sun cult which has hidden pieces of the capstone to the great pyramid in the husks of the seven wonders of ancient world, leaving clues that would flummox Indiana Jones. Here's the deal: whichever nation can locate and assemble the capstone in time for a cosmic event designed to end life on Earth will rule the world. Enter a ragtag team of commandos representing non-superpowers (read, in a Da Vinci Code context, not the European Union, the United States or the Vatican) who stand to lose in this eventuality. The team pits itself in a race against the formidable forces of the western world, cosmic calendar, and traps set by ancient-wonder-hider, Imhotep V. Complete with Mario-Brothers-style drawings, the book lurches from one great escape/victory/defeat until its final climax atop Cheops' Pyramid. It's a thrilling ride, perfect to enliven a lazy vacation or long plane ride. The real question is: Brad Pitt or Matthew McConaughey?--Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Full-stop "Screams. Splashing. Crunching. Blood" punctuate and come to epitomize Reilly's (Area 7; Ice Station) latest video game–style thriller about a race to find the seven pieces of the Golden Capstone that once sat atop the Great Pyramid at Giza. Two millennia ago, Alexander the Great broke the Capstone into seven pieces and hid them in the seven ancient wonders of the world. According to legend, whoever finds and replaces them during a rare solar event called "Tartarus Rotation" (predicted for March 20, 2006) could secure a thousand-year reign of absolute power. The race is on, and among the contenders are the United States, a coalition of European nations (and the Vatican), an Islamic terrorist group, and a team of smaller nations (including Canada, Ireland and New Zealand) led by the novel's hero, Australian Jack West Jr., a next-generation Indiana Jones. The Europeans, goaded by evil Jesuit Francisco del Piero, and the U.S., headed by Jack's nemesis Col. Marshall Judah, want the Capstone for their own aggrandizement, while Jack's noble team believes it's too potent to belong to any one superpower. The "greatest treasure hunt in history"—a nonstop roller-coaster ride that lurches around the globe—might make a summer blockbuster—if American audiences will swallow their compatriots as the baddies. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Pf edition (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416505067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416505068
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of eight novels: The 6 Sacred Stones, 7 Deadly Wonders, Ice Station, Temple, Contest, Area 7, Scarecrow, and the children's book Hover Car Racer, and one novella, Hell Island. His books are published in more than eighteen languages in twenty countries, and he has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 84 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In Matthew Reilly's new adventure novel, "7 Deadly Wonders," teams from various countries are racing against time to find the Golden Capstone that once stood atop the Great Pyramid at Giza. Alexander the Great broke the Capstone into seven pieces and hid each piece in one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 2006, a rare solar event called the Tartarus Rotation is scheduled to occur. Whoever assembles all seven pieces of the Capstone at this particular time and under certain specific conditions will gain absolute power for the next thousand years. The American faction, led by a ruthless soldier named Marshall Judah, has a strong army with unlimited firepower. Francisco de Piero, a fanatical Jesuit priest, guides the formidable European contingent. Trying to stop the Americans and Europeans is a small group known as the Nine, representing such countries as Australia, Ireland, and Israel. Seven are soldiers, one is an elderly professor, and the final member is a ten-year old girl named Lily. The leader of the Nine is an Aussie named Jack West, also known as Huntsman. He is Lily's guardian and, over the years, she has come to love and admire him.

"7 Deadly Wonders" is all plot, with scarcely any character development. The book is filled with evil spells, complex codes, numerous chase scenes, bloody confrontations, and a great deal of sophisticated hardware. As the various contenders vie to uncover pieces of the Capstone, they are beset by numerous obstacles, mostly in the form of traps that are reminiscent of the Indiana Jones movies. Spiked boulders rolling down inclines, molten lava, hungry crocodiles, quicksand, and descending ceilings are a few of the many impediments that stand between the seekers and their prize.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on January 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The easiest way to describe 7 Deadly Wonders is to say that it is a book written for the music-video generation. With two-page chapters, multiple short sections and headings per chapter, and lots of illustrations and diagrams, this book is perfect for readers who have short attention spans and need constant action rather than any literary nuance or character development to get them through a nearly 400-page novel.

Matthew Reilly's success comes from his ability to write page-turning action suspense. This book is certainly exciting--almost overly so at times. In some ways the book reads more like a screenplay than a novel. Without question it will be made into a movie, and the screenwriters who adapt the script will have a very easy job. For that matter, even the set designers will have had most of their work done for them, since Reilly has peppered his book with so many visual cues rather than relying on the more traditional use of words to convey images.

7 Deadly Wonders is without question a good, fast read. It's fast-paced, not overly lengthy, has a decent plot, and keeps the reader's attention. The characters are shallower than a kiddy wading pool, so there's not much complexity to bog the reader down. Imagery and description are used sparingly, again because of the presence of so many illustrations and diagrams. The action is intense--which is generally a good thing, though by the end the unrelenting danger the characters face becomes a bit wearisome.

The book is about a small group of militant archeologists trying to save the world from destruction. Every five thousand years, a period of intense heat and drought is brought about when the rotation of the sun brings the earth directly in line with the Tartarus Sunspot.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Novel Bookworm on March 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm all for suspending disbelief and I enjoy a good little mindless adventure. It was a lot of fun reading through a book with non stop, albeit slightly silly adventures, sort of allows ones brain take a little holiday. That being said, though, I spent the larger portion of this book wondering where the heck the editor went. I mean wow! This book makes a bigger use of exclamation points than I've ever seen! It's sort of like having a conversation with an excited 11 year old girl! Lets not forget the liberal use of italics! Just in case the exclamation points didn't get the point across well enough! Let's hear it for enthusiastic writers! It was similar to reading a story written by my eleven year old daughter! Actually, I was a little disappointed in the book! I usually really enjoy Reilly's books, but the editing of this one drove me...well..crazy!! Okay, I'll stop with the punctuation now...! (Sorry had to do just one more..)
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55 of 69 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I bought the book, I was surprised by all the tepid reviews, but having read it, I now understand completely.

I'm a fan of Reilly's books, but like some of the other reviewers before me, I was struck by the poor character development, the extreme bias against America, and the unrealistic plot points. It seems as though Reilly was trying hard to creat the next 'Davinci Code' (also illustrated by numerous reference to Dan Brown and his book), but falls short.

The use of exclamation points, dashes, and oddly italicized words served to bring the reader out of the story time and time again to disastrous effect - reading this book quickly became a chore. As an example, I took a random page (page 166) and counted no less than 17 exclamation points on the page. It's sad when the reader is so removed from the story that they start counting the exclamation points. To be fair to Reilly, his editor really should have caught this and other flaws long before this book ever saw print.

In addition, Reilly uses numerous diagrams and drawing throughout the book. At first interesting, they soon become tedious as they serve only to illustrate exactly what Reilly has just described the paragraph before. If you tell a reader that a plane is bearing down on our hero, you don't need to follow that up with a picture showing the same scene. It's distracting and slightly insulting.

All in all, this was a disappointment and I regret spending my money on this one. I rarely say such a thing about a book and I fear I'll wait for the paperback version of Mr. Reilly's next novel.
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