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The Three Secret Cities

Review

The Three Secret Cities

Matthew Reilly's superb Jack West, Jr. series began with SEVEN DEADLY WONDERS and was followed in succession by THE SIX SACRED STONES, THE FIVE GREATEST WARRIORS and THE FOUR LEGENDARY KINGDOMS. Now, with the release of THE THREE SECRET CITIES, it is easy to spot the numerical titles all released in descending order. This indicates that there should be at least two more of these adventures to come. I hope that Reilly starts over with another list --- or the alphabet --- because I just don't want this series to ever end.

In the previous novel, our hero wins the tournament known as the Great Games, which throws the four legendary kingdoms into a tizzy. He makes a lot of new enemies --- and re-angers some old ones --- with his triumph, and now some of the world's best killers are out there hunting for him.

Quite frankly, Jack's enemies feel that someone has to be held responsible for the outrageous end to the Games --- and that person will pay with his own life and the lives of everyone he holds dear. One fact that Jack is well aware of is that the Games hold a higher purpose. Winning them is just part of the process to stop the inevitable destruction of the entire planet. One of his foes, known as the leader of the Golden Eight, specifically targets three individuals for revenge --- Jack; his daughter, Lily; and her friend, Alby Calvin.

"THE THREE SECRET CITIES is hard to put down... Reilly’s writing and plotting skills truly shine here, and I cannot wait for the cliffhanger to be resolved in the next book."

Jack has a well-trained and extremely loyal team working with him. He will need each and every one of them to be at the top of their game if they are to triumph against the legion of evil that has marked them for death. The villain known simply as the Slave King represents one of the initial hurdles to get over in order to move up the ladder from a business perspective. Slave King and others will soon be in competition with Jack and his teammates as they are able to decipher the mandate from the ancient Greek god Zeus, who was known for referencing the Three Secret Cities.

These Cities, which we later learn are named Atlas, Ra and Thule, are found at different spots on the globe. This means that Jack's team will have to split up to locate each City and look for the answer to a deadly puzzle that purports to bring about the Earth's end in a mere seven days.

At one point, Jack says to a member of his team that a hero is someone who stands by his friends in their hour of need. The main question is if that friendship will be enough to complete the complex mission while being pursued by some of the deadliest killers on the planet. The history of the Three Secret Cities can be traced back to the days of Sir Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth I. Reilly has never afraid to kill off major characters. In fact, the torture and murder of one of Jack's teammates may very well be the single most gruesome fictional death I have ever read and is sure to produce plenty of nightmares.

This series has been compared to the Indiana Jones films and the novels of Dan Brown, which I can definitely see. THE THREE SECRET CITIES is hard to put down, and is so fast-moving that you may need to go back and review what has gone before in order to grasp what is happening. Be that as it may, Reilly’s writing and plotting skills truly shine here, and I cannot wait for the cliffhanger to be resolved in the next book.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on December 7, 2018

The Three Secret Cities
by Matthew Reilly

  • Publication Date: December 4, 2018
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • ISBN-10: 1501167197
  • ISBN-13: 9781501167195