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7 Deadly Wonders


7 Deadly Wonders

You really shouldn't be able to buy a copy of 7 DEADLY WONDERS
without a note from your doctor indicating that you are physically
able to stand the strain. While comparisons to THE DA VINCI CODE
are inevitable, they are also, I would submit, inaccurate. Matthew
Reilly's latest novel is a homage to a thriller --- or, to be more
precise, a series of thrillers --- that was published a lifetime
ago. But more on that in a minute.

The premise of 7 DEADLY WONDERS is a cataclysmic one, to say the
least. In what we smugly regard from our vantage point as "ancient
times," a Golden Capstone was placed atop the Great Pyramid of Giza
during The Tartarus Rotation, a solar event that occurs once every
4,500 years and is due to occur again…almost right now. If
the capstone is in place, then everything is fine; otherwise,
temperatures rise and worldwide flooding occurs. Oh, and whoever
places the capstone on the pyramid gains absolute power over the
earth for the next 1,000 years. The problem is that the capstone is
separated into pieces and hidden all over the world. This, of
course, sets off quite a race among the Americans, Europeans,
Israelis, and miscellaneous, otherwise known as the good

Here is where Reilly borrows a page or two from Kenneth Robeson's
(a pseudonym used by a group of writers) Doc Savage tales. There is
a coalition of small countries who don't believe that the power the
capstone confers can be trusted to any one large country or group
of large countries. So members of these nations each send a
representative. And here's where the Doc Savage comparison really
kicks in. You have the weapons expert, the air ace, two members of
the team constantly bickering with each other, and the team leader
who is always thinking ahead. His name in this case is not Doc but
rather Jack West, Jr., an Australian. West is a super soldier and
natural leader, and readers of thrillers will recognize him

What separates 7 DEADLY WONDERS from the present slate of grand
concept thrillers, however, is that the ostensible good guys and
team leader West are almost consistently behind the eight-ball
throughout the book. They're almost always getting their heads
handed to them, figuratively as well as literally. Anything can
happen --- don't get too attached to any particular team member ---
and the team is constantly fighting against odds that seem more
insurmountable every time they stand up to be counted.

But they keep plugging ahead, somehow managing to overcome every
cliff that Reilly leaves them hanging off of. A great deal of this
novel's fun is wondering how our intrepid heroes are going to
survive, or, given the body count, which one(s) will make it. An
additional hurrah must be given to Reilly for his inclusion of a
great number of diagrams, maps and illustrations to assist the
reader in conceptualizing some of the settings in which the story
takes place.

What makes 7 DEADLY WONDERS ultimately worthwhile, however, is that
it is a thrilling and fun read from beginning to end, thanks in
part to Reilly's cinematic writing ability. The movie, no matter
how good it might be, won't be as intriguing as the book. Read now,
but don't tell your friends the ending!


Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 22, 2010

7 Deadly Wonders
by Matthew Reilly

  • Publication Date: December 20, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 0743270533
  • ISBN-13: 9780743270533