The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly

November 14, 2018 Reviews 0 ★★★★

The Three Secret Cities by Matthew ReillyThe Three Secret Cities (Jack West Jr #5) by Matthew Reilly
Published: October 30, 2018 by Pan Macmillan AU
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller/Mystery
Source: Purchased
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4 Stars

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 won 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 ...

Taking up where The Four Legendary Kingdoms ended, The Three Secret Cities follows Jack and his team as they race to save the world.

Again.

The stakes are ever higher, the action more gripping with every turned page, and yet in between Really manages to tug at the heart-strings. I read it in one sitting, which probably tells you something as I’ve struggled with the reading thing for a while now. The things that repeatedly draw me back to these books (aside from the heart-stopping thrills and awesome mix of fantasy, mythology and action) are the characters. While I enjoyed the chance to get to know Sky Monster and the grown-up versions of Lily and Alby a lot better in The Four Legendary Kingdoms, I loved that Zoe and the rest of the gang were back in this instalment. I’d missed them.

Readers looking for transcendence in plot or character are probably best served looking else-where — the Jack West Jr series has never pretended to be anything it’s not. Reilly is trying to keep it from becoming repetitive (and I appreciated what he did in The Four Legendary Kingdoms in terms of keeping the action confined to mostly one place and telling his story over a mere two days) but this instalment does return to the classic Jack West formula of separate teams travelling all over the world to tackle various things as they race against the clock.

Some horrible-terrible things happen in the novel, because as Reilly reminds us constantly, no one is safe. This might be a turn-off for a few readers (especially those who haven’t forgiven him for Scarecrow).

I loved it, but that’s no surprise given that I’d waited years for it and pre-ordered it as soon as Dymocks sent their email. There’s just a part of me that wonders if my enjoyment came from what I’d liked in other books (the plotting used to be tighter, I feel, and the characters had more heart to them), and not what this one had to offer.

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