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3.1 out of 5 stars214
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2007
Got a bit over excited when I first spotted this thinking it was a sequel. Don't be disappointed and get the same book twice. Although saying that Seven Ancient or Seven Deadly is a must read, highly over the top action is a work of fiction and I can imagine some pompous people who think they know everything not enjoying it as they are too busy trying to prove the author wrong throughout the whole book. My advice to them is leave the fiction section alone and stick to reading your text books. This is a book that is pure escapism and a real page turner which I found impossible to put down and read from cover to cover in a day. I then did something I haven;t done in a while which was jump on the internet to email the author with my thanks for such a great read and to beg for a sequel. Loved the characters,loved the story and loved the ideas. My poor boyfriend is unable to read this though because every couple of chapters I couldn't help filling him in on what was happening in my book. Enjoy a good read then get it, if you want factual stay away. I loved it.
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on 23 January 2015
Whenever something new comes along and is immediately hugely popular, a rash of imitations floods the market soon afterwards. It’s natural that after the huge sales it created that Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” should be one such thing and the idea of setting a thriller novel around a historical background of some kind is taking hold. Despite my reluctance to read the book that started it, on the basis that everyone seems to think I should, the basic idea is one that appeals to me and so I read and was let down by “The Rule of Four” and then stumbled across “Seven Ancient Wonders”.

The Great Pyramid at Giza was once topped by a golden capstone, which could be used for either great good or great evil, but only when the Tartarus sun spot is facing the earth, which happens once every few thousand years. That’s due to happen in the next seven days and so some people are very keen to find this capstone so that they can use it.

Unfortunately for them, the capstone was made in seven pieces and hidden away either with or in the Seven Wonders of the World. This wouldn’t be an issue, except that most of the seven wonders have either been broken up or hidden by the ancient Egyptians or even, such as in the case of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, had never been found at all. Clues have been left to enable the capstone pieces to be found, if they can all be cracked in time. But even finding the pieces isn’t the end of it, as all the locations are heavily guarded with potentially lethal traps which have been waiting thousands of years for the unwary.

This would be tough enough for Jack West and his team of crack troops representing a group of nations as it is. Add in the additional pressure of the time frame, plus the fact that there are also far better equipped teams from both Europe’s Roman Catholic Church and the American Armed Forces also seeking the pieces and will stop at nothing to get them and it’s next to impossible.

“Seven Ancient Wonders” rattles along at a cracking pace. The clues lead the team around the world and as time is short, they have to move pretty quickly. The story and the writing moves at the same pace and it can almost leave your breathless at times. When the pieces are found, they are frequently so heavily guarded that there is little time for the team to breathe between traps and, with one of the following teams frequently in hot pursuit at all times, the pace of the story matches the urgency required.

Unlike “The Rule of Four”, which felt like it was trying to be smarter than the authors could manage to make it; Reilly makes no pretence that this is anything other than a straight thriller. Indeed, the whole book feels very much like an Indiana Jones film, with the same kind of clues as towards the end of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. It’s gripping and exciting and you never know exactly what is going to happen or where they will end up next.

It’s very useful that the story itself is so gripping, as the book is actually quite badly written. Reilly clearly has far better ideas than his talents as a writer will take him, so what you get is a great adventure story, but with some writing so clumsy it can be a distraction at points. Reilly is lucky in that the story is good enough that these don’t stop you reading and that he does just about make you care enough about some of the characters to want to see how they make out.

Reilly’s writing style is very breathless and punctuated with far too many exclamation marks. It’s almost as if Reilly doesn’t quite have the confidence that he’s made his point in prose and is adding these in as if to say “Hey, wasn’t that bit really exciting?” Generally speaking, it was really exciting, but I would have preferred to have decided that for myself, rather than have the excitement shoved in my face with some violent punctuation. In many ways, Reilly’s use of these exclamation marks is much like the behaviour of some of the teams within the story; doing what they like, when they like, with no respect for the feelings of others.

For a story with some supposedly difficult clues for the characters to crack, this is actually a bit of a no brainer. Much like the Indiana Jones film, there is no requirement for the reader to try and think about what’s going to happen next, just cling on and go for the ride. The enjoyment you will get from this book is very much based on the enjoyment you would normally get from this kind of thing. If you’re looking for an intelligent thriller and wouldn’t normally read this sort of book, then you’re looking in the wrong place. There are some fiendish clues and traps for the characters here, but none for the reader.

If you’re a fan of fast paced action thrillers, though, or of the Indiana Jones films, this is definitely the book for you. You’re less likely to be surprised or disappointed by the terrible writing in parts and will be able to relax and enjoy the story in peace. Indeed, as far as thrillers go, this is a great example of the art; it’s fast paced, it doesn’t let up for a minute and it keeps you on the edge of the seat until the very end.

Despite wincing at several points at the sheer clumsiness of the writing itself, I found myself enjoying “Seven Ancient Wonders” purely for the story. I loved the Indiana Jones films (well, apart from the last one) and I do quite like a good thriller novel every now and again, believing that reading can be for entertainment and not just to stretch the mind. “Seven Ancient Wonders” is no different to any book of this type in that you can really only read it the once; once you know what happens and how the clues and traps work, there’s no point in reading it again.

If you’re looking for a fun read, this is right where you should be looking. If you’re hoping for an intelligent read, you’re in the wrong place. I did enjoy the story very much, but it’s very difficult to read at some points as the writing isn’t terribly good. Whilst I don’t regret the time I spent reading it, I’m not in the slightest bit tempted to read any of Matthew Reilly’s other works and he’d have to come up with an idea at least as intriguing as the one behind “Seven Ancient Wonders” to encourage me to read his works again.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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on 18 February 2008
Yes, Seven Ancient Wonders is the same as this newly titled book. This is down to the publishers not Mr Reilly. To those who have moaned about this book.... get a life for goodness sake!!!! My first Reilly book was 'Seven Ancient Wonders' and I am totally hooked. Think James Bond but working as team and without the superior attitude or the annoying sex and sexual overtones. This book if absolute fantasy and it should be read with that in mind. If you don't want to read fiction then don't read this book but don't criticise it either! I loved it and have now read its sequal Six Sacred Stones... please set that word processor on fire Mr Reilly because I'm on the edge of my seat :-)
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on 18 August 2006
from what i can gather from other internet sources this is the same as Seven Ancient Wonders just a different title.
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The plot of Seven Ancient Wonders is simple - many years ago the Great Pyramid of Giza bore a capstone made of gold that was the focal point of an extravagant ancient ritual timed to coincide with a particular cycle of the sun, the Tartarus Rotation, that would give the nation controlling the ceremony 1000 years' rule over the world.

For diehard Reilly fans, this will feel very familiar - the fast-paced plot where every chapter ends in the sort of true cliff-hanger fashion; the high-tech weaponry and equipment described in almost loving detail; and the diagrams at the start of each chapter that are so essential if the reader is to keep track of who is taking which route through which trap-infested ancient monument. This is where the novel falls down I feel. Whilst weaponry is described in loving detail, the locales are not and the descriptive text used is very young in mind, almost to the point where I felt this book was aimed squarely at teens.

Fast and good humoured this is the book equivalent of a genjeric action blockbuster. And whilst I did enjoy I feel it was a missed opportunity to generate and immerse the reader in the ancient world. Good if your own immagination is up to it.

The only slight flaw I found with the kindle edition is that the pictures, necessary to orientate yourself obviously haven't been ported well and could use rejiggin for kindle. ALso as some other reviewers pointed out the writing style can be a bit...childish eg there will be say an action bit and then it will read something like ' and then an awesome punch happened happened' and stuff like that.

As a result of this I'm not sure if I'll continue with the Jack West Jnr series....
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on 21 December 2007
This book is yet again a fantastic read from M.R. containing his usual mix of killer animals, hi-tech weaponry and, at the same second, super-fast pacing!

Now for all those people who feel ripped off buying this book twice etc. If you are any kind of fan of any author then do some research on what books they have out. Matthew Reilly has a good website, then there's Wikipedia or even the US version of Amazon to find out what a particular book is about.

Sometimes authors don't have the rights to assert what the title of a book is going to be in any particular market. His publishers decided on this name for the US launch and then changed it. I can't see how that is necessarily M.R.'s fault.
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This is the third or fourth new author for me, this year, what a joy. Having read some of the other reviewers comments on this book, I approached it with an open mind but also a little trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised and found the book extremely fast paced and very entertaining. Sure, it isn't going to win any literature prizes, but I am certain it was not written with that intention.

The book was written to entertain and excite the reader and it certainly did that for me. If the author bends the rules a little and does not stick rigidly to ancient history as it has been written down by the scholars, then so what. For those who have an interest in Ancient History, myself included it may offend a little. But speaking personally I don't see why it should. After all the book is a novel and does not purport to be anything else.

The plot of the book is woven around the original seven wonders of the world, quite an ingenious idea, I thought. Two thousand years ago a significant object was dismantled and hidden within the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Now, in modern times jack West, an archaeologist and a team of nine men are trying to discover the exact locations of the Seven Wonders and unlock their secret . . . But theirs is a race against time.
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This is the third or fourth new author for me, this year, what a joy. Having read some of the other reviewers comments on this book, I approached it with an open mind but also a little trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised and found the book extremely fast paced and very entertaining. Sure, it isn't going to win any literature prizes, but I am certain it was not written with that intention.

The book was written to entertain and excite the reader and it certainly did that for me. If the author bends the rules a little and does not stick rigidly to ancient history as it has been written down by the scholars, then so what. For those who have an interest in Ancient History, myself included it may offend a little. But speaking personally I don't see why it should. After all the book is a novel and does not purport to be anything else.

The plot of the book is woven around the original seven wonders of the world, quite an ingenious idea, I thought. Two thousand years ago a significant object was dismantled and hidden within the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Now, in modern times jack West, an archaeologist and a team of nine men are trying to discover the exact locations of the Seven Wonders and unlock their secret . . . But theirs is a race against time.
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on 19 February 2013
I have read other books by this author and although they were a little far fetched, they were ok. This however is awful.

The story seems to be a race from one booby-trapped tomb to another. Unfortunately the implausibility of most of the traps and tombs is laughable and completely unbelievable, the most obvious flaw being the crocodile infested tomb that has been sealed for centuries! How did the crocs survive all this time with no oxygen and no food source?

I am only halfway through the book and very rarely fail to finish a book no matter how bad but the writing style is so silly I may have to make an exception. It is written in the style of a child "this happened, that happened, then we SHOT all the bad guys and WON!". What annoys me the most is that it is littered with exclamation marks and there are so many things in italics that the whole thing reads as if being narrated by Steve Irwin! It is extremely irritating to read so I will not be bothering with anything by this author again.
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on 28 August 2010
He actually writes things like that. BOOM! He finishes chapters with a character about to die... and then starts the next one with: "... oh no he doesn't!"

Basically, it reads like a screenplay for a terrible, trashy, action film. It's probably the worst-written book I've ever managed to finish, and I only finished it simply because I was away travelling and didn't have anything else. That said, it's so bad, it crosses the line into funny.
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