"The Four Legendary Kingdoms" (Gallery Books), by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly's hero Jack West Jr. returns in "The Four Legendary Kingdoms," a non-stop action fest that bleeds action and thrills on every page.
History knows of the Great Games, but the details have fallen to myth. The fourth game is about to begin to save the world from a catastrophic event that will eliminate all life on Earth. The three previous winners were Osiris, Gilgamesh and Hercules, and the time has come for a new set of challenges with 16 warriors entering the contest. Only one can emerge victorious.
West wakes up in a cell with a shaved head and an explosive implanted in the back of his neck. He has no knowledge of what he's about to do, but he must learn quickly. His daughter and some of his friends are being held hostage to ensure his participation, and walking away will result in the immediate termination of both West and the people he holds dear.
Most of his opponents are familiar with the Games and know how to cheat the system in order to stay alive. Jack has to keep ahead of death, and the further he makes it into the tournament, the more he puts a target on his back.
Reilly's fans will love this over-the-top story that mixes "The Hunger Games" with Greek mythology.
The author also brings elements from his previous books, creating a wonderfully complex saga that seems to fit perfectly into Jack's earlier tales and Reilly's other series.
Jeff Ayers, The Associated Press