I always snickered at the part in Men in Black when Tommy Lee Jones tells Will Smith that the tabloids and the sensational, wild stories they contain are not only true but the best source for information on what is really going on in the world. I snickered because there is a part of me that wants to believe those wild tales.
Apparently Matthew Reilly does too. His latest novel, The 6 Sacred Stones, is the second in his modern quest series in which the world must be saved from yet another Apocalypse triggered by cosmic events. The first book, 7 Deadly Wonders, had Jack West, Jr and his team of scholars and soldiers saving the world using items found in the Seven Wonders of the World. This book has the same team continuing their quest to find sacred stone objects (the philosopher’s stone, Stonehenge, etc.) that will prevent the Dark Sun from destroying the world.
This book is not the best-written book I’ve ever read, but it has an interesting plot (one that appeals to the mystery seeker/mythologist in me). The characters are fairly one-dimensional and the dialogue occasionally clunky, but I like that the book is fast-paced. It’s a perfect book for a quick read (I read it in an afternoon) and light enough to be beach reading. I also thought it was better than the first book in the series. Reilly ends the book at a crucial point, so I’m eagerly anticipating the next book.
Oh, the only thing I didn’t like was that Reilly, an Australian, paints the United States as an evil empire. It was more pronounced in the first book, when his team was first put together “Fellowship of the Rings-style”, representing small, usually less important countries. These books are tongue-in-cheek, so I can’t get too bent out of shape about it, and I’m sure there are many, many people in the world who do perceive the United States as the evil empire. Reilly has written a series of other books about a US Marine named Shane Scofield (also recommended), so I know he isn’t really anti-American, but it was disconcerting to encounter that point of view.
Contest (Reilly): have you ever wondered what happens in the library after hours? Or for fans of Alien Vs. Predator (seriously)
Temple (Reilly): legendary manuscripts, Incan idols and planetary destruction