Thursday, January 19, 2017

Four legendary kingdoms - book review

I’ve often quoted in this space that Matthew Reilley is one of my go to authors for leisure reading. His novels, those which I follow, are of 2 series. One having a hero called “Scarecrow” Shane Schofield and his adventures/escapades ala Mission Impossible Tom cruise style (with lot more gore and unimaginable action sequences and super villains). The other one is the Jack West Jr. series, with the namesake being the hero of the series. This one is my personal favorite for the only reason that, be it the first of the lot, 7 ancient wonders which was followed by 6 sacred stones or the previous edition five great warriors, the premises and the historical events that he mix up to make a fantastic potpourri of a story, is simply way too fast to put down once picked. The story moves at break neck pace and the single unifying thread amongst all the three novels is how earth faces destruction and with long lost ancient knowledge of the aliens, held secret all the while, is “unearthed” by Jack and crew and how they go on to keep the world ticking with each segment of the novel.

The first one of the series, deals with Tartarus rotation and how Jack West saves the world by placing the golden capstone on top of Ghiza pyramid, which saves the world from major catastrophes due to the sun spot that occurs once in several thousand years, the search for which takes him across all the ancient wonders. Being the first of the lot, this was by far his best in the series. The second one – Six sacred stones – involves Jack rebuilding a long lost machine to prevent annihilation of earth by “Dark sun”, another natural phenomenon. This again involved so many famous locations spread globally which are famous tourist attractions, yet given a super twist to fit into the theme. Third one – Five great warriors – which is actually a continuation of the previous one ends with Jack being identified as the fifth warrior alongside, Moses,Jesus,Ghenghis khan and Napolean!!!

The latest of the lot, 4 legendary kingdoms, again deal with a catastrophe that is about to befall earth, which can only be avoided, by the winner of a tournament, which traces its roots back to the 12 tasks of Hercules. Here again, the author takes way too much creative liberty to twist and turn any fact or myth on its head to suit his storyline. Unlike the other three novels, which has a global spread and worldwide hunt, this one takes place almost entirely in an underground area, called as underworld literally and figuratively. The major surprise being, the entire setting happens in Alag village of Gujarat. Yes. India finds more than a mention and so is Pakistan. Story wise its pretty straight forward. Jack surmounts every odd like a tamil movie hero and comes up trump. There is a lead to the next part of the series, which could be titled “Three wise men” is my guess, going by the naming convention and more than subtle hints strewn across the story. There is a prophecy which is denied by Jack to anyone, who is fine to search all over the world for the very answer that would save the world!! Eduku ivlo kashtapadanum when the answer would’ve been straight away revealed to you? Innum moonu part izhukkava? There is the famed fight to death between his most famous heroes, Jack vs Scarecrow, where Jack actually kills Scarecrow. Oops spoiler alert. But Scarecrow survives and is resurrected back to life. Illati antha innoru series ennagarthu. Oops again.

Gils verdict – He has already written few books, outside of his famous hero series, about tournaments and contests involving aliens and other dimensional habitants. Sounds more like aracha maavu in this version as well as this might well be the 4th such story of same theme. Mathabadi its nothing other than usual masala action, more like high octane Hollywood flicks which boasts of good locales and super duper budgets. Awaiting the next of the lot as it promises to bring the storyline back to its usual track set forth in motion by the first book of the series.

1 comment:

Ramesh said...

Aracha Maavu is one of the main things that keeps the world going around. Otherwise, how idli, dosai, ......... :)