Seven Deadly Wonders is the first book in a series by action/adventure author Matthew Reilly. The books premise is basically that a sunspot, which only aligns with the Earth every five thousand years, is about to cause a global cataclysm. That is unless the Great Pyramids golden capstone can be reassembled and placed in its rightful place. The twist is that the pieces of the capstone are hidden throughout the planet among the remnants of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Whoever reclaims the pieces can recite a certain incantation that makes their nation the most powerful in the world. Naturally, the nations of Europe and the US desire this prize, but a group of small nations have joined together in order to keep any one nation from acquiring such power.
The premise of the novel is intriguing and the book is filled with great locations and situations, however, I felt that it failed to live up to Reillys previous works. If you havent read Ice Station or Temple by Matthew Reilly, stop reading this review immediately and go pick those up instead of Seven Deadly Wonders. I dont mean to say that I didnt enjoy Seven Deadly Wonders or to say that it is not worth your time. Im merely stating that in my opinion his books Ice Station, Area 7, and Temple are some of the best action/adventure books available and should be read first. If youve already read the three mentioned above, continue on
Seven Deadly Wonders had some very cool scenes. I loved the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and a section where our heroes have to break a terrorist out of Guantanamo Bay because of his knowledge of the Seven Wonders. My biggest issue with the book was that at points it felt too cartoonish or like you were playing a video game, but not a great video game, more like a Tomb Raider rip-off. Dont get me wrong, I love video games, but parts of this book were too much for me. Also, this is a personal style issue, but Reillys excessive use of exclamation points really took me out of the story. Personally, I feel that exclamation points should only be used in dialogue and that events should speak for themselves. I guess my issues boil down to the fact that I felt, unlike Reillys other books, the action of Seven Deadly Wonders felt a little forced at certain points as if Reilly was trying a bit too hard.
It should also be said that a great deal of my qualms are represented within the first hundred pages of the book. Once youre past the first section, things are better.
To sum it up, I feel that Seven Deadly Wonders is a decent book with some great action sequences, very cool locations, interesting historical elements, and an appealing premise, but it comes up short in a few other areas. So, if youve read all of Reillys Shane Schofield series (Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow) and Temple (I havent read Contest, yet, so I cant comment on it), then you should give Seven Deadly Wonders a try. If you havent read the aforementioned books, I suggest you pick up Ice Station and/or Temple, both of which are incredible.