Matthew Reilly - Shastrix Books

Matthew Reilly

Recently reviewed

Seven Ancient Wonders

Seven Ancient Wonders

Matthew Reilly

9th August 2010

I have attempted to read Matthew Reilly's 'Scarecrow' in the past but had to give up fifty pages in, but decided to give him another chance.

I'm afraid to say it didn't last more than four pages. I just couldn't cope with the writing style at all. It's very bitty. With lots of short sentences that are hard to read and refuse to flow. The jilted feel just seems to be trying to force you to slow your reading down and to me its wrong to do that to your audience.

So I'm afraid that's the definitive end to my patronage of Reilly's works. I also note that this series, which initially appeared to be planned for a full seven novels, has been pulled back to just three. I like to think this shows that it's not just me who cannot stand it.

read more

Filled StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Buy book: UK
Scarecrow

Scarecrow

Matthew Reilly

18th February 2010

A one-star review - which means a book that I failed to finish. The first for a long time. I'll admit, I should have been tipped off by only having paid £1 in the discount book shop, and that it's by an author with a seemingly substantial output and yet of whom I had never heard. I was also put off by the title 'Scarecrow' - a name that really doesn't fit a good character in a story.

The book feels like it was written as a film script and then very roughly chopped around to make it into a novel. The action is described in short sharp sentences that sound like instructions from a screenplay, and the characters back-stories seem to be chopped from a profile and dropped in the middle of the narrative, breaking the flow completely. The writing style is very casual, although inconsistently varies from page to page, which is quite distracting. It feels like it is meant to be a fast, action-packed thriller, but it just doesn't work.

I was also unimpressed by the plot - it's almost like a failed Tom Clancy. The characters are military, but there's nothing about them at the start of the novel to make them likeable - they are almost 2D cut-outs of the 'American Hero'. The characters all have silly nicknames: Scarecrow, Book II, and worst of all Bull. Every time the characters address him ("Bull!") it sounds in my head like they are using the expression which accuses someone of telling falsehoods.

Another big put off is the amount of jargon - the number of military terms and acronyms really put me off the flow. I'm no expert, and I really don't care what exact model of gun a character is using, just that it's a hand gun would be sufficient to fuel my imagination. Yes, Clancy does the same, but (as I recall, it being a few years since I've read a Clancy) his style explains the terminology and technology outside the flow of the narrative, which makes everything flow together much simpler.

So yes, this is a book I could not bring myself to continue with. I'm afraid I can't review most of the plot, because I've not found out where it is going to go, but it didn't excite me.

read more

Filled StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Buy book: UK

Top books

  1. Filled StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
  2. Scarecrow
  3. Filled StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
  4. Seven Ancient Wonders