Contest
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Contest

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  6,930 ratings  ·  318 reviews
The New York Public Library. A silent sanctuary of knowledge; a 100-year-old labyrinth of towering bookcases, narrow aisles and long marble hallways. For Doctor Stephen Swain and his daughter, Holly, it is the site of a nightmare. Because for one night this historic building is to be the venue for a contest. A contest in which Swain is to compete - whether he likes it or n...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 10th 2003 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 1996)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I will never forget the moment I formed a bond with an Australian author named Matthew Reilly. It was a spur of the moment thing. If I had not grabbed a book off the shelf of the San Diego Public Library called Ice Station, I might not be writing this review. But I did, and it changed my life.

I cut my teeth on action movies. I started watching them when I was very young, and they hold a special place in my heart. While I am a romance novel and fantasy book fan first and foremost, I have always l...more
Ian
OK, this book is never going to challenge literary heavyweights in the classic states, it won't win prestigious awards that means it will sit on pretentious people's shelves never read, and it definitely won't be given review space among the highbrow books that get featured in the national press.

But, this book is FUN! It's fast, frantic, full of aliens and a very neat context that, had it not been written before publication of The Hunger Games, could be looking at an accusation of plagarism.

I re...more
Mark Hebwood
Part 1 in a four-book review of Matthew Reilly's novels

Contest -> Ice Station -> Temple -> Seven Ancient Wonders

I like the idea of a good adventure novel so I keep picking things up that I discard 100 pages in, unable to continue with a contrived plot, clichéd characters, bad narrative, or ridiculous events. And Matthew has written a few novels that serve up many, or even all, of these traits. This one, however, I liked. Ok so the plot is contrived - this one tells the story of a conte...more
Sasmaya Suliztiarto
Jul 22, 2010 Sasmaya Suliztiarto rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who loves science-fictions!
Recommended to Sasmaya by: My boss at work

This book is awesome. Since I'm a big fan of action-game, I loooove..Reilly's fast pace and the thrills. The science-fiction theme is very striking, mixed with the subtle story of a father who loves his daughter and lost his wife in an accident.

I love his writings. He used simple words, unlike Dan Brown who also writes sci-fi-action theme and makes me read with the dictionary beside my bed. And I just can't stop reading! He put the right story in the right part, so we don't wanna miss any actio...more
Stephen
BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh my God, this book was hilarious. And in a fantastical train wreck kind of way, not a belly laugh kind of way. I picked this book up because my Book Club book wasn't available yet, and I needed something to read. I noticed this book because of the picture of The New York Public Library on the cover, and thought "Hey, I work there....what's this about?"

Well, let me just set the stage for you....

Contest is about an intergalactic competition that takes place once every mi...more
Jonathan
Matthew Reilly is one of the best writers I have read in how he jumps straight into the action and never drops the breakneck pace until the story ends. The same remains true for Contest which is a tightly wound story with a strong plot, a few thrill moments but is on the whole non-stop action reading.

Many writers prove incapable of retaining a quality of writing whilst also providing thrills and action. Reilly here shows what quality action writing can be.

The plot of a man taken to play a role i...more
Stef
Once you started this book you can't put it aside until you have finished it.
Lanica
I enjoyed this book, even though it had it's flaws.

It's a story that's been done...and done...and done. And, yet, I found myself wanting to know how it ended. He's put a new twist on the 'fight to the death between random contestants who can't escape from the maze unless they are the last man standing' plot. He's added to it with various details that really make to book feel unique. It takes place in the New York Public Library - cool. It has unique alien races - the details of which were well...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
Ok, I really do love Matthew's writing. I started reading his Shane Schofield first, and then found Jack West Junior, which hasnt had a new book since 2009's The Five Greatest Warriors (2009).

This book is for the Sci-Fi lovers out there and also those who follow Michael Crichton. This could also be an off shoot of the Running Man. If you remember that show with Arnold, and Richard Dawson.

The premise of the book is this. Seven players, each from a different world, compete for their lives in somet...more
Nicholas A. Joos
**** ½
Contest
Matthew Reilly
March 10th, 2003
328 pages
Fantasy/Action


Alien thrillers usually take place on a mothership in Nebula F or have futuristic guns with lots of over exaggerated lightening, usually resulting in the deaths of humans. Contest is an alien thriller that involves a human kicking the living crap out of said aliens.

Dr. Stephen Swain is transferred via hyperspace to the New York Public Library, or "The Labyrinth." He is summoned while standing in the middle of him living room, tal...more
Eric
This version of "Contest," one of my favorite books, is my second Kindle "experience." So as with my first review of a Kindle book, I'll stick to the Kindle version and urge you to look at my review of the print edition for more on the book itself. Like "Ice Station," this book suffers from the Kindle skipping past the useful maps situated prior to the start of the text. On the other hand, the copy is cleaner, with few noticeable typos. One nice bonus is that this version includes the interview...more
Shrads
OHH MY GOD


I SWORE that I wont read any more Reilly books while commuting in public transport.

I act like a MIME artist in a crowded train, while reading his never ending, relentless, freight-train of writing.... I mean how many times am I gonna chew my nails to mere stubs forgetting that I got my manicure done the previous evening???

Contest, being his FIRST novel, is relatively naive on some accounts. But its speedy. He's gotten better with each of his book.... and I cant wait to get my hands on...more
Nikki
This book is total action the whole way through as is all of his books. The summary of this book is about a man who was taken into a presdian (a battle of the best warriors from the seven different worlds) and having to fight for his AND his daughters life. Also he has to try to protect a helpless librarian security guard who happened to be caught in the New York library when the presdian began.
Ginny Purvis
One of my all-time favorite books. The setting of this book was just ideal and the author mixed in just enough "weird" but did it in such a way as to make everything totally believable. New York Public Library, aliens and a kill-or-be-killed contest...doesn't get any better than this.
M
Totally rediculous and far fetched. In saying that, one of the most fun reads I've ever had. Fast paced, action movie style plot. Great descriptive language and even though I read this years ago, I can still remember vivid images from scenes.
Lisa P
Lots of nonstop action...exactly what I would expect from a Matthew Reilly story. It is an intergalactic competition to the death. Seven aliens, each from different galaxies, are put into an arena (in this case it is the New York Public Library)...nobody gets in or out until it's over. The rules are that they fight until only one is left alive. Representing earth is Dr. Stephen Swain, who has no idea what is happening, until he is suddenly transported to the arena as the competition begins. An u...more
Christine
A man and his daughter are drawn into a battle to the death called the Presidium. Seven life forms from different galaxies come together once every thousand years to determine superiority. This year’s labyrinth of choice is the New York Public Library. Human’s are the only representatives not aware of this ongoing “contest” and are the only species drawn into the event without consent. Of course, no human has ever won. Enter Dr. Steven Swain and his daughter (via teleportation of course) and the...more
Cass
Feb 12, 2011 Cass rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cass by: Chris
Shelves: australian, 2011
The book took quite a while to begin. I think this is because of the amount of unnessecary characters and sub-plots. The NSA sub-plot seemd to have very little purpose, and I am sure the author was visualising his movie on screen as he wrote the prologue - pointless.

I never became attached to any of the characters. The daughter was written as an agressive and assertive third grade girl initally, however later she delivered lines that would be expected from a four year old. The author had not rea...more
Corey
When I got this book I was very excited to read it because it sounded like my type of book - a very intense thriller with a lot of action and cliff hangers that provoke me to keep reading. Although it was all of this, the description of the book failed to leave out one small detail.... The contest was not between humans, but rather one human and six aliens. That gave the book a very Sci-Fi feel and cause me to dislike it a lot. For me, because it was so unrealistic it caused it to be much less i...more
Jill Smith
For those of you familiar with Matthew Reilly’s rise to fame through unorthodox means – this is the book that launched his career! Self published and sold door to door, reaching bookshop shelves, it was picked up by publishers who subsequently produced ‘ICE STATION’ and ‘TEMPLE’ which became best sellers here and overseas.

Like ‘Ice Station’,‘CONTEST’ is non stop action all the way. This is a true action science fiction with aliens, slimy entrails and a human hunter being hunted. With delightful...more
Emily Taylor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
I love Contest! & was extremely happy to finally obtain a copy of the self published original!!! My desire to read this very valuable version after hearing that it was different to later versions, outweighed the massive book nazi in me!!! I did however go and buy a pair of cotton gloves and am proud to say i DID NOT fall asleep with the book open and let it drop carelessly on the floor once!!!! :) Yeih Me!

I only noticed a couple of differences between this self published edition and later ed...more
Mojca
This was the first book Matthew Reilly published—before Ice Station and I must say I was rather disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it had all the usual MR elements (the non-stop action, thrills and chills galore...), but there was just something missing...The reality check.

Yeah, I know, the Scarecrow books also need quite a lot of suspension of disbelief, but at least the aforementioned Marine is trained to fight and he fights human enemies.

Steven Swain, hero of Contest is an M.E. and he fights a...more
Kathryn
Sci-fi/fantasy aren't normally my thing, but I did enjoy this. It took me 2 months to read it, but that's because I was listening to it as an audiobook and I got distracted by a load of physical books which needed returning to the library!! Also, listening to audiobooks is less convenient for reading if I only have five or ten minutes, so my physical books get preference because of this!

I do quite like action novels, although I don't read a lot of them. This involved a contest taking place withi...more
Tamara Felsinger
My first Matthew Reilly book! It was fast-paced and full of action, which was great.

Unfortunately there were a lot of plot holes and things that had me groaning. If you're going to write about something as complex as aliens (or time-travel, while we're on the subject), you need to think of everything that might be different between species, which is something Reilly didn't do so well. Two instances where an alien is alluding to Earth religions in his smart-ass comments? I don't think so.

The ital...more
Jay
F * U * N

It's written like a computer game, with a new 'Boss Villain' each chapter or so that the hero has to defeat using different strategies, like brute force, cunning or sabotage. The main character is a normal type guy, but he's smart so that's what eventually allows him to outsmart a horde of alien gladiators who have been sent to the Washington Library. He's there by accident, but like any good hero he makes the most of it.

Reilly is my favourite author. Fast writing, good brain for settin...more
Afsana
this was the 2nd of Matthew Reilly books have picked up. It isn't normally the type of book i would pick up but I was in Asda and it was on sale for £1 and I was having a spendaholic moment and I bought it

The first book the scarecrow I picked up thinking would not like and then would get rid of all his books but I really liked it

This one did not dissapoint and was good. The pace was fast and kept us engaged and though you may think the huge disparity between him and the other contest you do not...more
Michael McEvoy
I was drawn to this book because of its similarity to the hunger games - 7 contestants go in, only 1 comes out. When I found out that 6 of the contestants were aliens, I almost threw the book into the fire. Thank god I didn't! It was a bit slow at the start, but when it got going I couldn't put it down! And each chapter would end with a cliffhanger so I had to keep reading late into the night. The best bits were the scenes involving the elevators. I was sitting on the edge of my seat not knowing...more
Practical Mike
This is a good book... as long as you're not expecting great literature. It is good at what it's meant to be, and doesn't pretend to be anything greater than what it is. So what is it?

-Popcorn action flick.
-Just enough on the main characters to hook you and keep you rooting for them.
-Page turner.
-Quick read.
-Mix between The Relic, The Negotiator, and The Running Man movies.

What Reilly does well is present our hero with dire peril, and then take away the obvious "out", and force himself to anot...more
Grace Smallwood
My mum bought this book from Kmart because it was on $9 (can we all just take a moment to rejoice in the fact of a bargain of a NEW book?!). She read it in little over a day and said it was nothing like she was expecting. She gave it to me to read and I was like 'sure, you weren't expecting what it was, whatever'. Nevertheless, as usual, my mother was right.
This book is fast, really fast, I've never read a book this fast before. It's like Reilly never bothered to stop coming up for air. Yet he...more
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Action/Adventure ...: June 2014 Science Fiction Action/Adventure Group Read: Contest by Matthew Reilly *Spoilers* 23 33 Jul 09, 2014 11:19PM  
Which one is your favourite? 4 29 Jan 18, 2013 06:42AM  
The New York State Library. 1 10 Dec 04, 2012 07:40AM  
The New York State Library. 1 5 Dec 04, 2012 07:40AM  
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Matthew Reilly is a New York Times best-selling author of eight novels that have been published in eighteen languages in twenty countries. He has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/matthe...
More about Matthew Reilly...
Ice Station (Shane Schofield, #1) The Six Sacred Stones (Jack West Jr, #2) Seven Deadly Wonders (Jack West Jr, #1) Temple Scarecrow (Shane Schofield, #3)

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