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Seven Ancient Wonders (Jack West Jr #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  16,535 Ratings  ·  771 Reviews
It is the biggest treasure hunt in history with contesting nations involved in a headlong race to locate the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

4500 years ago, a magnificent golden capstone sat at the peak of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was a source of immense power, reputedly capable of bestowing upon its holder absolute global power. But then it was divided into seven
Paperback, 544 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Pan Books (UK) (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
To the person who wrote this PoC slightly not very good story: who the fish are you, and what have you done with the guy who wrote Ice Station?! You cannot be Matthew Reilly. That is just impossible. Because, seriously, this book here? It feels like it was written 30 years ago. By my 13-year-old niece. Who doesn't speak a word of English. Yep, that's right. This ain't no Pulitzer prize material, my Little Barnacles.

Wait. Before I roll out my Deadly Arguments of Mass Book Destruction (DAoMBD), I
Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 20, 2016 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish

That's all I can say here. I started out with an open mind, I was looking forward to this book, I like action adventure and I'll forgive a lot if the book has a good action feel. Also, I'm a fantasy fan so I'm practiced at "suspending disbelief", I'll swallow a lot with a shrug and an "oh well" if it makes a good story.

This didn't.

I've never read anything by Mr. Reilly before. Here he seems to have taken a page from Bullwinkle J. Moose's book. He combined Peabody's Im
Jan 02, 2014 Tracy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, donated
This book was so completely terrible, so absolutely lacking in anything resembling worth, that I simply had to talk about it. It is so bad that I couldn't believe it, and kept reading with the sole purpose to find out how bad it could really get, and so I could tell everybody I knew how totally, completely, wholly bad it was. The only other books I have ever even started to read that were this bad were a few cheesy romance novels, and I wondered how even those could get published.

Where to begin?
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Seven Deadly Wonders introduces a new character by Matthew Reilly to me, Jack West Jr. It's very hard to follow in the footsteps of Shane 'Scarecrow' Schofield, because, well, he's the man! But I have to say I really do like Jack. What's not to like about him? He's a fun character. Honorable, intelligent, athletic, dedicated, daring, and lethal to the bad guys. And being a girl who grew up on Indiana Jones, and wanted to be her own version of the adventurer, Jack has an Indiana Jones in a modern ...more
Nov 18, 2010 Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A few weeks ago someone in my apartment building left a bunch of old magazines and recipe books in the lobby on a shelf that acts as a kind of internal charity shop. Amongst the 2008 editions of Marie Claire magazines was this book. Judging the book by its cover I assumed it would be god-awful pop fiction riding the Dan Brown bandwagon, so I of course picked it up and read it today on a return trip to Oxford.

I confess, the book isn't terrible. I'm used to suspending my sense of disbelief when re
Allan Fisher
You either love it or hate it...
Reilly's writing style is reminiscent of the fight scenes in the TV Batman series of the sixties...

He leapt onto the helicopter from the tree

Relentless, totally implausible high octane scene followed by well, ditto... and then once more and just when you need a breather you are plunged headlong into a crocodile infested pit on your way to saving the world from mysterious shadow organisations operating within governments... oh and of course the President i
Sep 07, 2010 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do you suppose would happen if an adventure novel got viciously mugged by a big fish tale? Probably something a lot like this. Now listen, if you want paeans to technology, stick to Clancy. Odes to science? Crichton's your man (Miss you already, Michael). But for sheer exuberance, not to mention all the momentum of a monster avalanche, Matthew Reilly is definitely your go-to guy. He's not afraid to use mutant walruses, mutant jaguars, hell, mutant children.
But there are rules here: throw l
Aug 08, 2016 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: Geoff
Executive Summary: This book is ridiculous. I'm torn between a 2 and 3 star rating because it's a solid 2.5. I have to round down because what started off pretty fun got so over the top by the end that I was constantly rolling my eyes.

Audiobook: William Dufris is a pretty good narrator that I've enjoyed from John Scalzi's Old Man War series. He does some voices and is easy to listen to. However, I kept waiting for the characters to start using their Brain Pals. It was a bit hard to separate Mr.
Dec 17, 2009 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some time ago, I gave this book to a friend as a gift. Said friend is a big fan of the archaeological-mystery genre, and this looked to be right up her alley. Then, last weekend, I visited her home and found myself with a few hours to kill. I picked this up and started reading.

I owe my friend an apology.

Wow, what dreck. Or should I say, Wow! What dreck! The author's ridiculously breathless writing style, obviously intended to tell us that This! Story! Is supposed to be! Exciting! in case it sl
The phrase "I couldn't put this book down" is the exact opposite of how I felt reading Reilly's "thriller." It was more like I couldn't remember to pick it up. I kept noticing it on my desk and reminding myself I was reading it and that I needed to finish it. I extended my lending period from my local library THREE TIMES. I never do that.

It was like this author was trying to combine India Jones, the Da Vinci Code, and "The Mummy" all in one book. The series of adventures and exotic weaponry pre
Mar 19, 2011 Nicola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book - so much so that I finished it in about a day and a half. I haven't read a book that was so fast paced in a while, the characters were engaging and the storyline was really interesting. I also thought that the illustrations were a good idea, helping to imagine the places described and adding to the story.

The only problem I had with the book was the author's extensive use of italics for emphasis. It fitted well in some instances, but for me it was over-used, becoming d
Mar 02, 2014 Lizzie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't cope with the appalling writing style.
He writes a line -
- and carries it on.
And I could have played bingo with the sheer number of the word 'suddenly.'
Worst crime?
Ending one chapter with: "Jack had made a terrible mistake"
And starting the next one with "No, he hadn't"
Neil M
Jun 05, 2014 Neil M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action-thriller
I'm a huge fan of Matthew Reilly's books. Even with it's total lack of characterization and plot, it's insane over-abundance of exclamation points!!!, and the fact that it reads like something that came from the mind of a sugar-fed fourth grader with ADHD, Ice Station is still one of my very favorite books of all time. It was fun! And exciting!, and in a weird way, the fact that it was written rather poorly, kind of fit it , and added to the overall reading experience. This book, however, was a ...more
Patrick Gibson
May 10, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: preposterous action adventure lovers
If you took all the action scenes from the Indiana Jones movies and edited them together, skipping all those pesky talkie parts, you would have something akin to this Matthew Reilly book: a thrilling thriller thrilled by its own exuberance. It’s a book that literally flies along—kind of the way it flew off the used book table at the church flea market and into my hands, which in turn forced me to part with fifty cents.

I tend to judge books in the Cussler/Rollins/Preston genre by the number of ti
Mar 24, 2012 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The most fun I had with this book was finding the disconnects and there are plenty to keep you going "huh? what?"

Here's a few for you:

West and his team are looking for a 2500 year old underground entrance. His buddy, carrying the ancient scroll which reveals the secret entrance, consults the scroll and discovers the entrance is marked by 4 lotus trees. And wouldn't ya know, there are the trees! 2500 years later, and still standing!

Pooh Bear gets trapped behind a sliding boulder with no way out e
Aug 16, 2007 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
About 100 pages into this and I'm not sure I can finish it. This is the fourth Reilly book I've read and though I've enjoyed them all, they keep getting more and more ridiculous. My biggest pet peeve from earlier works has already reared its head: You cannot possibly do anything (jump out of the way of a falling boulder; jump off of a crumbling bridge; dodge a flying arrow) in a NANOSECOND. It is one billionth of a second for god's sake. Why stop at nanosecond? How about having someone scale up ...more
Tim The Enchanter
3.5 Stars

This review is for the Audiobook version of the book.

What do you get if Laura Croft and Indiana Jones were to mate, have a child, and appoint the terminator as the child's Godfather? You get Jack West Jr., the Hero of the 7 Deadly Wonders. A brilliant yet deadly, tomb raiding, treasure hunting soldier with one mechanical arm.

Please pass this book by if you are looking for intellectual stimulation. This is not a thinking mans book. This was Die Hard for your reading (or listening) pleasu
Jan 25, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sit down and watch Indianna Jones or The Mummy with some friends. Get one friend to narrate the movie with a moderate amount of sarcasm. That's how this book reads.

Anyone who read my review of Temple knows I am highly critical of Reilly's writing style. In terms of story he does really well - starts off with an action packed scene with likeable and interesting main characters. But what would make a terrific movie translates into a frustrating novel when italics and exclamation marks are over use
April (Aprilius Maximus)
SO awesome! Like seriously. BAM
Lu (Sugar & Snark)
Jan 30, 2016 Lu (Sugar & Snark) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: raru
The golden capstone, the source that can grant ultimate power to one nation, was separated into seven pieces and hidden in ancient times. Today, the world is looking for it and it is a race against time! Which nation will get the ultimate power? And what will they do to get it?

Captain Jack West Jr and his team of experts in ancient history, martial arts, guns, bombs and anything else they might need, set out to find the seven pieces for their nations, before the Europeans and Americans get their
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho

Finally it's over. I am undecided on how many stars I am going to give. After making my review I will decide.

So, what have we got here... A action-slash-adventure thriller book sure reads like a movie script.

First of all I nearly gave up after reading 78 pages and after my second, third and each attempt I read but I don't want to leave any unfinish book.

I have so many critics that I don't know how to begin. I know this is FICTION novel but at the same time I know this is not fantasy and n
Jun 02, 2016 Janey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There isn't a Matthew Reilly book that I haven't read yet that I haven't enjoyed.

If you like fast-paced, oh-my-God-I-can't-believe-this-is-happening type of books that are full of the literally unbelievable, then you'll also enjoy this book.

The described locations, such as Giza pyramid was just one of the amazing settings as a massive puzzle must be solved in order for our hero to save the world.

Jack West is one of my favorite characters by Matthew Reilly.
I read it for book club and while it wasn't great, it was okay. I don't know whether I just don't like archeological adventures or just didn't like this guy's style. I sort of felt the whole thing just wasn't real plausible. Then there was the writing style. You never really knew anyone well enough to care. All the characters were rather cardboard. Then the action sequences were not very believable at all. They seemed to foil trap after trap with no real advance planning except for the first tim ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-grab-me, dnf
Just look at all the other 1-star reviews. I couldn't even get past 50 pages. This book was stupidly written, bad plot, flat characters, tropes EVERYWHERE and why did he need to use... italics everywhere? It just breaks-

The Flow!!! of the story.

And the diagrams. Really? You describe something in the book, about 5 times, but then for good measure, add a crappy diagram in case I still didn't get it.

Bear in mind people, I actually didn't get past the first 50 pages, so all this happens at once. And

Aug 01, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No other author writes a book like Matthew Reilly. You get these writers who base their story on historical fact, Reilly's method is to rewrite history to fit his story. And it works really well, it is full of action, so much in fact that reading this for long periods can leave you worn out.

One of my favourite things about his books are the little maps he has for each section of the book so you can follow the route of the characters. I really recommend reading this in paper format, as an ebook
Cormac Healy
Jun 20, 2016 Cormac Healy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a book. The writing, plot, historical background, and style are, quite simply, abysmal. And yet I read the whole damn thing. In a day and a half. And loved it.

Plot synopsis: The world will end unless the capstone of the Great Pyramid is found, reassembled (because, spoiler alerts, it is not all in the same place!) and a magic spell is chanted. Luckily, there is bunch of intrepid super-soldiers (and an 8-year old girl of course) who know roughly where to find it. Here is where it gets inter
Aug 23, 2015 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever seen The Librarian movies? Did you like them? This is one of those stories, a cute low budget Indiana Jones meets Merlin the magician adventure tale. Throw all the facts out the window and run with it for a very entertaining romp.

My warning is that the politics are as fantastical as the rest of the basis- American Special forces are portrayed as inept overfunded baby killers (LITERALLY); when we're not busy being global civil rights crushing bullies. Christians are all dopes who R
Jasher Drake
Mar 30, 2016 Jasher Drake rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really didn't enjoy this book and it was a chore to finish it, which books shouldn't be. The story was all over the place, the characters were really stereotypical and surprisingly it really wasn't that well written. I will say though, I am intrigued to now how the rest of the trilogy will flesh out, but I don't think I will be reading anymore. Good for you guys who found it a good read, but it really, really wasn't my cup of tea.
Sascha Michels
Jan 26, 2016 Sascha Michels rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just awful! I’m not sure what was more afflicting the writing or the story.

Next to the fact that this book is badly written I was really annoyed by the sound descriptions: Bam, boom, click, shom, ping, shwack, thwack, …

And the story? Well some “small” nations have built a coalition against A) “Old Europe” (= Italy, Germany, France + Vatican!) and B) USA. The Americans are just REALLY REALLY bad while “Old Europe” is just stupid and incapable of doing anything. This coalition finds a small child
Sep 27, 2015 Librariasaurus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I really enjoyed this one, sorry to my boyfriend for taking so long to read this one, I'll definitely get to the rest soon.

The best way I can describe this series, at least this first instalment; is Rambo meets Indiana Jones. This book, like all Reilly books is a non-stop action sequence, spanning the globe. It's got prophecy, sacrifice, volcanoes, snake pits, snares, Saddam Hussein's stolen plane, pyramids and an unreadable ancient language.

Following a family of sorts, against the might of Ame
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This book is awesome!! 18 61 Feb 02, 2013 11:20AM  
Action/Adventure ...: December Treasure Hunt Group Discussion: Seven Deadly Wonders *Spoilers* 7 31 Jan 02, 2012 08:44AM  
A decent read 1 30 Nov 18, 2008 06:18PM  
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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.
More about Matthew Reilly...

Other Books in the Series

Jack West Jr (4 books)
  • The Six Sacred Stones (Jack West Jr, #2)
  • The 5 Greatest Warriors (Jack West Jr, #3)
  • The Four Legendary Kingdoms (Jack West Jr, #4)

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“I have both held and beheld unlimited power and of it I know but one thing. It drives men mad.'
- Alexander the Great”
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