Born in Sydney in 1974, Matthew Reilly was not always a big fan of reading. It was only after he read To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies in Year 10 that he realised reading could transport you to another world. Following this revelation, Matthew soon began creating stories of his own and set about writing his first novel, Contest, at the age of 19 while still at university studying law.
Following rejections from all the major publishers, Matthew self-published Contest in 1996, printing 1000 copies. He produced a big-budget-looking novel which he sold into bookshops throughout Sydney, one shop at a time.
In January 1997, a Commissioning Editor for Pan Macmillan Australia walked into Angus & Robertson's Pitt Street Mall store and bought a copy of Contest. The editor tracked Matthew down through his contact details in the front of the book. Interestingly, those original self-published editions of Contest have now become much sought after collectors' items. One recently sold on eBay for $1200!
Matthew Reilly is now the internationally bestselling author of the Scarecrow novels: Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and the novella Hell Island; the Jack West novels: Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors, The Four Legendary Kingdoms, and The Three Secret Cities; and the standalone novels Contest, Temple, Hover Car Racer, The Tournament, Troll Mountain, The Great Zoo of China and The Secret Runners of New York.
His books are published in over 20 languages with worldwide sales of over 7 million copies.
Since Seven Ancient Wonders in 2005, Matthew's novels have been the biggest selling new fiction title released in Australia for that year.
Matthew has also written several short stories, including Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl, a special free prequel to The Tournament which is available online. Other short stories include Time Tours, The Mine and the hyper-adrenalised romp, Altitude Rush.
He owns and drives a DeLorean DMC-12, the car made famous in the Back to the Future movies. He also has a life-sized Han Solo in carbonite hanging on the wall of his office! When not writing or penning a film script, Matthew can be found on the golf course.
Matthew Reilly is currently living in Los Angeles.
I get the criticism. It is a far cry from his usual work. But that’s kind of the point. I loved it.
Yes, it is a very simple writing style. Yes, it is a very straight-forward story. But, it is done well. The characters are crisp and to the point. The world building is sweet. And the action scenes are cool.
Matthew Reilly is a really good writer and even out of his comfort zone, he is able to create a marvelous world where trolls and goblins roam the world. This did what any good story should do: it sucked me in and never let go until the end.
I think this is a great read if you want something fast paced, quick to finish and not too in-depth. If you're an epic Fantasy buff, this isn't for you. If you don't normally read Fantasy (like myself) and want a good intro to the genre, this is for you. While it's written in a YA language format, it carries some heavy adult social themes so I found it easy to connect with. Great characters, great thrilling scenes and if you commit you could finish it in a day or a weekend.
I couldn't finish it. This was a YA book written in a straight forward and uncomplicated manner. This is the reason I avoid YA novels. My experience has been that the tend to less complex with simple dialogue. While I was somewhat interested, I was ultimately bored. This is not really a knock on the book but an indication this book wasn't written for me.
I love Matthew Reilly and, rather desperate for a 'hit', I thought I'd give this a whirl even though it's YA. It was as fast and as fun as his adult reads and entertained for a few hours - 3 stars just cos it was slightly simplistic, but then it is YA! ;)
Елементарна и детска книжка, но достатъчно интересна за да я чете човек, че даже и да остане с добро чувство след края й, ако пренебрегне множеството логически и други недостатъци и просто се остави на приказката.
Audiobook from Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd Narrated by Sean Mangan Length: About 4.5 hours
I've never heard of Matthew Reilly, but apparently he's a fairly big author from Australia. The buzz on the internet (based on other reviews at Goodreads and Wikipedia) is that he's mostly know for action thriller-type books, and apparently his books are well-researched and quite deep. That isn't the case with this book, Troll Mountain: The Complete Novel. That said, I get the impression that his other books are not young adult books, so maybe that's why.
Originally written as a serialized novel (split into three parts), Troll Mountain is the story of Raf, a youth from a small village, and his quest to get an elixir for his sick sister. To get this elixir, he must defy his village elders and make his way to Troll Mountain, a mountain fortress guarded by...yes, trolls. The sickness (which turns out to be something like scurvy) has impacted not just Raf's sister but others in his village, caused in part because the trolls have dammed the river that feeds the village. They also claim to have come up with a cure for the sickness, but exact a costly price--one life in exchange for a vial. During his quest, Raf makes friends with a hermit, Ko, who is a wise elder figure. He also makes unlikely friends with a troll who was exiled from Troll Mountain, Doom. Together, the three take on the trolls and hope to save the day. Along the way, Raf also learns about stereotypes and about knowledge-seeking, and not taking everything you've heard second-hand at face-value.
This book is a short stand-alone novel. It's a fairly generic, semi-predictable tale of an orphan boy on a quest to save his village. It does appear that the author has left some hooks in the book to write pre-quels and/or sequels, though. The world is setup as a fairly primitive land with a history where people seemed to be the humans of today. It also ends in a predictable manner but in a way that could explore "what happens next" if Reilly desired to re-visit this world. Throughout the quest, Ko tries to give Raf lessons about life, though it seems that sometimes even Ko doesn't follow his own lessons. For example, there was "common knowledge" that the mountains in the North went on forever, but when Raf realized they didn't, Ko didn't believe him and seemed shocked. This was a bit of a flaw in Ko's character and made him seem inconsistent. There was another lesson that Ko tried to impart, about the difference between cleverness and wisdom, that didn't really come to much fruition. The other "morals" that were fairly generically written all came back around by the end of the story.
All in all, this was an ok book. It was too obvious what was going to happen, and the world nor characters weren't particularly well-developed. They ended up feeling a little flat, a little too predictable. More frustrating, the sense of struggle or real danger was never there while I listened. It seemed like Raf was going to get through every obstacle a little too easily, and his survival/success were never in question. I realize that it was written for a young adult audience. I think that if I'd read it when I was 9 or 10, it might have felt less flat, as I was a far less mature reader in general and longer books with numerous details would have probably lost me or at least, not been fully appreciated/understood. So, this is probably an OK book for a younger reader who's never read the genre and isn't looking for complexity. I'm not sure that I can really recommend it for experienced readers of the genre.
I should make a comment on the narration. The narrator was a bit slow for me. He would pause after each sentence for longer than I expected. Also, some of his pronunciation was a bit odd, but that might be because he was Australian. Anyway, I ended up using the faster audio speed setting within the iPhone playback and it worked reasonably well. The narration was fine if nothing particularly special.
This was a fast-paced, very straight forward fantasy quest following our young hero, Raf, as he seeks the cure to his sister's illness hidden within Troll Mountain. It read more on the younger-YA side (could even be middle-grade if you don't mind the troll fighting that goes on). Glad I read it.
A far cry from Matthew Reilly's usual tales of high octane pedal-to-the-medal action, Troll Mountain trades the guns for swords and the bad guys for the aforementioned trolls. Unfortunately it also trades the blockbuster action and sharp writing that Reilly normal brings to the table with a fairly cookie cutter fantasy story full of thinly veiled social commentary - at one point Raf the main character literally ponders "It made him wonder if people accept what they are told too quickly"!
While it is a blisteringly quick read that one can finish in a few short hours that doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be read at all. I'd only recommend this to those still in primary school or only the most diehard Matthew Reilly fans (and even then I'd still try and dissuade you).
It still manages to get 1/5 stars from me as it gave me my favourite quote of 2019 (right at the finish line!) "It will be quite nice to discuss philosophy with an equal mind" - Vilmar the field troll
Имах нужда точно от такава динамична експлозивна история, с много бързо развитие и ясен край :D Прекрасната способност на Матю Райли да те държи в напрежение и да скачаш от стола, когато главният герой скача от скалата, е причината да избирам все още негови книги. В тази книга отново имаме супер динамика, опасности, невъзможни скокове и още по-невероятни битки, докато главният герой Раф се опитва да вземе спасителния еликсир от големите страшни тролове. Правейки план в последния момент, приятел на Раф успява да му помогне да се измъкне от невъзможни ситуации. И накрая даже се прокраднаха чудесни теми за размисъл - поставяне под въпрос влиянието на авторитетите, социалната йерархия и общоприетите възгледи.
As an avid reader of Matthew Reilly's novels (e.g Temple, Seven Deadly Wonders), this fell a little flat for me. Actually it fell more than a little flat - it was disappointing. It started off with promise but from then on, the plot was executed poorly. The main problem was with the dialogue and the writing though.
I realize this is YA and that the language would be a little...simplistic but Troll Mountain was just completely dumbed-down. And I know Matthew Reilly could do better - there's a reason I'm obsessed with his books.
2.85 stars. Because I still enjoyed reading the book even though towards the end, I felt like I wasted my time.
I'm finished with Troll Mountain: finished Troll Mountain in one sitting as always Matt Reilly always treats us to a good tale and shows us his versatility as a writer this tale is no exception i will give it five stars
This is a wonderful, cathartic read. We follow Raf on his journey to save his sister. It has all the ingredients of a great fantasy fable with the addition of a lovely moral, one not usual to fantasy. I really enjoyed it, it was so easy to read and I really appreciated the lessons learnt by the characters along the way. This is amazing for Reilly's first attempt at fantasy in comparison to what he usually writes. Is he simply good at everything? Hopefully there is more fantasy to come, and hopefully even more growth in his writing.
It was a short read that is better described as middle grade, rather than young adult. It’s a fantasy story about a village who’s people fall ill (to scurvy), and a boy who sets out to find the elixir. It’s prefect for fans of “Rowan of Rin” and “Deltora Quest”.
A simple fable with a little action adventure thrown in. I wish I had known this was pitched so young I would have read it with my daughter although there is a fair bit of plunging to death on spikes. It was a plea sent enough way to spend the evening.
This was a really pleasant short read. Mathew Reilly' writing is very smooth and it's easy to get stuck into his stories. Even though the book was short, the story still intrigued me and I walked away from it with a smile on my face. If you want a quick but satisfying book, I'd totally reccomend this book for just that.
I completely LOVE every Matthew Reilly book I have read, which is why I am surprised that I didn't love this one as much as the rest. This wasn't bad, a solid 3 stars, but it moved VERY quickly over parts that could have used a bit more depth.
For example, the abandoned hobgoblin home was discussed in such a way as to indicate that it was rather large and full of booby traps. We get to see ONE trap that was easily circumvented and they were through the place in a very short time, maybe an hour or so?
The book was a quick read and not too difficult on the brain to follow, though it did have a few philosophical points to ponder, nothing too earth-shattering was imparted.
The almost complete genocide of the trolls, despite the fact that they were a dying race and a very brutish and cruel one at that, is kind of horrific in how their end was seen as a victory by the hero. It would have made more sense if the trolls were ALL depicted as evil and violent and unable to co-exist with their neighbors, but two of the main secondary characters were good and smart, though one was a bit dumber than the other.
Also, there were two female characters, but they don't DO anything. They were the causes for the male characters to act. The females spurred the males to be heroes, but not on purpose. Bad things were happening to the females that they couldn't control and the males decided to help the females who couldn't help themselves. I'm not a rabid feminist, but I would definitely recommend this book to boys and not to girls. I like at least one strong female character and this book didn't deliver that.
The MC DID grow as a person. He learned and was super physical in what he did, though honestly, if he was as poorly fed as it was claimed in the beginning of the book, I don't think he could have done HALF of what he did.
Ok, ok, I think I'm being a bit too rational about a book that has trolls and hobgoblins in it. But I like my fantasy to be realistic, if that makes any sense.
Not a horrible book, but more of a meh one. I would recommend it with reservations.
My thanks to NetGalley and Momentum Books for an eARC of this book to read and review.
Troll Mountain is a YA novel told in installments about a tribe of Northmen who live in the shadow of the foreboding Troll Mountain. Illness and famine have recently racked their small village and as the disease spreads, they learn that the Trolls hold the cure. A band is sent by the ruling family to gain the cure. The young man Raf is unique in his tribe and he sees that the ruling class of his village is no better than him. When his sister Kira takes ill he knows that he must act. On his own, he begins the journey to Troll Mountain. Along the way he finds allies in the outcast warrior Ko and the lost Troll Dum. Their quest into Troll Mountain is more than the mission to find the elixir to cure the disease but along the way Raf realizes that all the truths he had once known may have been lies to keep him in his place. The ruling families of the village may have been keeping the truth away from the rest of the village to keep their hold over all the others. In Troll Mountain he finds the Troll King who holds dominion over the valley by force and blood. Will Raf find in himself the warrior to overcome the dangers of Troll Mountain? Will he learn the true secret of Troll Mountain?
"..An elixir is not a magic liquid. It is knowledge. Bottles filled with magic liquids eventually run dry, but knowledge lasts a lifetime..."
Troll Mountain is written as a morality tale with heroic acts and betrayal on every page. Each character has moments of triumph and absolute moments of failure. The quest is a more of a journey to adulthood for Raf, whose acts must rise to the level of his thoughts and convictions. The pace of this novel, since it was written as a series of installments is sometimes disjointed and with out a sense of continuity. The author, Matthew Reilly, adult novels excel in pace and excitement so in this story I found this somewhat surprising. The tale itself is well developed and told with strong conviction. As a novel it does lack flow and that is what is disturbing as Reilly had shown himself to be masterful in this area.
After reading 'The Great Zoo of China' and finding it highly entertaining I was really looking forward to reading this. A fantasy novel with trolls sounded exciting, but I was very disappointed.
I like a good short book, but with this book I felt there could've been so much more. When it comes to Fantasy novels, I expect a long quest and while on this journey the hero has learned lots of lessons and grown along the way. But I didn't feel like this book delivered all of that.
I wanted more world building and more of an adventure for Raf. The epic journey to troll mountain was more like a skip and a jump with one simple battle between the wolves and hobgoblins. Then everything that happened with the trolls and getting back home felt rushed.
I really like the idea and think there is so much potential there. I wish that Reilly had spent more time fleshing it out and making each episode a bit longer. I enjoy his storytelling and think he could've done better.
I initially rated this two stars but after thinking more about it I decided that it deserved more like three stars.
In an interview Reilly said that he wanted to write a book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and easily read on the train or in a classroom. I guess he has achieved that.
If you're looking for an epic fantasy, then this isn't it. If you're looking for a short, but enjoyable fable then this is the book for you.
Matthew Reilly has an amazing talent of getting straight into the good stuff. Which is what I believe makes him such a great author.
I loved the book (eBook, technically). It seems to have just about everything! You have Trolls, a form of Goblins, tribes and even hints of civilized "intelligent" who fought wars and traveled by sea. It's a very fast paced book and in fact only takes a day to read, yet you feel like you really understood the world it's based in... In a matter of a short few sentences. Reilly always manages to take an ordinary person and turn them into the unexpected hero. Which is something I really like! Also, the people you think are the heroes usually turn out to be a bad guy somehow.
I strongly recommend this book/eBook to anyone who enjoys a good fast paced thriller, with a slight hint of fantasy and the dawn of new heroes! Also I recommend any of his other books!
This is quite a different book by Matthew Reilly and that's why I picked it up. Not the usual thriller, but rather a fantasy. The story is rather nice, very much your typical quest fantasy type thing. The hero's sister gets sick and he goes on a quest to get the cure from the Trolls. On his way he does, of course, find some unlikely allies. Matthew Reilly supplies this in his usual fast paced tempo and the, sometimes borderline silly, action scenes that are just beyond belief (and not always in a good way). I think because this book is so short I didn't have time to grow tired of them as I usually do.
I think this is a rather good book. If you like fantasy and fables and enjoy fast-paced action this might be for you. Especially if you're in the mood for something in that vein and can't quite decide what to read next!
So I understand my shelving may not make sense when you can see I’ve only given it 3 stars. To be fair it’s more like a 3.5 star read but I’m not convinced enough to give it 4 stars. Now I would never willingly read about trolls (because eww, gross) but then it is Matthew Reilly, and I’ve read almost everything else by him so I figured why not. I wasn’t disappointed! As always his actions scenes leave no time for silly things like breathing or thinking. The map to Troll mountain and their solution was well thought out. Sure I wanted more traps, you know, the traps I was promised, but whatever, I’ll deal because this is was a quick fun read for me.