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7 Deadly Wonders    by Matthew Reilly order for
7 Deadly Wonders
by Matthew Reilly
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

You have to jettison any tendency to disbelief when you open one of Matt Reilly's thrillers, and simply enjoy the wild, improbable ride. If you liked the giant boulder scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, you'll love 7 Deadly Wonders, where cliffhangers and narrow escapes run nonstop cover to cover. Opening the book is like jumping into the middle of a shoot 'em up adventure video game. Just leap in and hold on tight!

Three groups are competing to win the 'most sought-after treasure in human history: the Golden Capstone of the Great Pyramid'. At stake is world dominance. Long ago, Alexander the Great broke the capstone into seven pieces and hid them within the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, each protected by a myriad of cunning, subtle traps - as well as the standard rolling boulders and shrinking ceilings, perils include crocodiles and pythons, fire flood, and quicksand, often with a time factor built in to add to the challenge.

The two larger groups of treasure hunters include deadly special forces professionals from Europe (led by a Jesuit priest) and the United States (directed by Freemasons). The third involves seven elite military representatives of the smaller nations ('minnows of world affairs') led by the indestructible Australian Jack West Jr.. This team also includes an archaeology professor, a ten-year-old girl named Lily (descended from a long line of oracles), and a very well trained peregrine falcon named Horus.

Though Jack's team is often first to work out clues and find a capstone remnant, the Americans (led by Jack's former instructor and nemesis, the utterly ruthless Marshall Judah) are always close behind, ready to snatch the prize - how are they doing it? Is there a mole in Jack's team? Can Jack beat the man who taught him? If you want the answers read 7 Deadly Wonders for yourself - it's a thrilling, gripping ride through Matt Reilly's wild imagination, not to be missed.

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