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by Matthew Reilly

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7432-7053-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The names may have changed but the game remains the same as Reilly (Scarecrow, 2004, etc.) offers up another absurdly over-the-top adventure with this globetrotting thriller.

It’s 2006, just a week before the sun’s hottest point—the Tartarus Sunspot—rotates into direct alignment with the earth, and governments all around the world are a-twitter about the long-lost Golden Capstone—the precious piece of gold that once sat atop Egypt’s famed Great Pyramid at Giza. Why? Well, for starters, unchallenged global domination. A few thousand years back, Alexander the Great split the Capstone into seven parts, secreting them away in the ancient architectural marvels known today as the Seven Wonders of the World. Now, whoever pieces them back together in time for the Tartarus Sunspot’s rotation will rule the world for 1,000 years. Which, of course, is why Australian commando Jack West Jr. is racing around the globe with a crack squad of soldiers and scholars, gunning to keep the prize from falling into the wrong hands. Along the way, the team battles shady Catholic priests, sadistic Special Ops sergeants, 3,000 or so Guantánamo Bay marines and more superheated lava slides than you can count. No one would mistake Reilly for a master stylist, but he certainly manages to keep the action coming, with the book’s endless run of treasure hunts, high-speed chases and gun battles reading like the wet dream of some especially militaristic adolescent.

Ridiculous, but fun.