Temple – Matthew Reilly – Book Review


Goodreads blurb: Four centuries ago, a precious idol was hidden in the jungles of Peru. To the Incan people, it is still the ultimate symbol of their spirit. To William Race, an American linguist enlisted by the U.S. Army to decipher the clues to its location, it’s the ultimate symbol of the apocalypse…

Carved from a rare stone not found on Earth, the idol possesses elements more destructive than any nuclear bomb–a virtual planet killer. In the wrong hands it could mean the end of mankind. And whoever possesses the idol, possesses the unfathomable–and cataclysmic–power of the gods…

Now, in the foothills of the Andes, Race’s team has arrived–but they’re not alone. And soon they’ll discover that to penetrate the temple of the idol is to break the first rule of survival.

Because some treasures are meant to stay buried..and forces are ready to kill to keep it that way…


William Race’s boring everyday life and boring schedule is disturbed when the US Army temporarily ‘recruits’ him to translate an old manuscript written by a Spanish explorer which supposedly contains clues to an invaluable treasure, one that has the potential to change the world. While Race hesitatingly accepts the assignment, little does he realize the crazy roller-coaster ride that he gets on! From being taken on crazy chopper rides to midnight jaunts through the South American rainforests, being attacked by giant feline cats to being shot at by neo-fascist Nazis, the next few days in Race’s life are like no other that he has ever experienced so far. Does he survive this ordeal, and more importantly do his efforts bear useful fruit is what the overarching narrative arc of this book is about.

Temple was the first Matthew Reilly book I read and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I thoroughly enjoyed his style of writing. The action picks up pace right from the get go and not one page goes by where the script is not pushed forward relentlessly. The speed at which the action unfolds is breathtaking and readers cannot afford to relax one bit during the entire duration of the book. The author does an admirable job at not giving any respite to readers, despite the fact that the plot combines science fiction with historical facts and legends from a far time ago. The only other author that I would compare Matthew Reilly to would have to be Michael Crichton where he combined science, fiction and history so well together that readers wouldn’t be able to figure out where facts ended and fiction began. The fact that I picked up this book and re-read 9 odd years after I first read it speaks volumes for the longevity of the author and his wonderful narrative style.

Given that it is that time of the year when Hollywood Action Blockbusters hit movie screens, and our adrenaline levels are at their highest, there is no time like summer to pick up this book and devour it to satiate our energy levels. Or look at it this way, this book serves to keep our energy levels high despite the best efforts of the searing heat to keep them low.

Click here to purchase the book from Flipkart [Link] or Amazon [Link].

The Great Zoo of China – Matthew Reilly – Book Review


Goodreads blurb: It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years.

They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world.

Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time.

Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles.

The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…


If the above blurb and the cover haven’t already given away what the book deals with, then you readers seriously need to re-read most of the other books written by this author. Here’s the big reveal which happens almost 30 odd pages in the book – the great zoo of China is a zoo which houses dragons.

Now that the big reveal has been put out of the way, let’s get on with the actual review itself. I personally became a big fan of Matthew Reilly right from the first few pages of the first book of his that I read Temple, and true to his reputation the author manages to churn out yet another edge-of-the-seat thriller with this one as well. And in fact, in an interview right at the end of this book as well, the author goes on to state that this was his objective when writing the book, and I would say that he succeeds on that count.

That being said, there is only so much of action that one can take, especially when it is so mindless and numbing and all pervasive. There are only so many things that readers can digest all at once, and with The Great Zoo of China I would go far enough to say that the author has pushed his and the readers’ imagination just a tad too far, probably even over the edge. While I personally suspend my disbelief when reading such fantastic novels, the fact remains that there are limits to this suspension as well, and this book probably reached them.

Imagine this, Jurassic Park meets Smaug, the dragon from The Hobbit series of movies. Actually make that 200 odd Smaugs, only meaner and more destructive in their nature. Put them in a constrained space for a while, make them smart enough to plan an escape and put a few innocent people in their way. This in a nutshell is what the book is all about. If you liked Jurassic Park, the movie, then you will like this book. Trust me, when you visualize all that is happening in this book, visual references from the movie will help you more than just a little bit.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, but only if you are a fan of Michael Crichton and the genre of books he dealt with. Even hardcore fans of Matthew Reilly have not been too kind with their reviews of this particular book of his.