Thursday, 4 September 2014

What I've Read This Week | Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly is, hands down, my all time favourite author. I own every single one of his books, whether be by digital copy or in print. I've been addicted to him since my mum read his first book, Contest, and recommended it to me years ago. 

Two new additions to my collection have been The Tournament, and prequel, Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl.
I could only manage to take a small photo of these in my iBooks library. (I don't own the print copies of these).
Reilly's books are normally fast paced with countdowns keeping the reader engrossed at all times. I normally end up reading his novels in a full day because I'm so hooked; but with both if these I was rarely interested at all. I bought The Tournament back in January on its release date and only got around to reading the whole book when I was in hospital last week, after numerous times trying to read it. 

The Tournament felt slow, and hardworking. Roger Ascham, the main character and tutor to Princess Elizabeth (as a young girl prior to becoming Queen Elizabeth), take a trip through Europe to attend a chess tournament with England's top player, Gilbert Giles. I thought the travels would be more descriptive and scenarios would be exciting, but there was not much mention of this. Normally Reilly provides a map at the beginning of each chapter to give the reader more insight into the character's adventure, but there was a real lack in either of these books, in fact, none at all. That was a real disappointment. They arrive at their destination in the Middle East and still there is no expression of how exciting the place is, such as their riches and expensive buildings. However, around halfway through the book there was a murder that Ascham was asked to solve. I expected the book to be in two parts at this points as some of his other novels are. I followed the book through until the last 70 pages with his investigation and the chess tournament itself, still finding it slow paced, and the murder was solved as quickly as it was committed. I was really let down. I won't go into full details in case one of my readers wishes to read the novel, but I was bored, let down, and regret spending £7.99 on it. 

Turning now to the prequel. This was around 100 pages so I knew it would be one of his short stories (Reilly does have a few others, but more exciting than this!) and that was fine. The story followed Ascham solving a disappearance, of the King's favourite prostitute. There are many trips to and from the brothel for the investigation, and after questioning the owner, believes he knows where she (and a few other missing women) are kept. Basically, he goes there, finds the women and the killer, and it ends. All within 35 pages. What a let down. I thought maybe there was another tale to tell afterwards? But no, it was the beginning chapters of the Tournament. Disappointed wasn't the word. I'm glad it was a free download. 

I have strong faith in his next novel though. He seems to be going back to his treasure hunting adventurous roots in ancient China. I hope January comes soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment