Recommendation: It’s the end of a 7 book series, you’ve come this far and it’s not going to let you down
Where to read: Weekend, deck chair, you’re all set
Read with: Couple of beers
In brief: Fuuuucccckkkk yes, here we go boys… After 16 years, we are done with Jack West Jr and officially out of conspiracy theories and funky takes on classical mythology. It’s great fun, I finished it at about 3am, I have no regrets.
The Jack West Jr series has always been something of a favourite of mine, marrying a love of history with absolutely bat shit crazy conspiracy theories (which, looking back, may have primed my generation to accept QAnon) and stupid action scenes. Naturally, the finale combines all three, with a dash of religiosity and a Scarecrow style plot twist added in for good measure.
Reilly has sort of set himself an impossible (get it) task here given the sheer scale of some of his previous set pieces (collapsing New York skyscraper, platforms on the pyramids, giant subterranean cities, tsunamis etc) however his response is clever, bringing back some of the intense claustrophobia of early works like Area 7. I mean, it’s a labyrinth after all…
The only slight let down here is the villains – while not quite true that a story is only as good as it’s villain, there is no denying that this is not Reilly’s finest work, particularly compared to some of the enchantingly nasty characters in the earlier novels. The “big bad” in this one has been previously introduced but he did not have quite the same time to brew and develop as characters like Carnivore did in the earlier novels. That said, I do like the pure nihilism of this dude and it sets up “the moral” of the story, and the series I suppose, perfectly (not that you go to Reilly for morality tales).