Wednesday, January 4, 2012

***New Matthew Reilly book*** Who's excited?

Well, the latest Matthew Reilly book, Scarecrow Returns, has hit American shores. First off, I have to say how much I admire Reilly's story-telling. Somehow, he manages to fit character development, previous book events, and the current crisis all in the first few pages. No one writes action like Reilly. If you want to *read* an action movie, his stuff is for you. The highly descriptive scenes are amazing and let you picture what's going on without any problem. And, the little graphics he throws into the beginning of chapters are perfect.

Thanks to my desire to save money, save the earth, and cut down on clutter, I've tried to keep most of my fiction purchases on my Kindle (I still buy random historical books to read... though the shelves are filling up fast). But, I always buy the new Reilly releases ASAP in hardcover, because I re-read them like a fiend. The latest, released as Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves down under, is no exception. Why they changed the title for American audiences, I have no idea.

I'm three chapters in and already loving it. The new characters are individualized and unique, and I'm particularly interested in Emma Dawson and the foreshadowing/plot points Reilly dangles.

Scarecrow is getting over his last girlfriend, Fox. Is Dawson a possible new love interest? it helps that she's a civilian. Having Fox as a fellow Marine made for good story, but it made Reilly split them up tactically due to fraternization rules. Coming up with reasons to bring them back together for novels would have seemed forced. The end of their relationship in the last novel (full-length anyways... pick up Reilly's short story starring Scarecrow, Hell Island, if you haven't... good book) was almost a necessity and could prove interesting for future relationships.

The introduction of the robot character seems to be a favorite in early reviews. I'm not far enough along to feel the impact, yet, but the detailed explanation of its (her?) capabilities makes my mouth water with possibilities.

The insight into trouble on the homefront for Mother is interesting, too. For the most part, though I love the character, she's been very one-dimensional. It'll be interesting to see where, if anywhere, this plot thread goes.

Two more important points before I get back to reading it (you know... the reason I bought the book).

First, when the doomsday weapon is revealed and explained, I can't tell you how proud I was to hear that the thermobaric weapon had characteristics eerily similar to the (very real) explosives I used in my own novel, Number 181 (GetItHere). This somehow validates my big-timey explosions and at the same time inflates it to a level that I sure as Hell hope isn't possible. You never know with those pesky Soviets, though.

And, second, word has come out that Reilly's wife passed rather unexpectedly in early December. She was 36. I can't imagine having to deal with that at so young an age. I love his work and hope he gets back to it as soon as he can... but I hope he waits until he feels he's able.

To the book!

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