Book : Hell Island (2005)
Author: Matthew Reilly
Genre : Techno Thriller
Pages : 123
Cost : Rs.126 (Indiaplaza)
GR8 Meter: 5.5/8 YES
Matthew Reilly is probably one of the best Action-thriller writers, who come from Australia. Till date he has written 3 series – Jack West Jr (3 novels), Hover Car Racer (4 novels), and Shane Schofield (5 novels). He has also written 2 stand-alone novels – Contest, Temple. Contest was his first novel, published in 1996 by himself, and his latest novel is Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves (2011). I have read his Jack West Jr series – all 3 novels, and now I am presenting the review of my Reilly’s 4rth read, and the 1st read from Shane Schofield series, it’s a novella and it’s named ‘Hell Island’ (first published in 2005).
First I must say that anyone who wants to start reading novels, and want to enjoy the same experience which a good fiction reader enjoys, or if you want to try Action-thrill for the 1st time ‘HELL ISLAND’ is for you. Reason: its only 123 pages long, and the book is pocket-sized (half the size of normal pages), just 1 hr is enough for you, not only because of lesser no of pages but also because it’s a tight-gripped thriller, full of action. And I am damn sure, you want to enjoy Matthew Reilly’s genre, read this one first and then try other books of him. Even the book-introduction says so. ‘Hell Island’ was written with a purpose. It was written under Australian govt’s ‘Books Alive’ initiative, where the govt started a programs for its national to get them to the book stores, so that they can start reading more. They called Reilly, and ask him to write a short novel, with a limit of 110 pages, and which the govt will distribute free to all its nationals for a month. And this is what Reilly wrote ‘HELL ISLAND’.
As per the tagline ‘There is no hell like a man-made one’, this novella tracks a story of an island which is not presented on any map, the reason UNKNOWN. It’s a secret government location for US, where they use to experiment, those experiments which has gone terrible wrong. Now it’s the duty of Shane Schofiled aka ‘SCARECROW’ and his 9-member team to find out what is there on the island. They have to find missing battalions which were sent through USS Nimitz to the island, and suddenly they all disappear, and from that day the ship is still docked at the island. They landed parachuting the way to the island, but found only blood, and no bodies, and then they faced a new army of genetically enhanced super-soldiers on the kill. Will they survive is the part of this game?
This novel by Reilly is a perfect fast-paced thriller, full of action sequences, and it looks like you’re actually watching an action movie, not reading any novel. Mind it its 123 pages, so not a bit of boringness, right from the start the movie started. All the action scenes described in such details which gave you feel of movie. Then there are Reilly’s trademark, twists and turns, which I found in every book of his (3 which I read). At starting you will feel thrill or the mystery behind the secret happenings of island less interesting, why, the reality comes in front so soon, so there the novel can get a –ve point from me, because of less number of pages, Reilly discloses the reality too soon, but nonetheless, he marked it with his styles’ twists, so when you finished reading it, you find yourself satisfied. In these 123 pages, he added few pictures too, to depict the scene or the technicality of the setup he is describing using words, that is his way and you will find it in most of his novels. The book is published by Simon & Schuster Pocket books (you can easily accommodate it in your jeans’ pocket), and I got it for Rs.126 through Indiaplaza. I took 2 days, but in hours it will be counted as only 1 hr (70 pages 1st day, and remaining next day). The book also contains 1st chapter of ‘The Five Greatest Warriors’ book from Reilly.
I bought it as a substitute order, my primary order for Indiaplaza was ‘The Winter Vault’, but it was costing less than Rs.150, so to get free home delivery I added this one in the same order. Irony was, that book was cancelled by Indiaplaza themselves because of unavailability of the stock (AMAZINGLY! THEY HAVENT UPDATED IT BEFORE ORDERING POOR AND UNPROFFESSIONAL SERVICE), and I got only this book delivered, but okay, I enjoyed it a lot and I will now recommend it with 5.5/8. I am a fan of Matthew Reilly (alongwith Dan Brown obviously) and have his entire book names in my wishlist (meaning I will certainly order and read his entire books in coming time) WELCOME TO HELL ON EARTH!!
Jai Raam ji ki 🙂