Review: Contest (Matthew Reilly)

This is one of those books that you just sit back and enjoy without exercising those little grey cells. No place at all for the brain here. Just lots of non-stop action, adrenaline, aliens and violence.

Seven warriors, one from each of seven planets that have intelligent life forms in them are teleported into a labyrinth in a contest that is held every 2000 years. The contestants then start fighting each other until only one remains alive. Dr. Stephen Swain is selected as the contestant from Earth and ends up in the labyrinth with his daughter (who accidentally gets teleported along with him) as the weakest contestant and the only one who doesn't know why he's there. From there, the plot rushes forward with Swain surviving each confrontation with the aliens simply by running away from them until most other aliens have killed each other off.

I almost feel guilty about liking this book. Had this been written by some other sci-fi author whom I read regularly, I'd have cried bloody murder for the lack of depth in the characters and the impossibility of so many alien life forms resembling those on earth. But Reilly doesn't seem to be remotely bothered about writing a believable story (yes, I feel even stories about aliens must be to some extent believable). Instead, he takes the story forward at such a ruthless pace that you hardly get the time to stop and complain. It's a pretty good effort for a debut book and his next book Ice Station is already on my "To Be Read" list.

My Rating: 7/10


Melody said...

Great review, Nithin. I agree with your thoughts, but his action scenes are so great, don't you think? ;) I love Ice Station, I think that's my favourite book of his to-date.

Nithin said...

Thanks, Melody. :-)

Yeah, his action scenes are really wonderful. Once I started the book, I really couldn't bring myself to stop reading until I finished reading the last page.

It's good to know that you liked Ice Station so much, because that's the book I'll be reading when I'm finished with the one I'm reading right now. :-)

Nitin Shetty said...

well till date i have only read ICE STATION by the author...i agree wit nithin..i'm guilty of liking the book..the plot is really thin but the action is as good as watching a costly hollywood action thriller.couldn't ut it down.whole lot of twists.

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