Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

The return of Jack West Jr.

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The return of Jack West Jr.

"The Six Sacred Stones"I have previously posted on the techno-thriller heroes of Australian author Matthew Reilly: Jack West Jr. and Shane Schofield (aka Scarecrow). I had hoped to see a new novel with one of them, and now we have a new Jack West Jr. novel.

Reilly’s works are marked by two elements: dialing up the action to level 11 at times, and having the hero and associates navigating an area that is similar to a “platform” computer game.

Jack is an former Australian soldier now teamed up with a diverse group trying to stop ancient threats to the world. Jack has a cybernetic hand, replacing one he lost saving the life of a young girl, Lily, who is vital to their missions. The hand was built by Jack’s mentor, Professor Maximilian Epper, “Wizard.”

Against them are various rogue elements of certain powerful nations. Their foes include his own father, a U.S. general, and several world leaders who expect to come out on top once the threats are over. His father is a real piece of work, as is his stepbrother who is allied with his father.

The first novel, The Seven Ancient Wonders, introduces us to Jack and his friends, along with several others who will join them in saving the world. The Earth is threatened by a super sunspot, and can only be protected by the capstone on the Great Pyramid. It’s been broken in seven parts and must be restored. The Jack’s group work against two other groups from competing powers who hope to come out on top. And the key to using the capstone is in making use of Lily or her twin brother, who is under control of one of the competing groups.

"The Four Legendary Kingdoms"The sequel, set almost two years later, is actually a two-part story in The Six Sacred Stones and The Five Greatest Warriors, and has Jack and friends working to save the world again, this time using a world-wide machine built by an ancient race. They have to stop a rogue planetary body from destroying the world! Six “stones” must be found and input into this machine to stop it. The stones also grant powers, so again Jack must contend with other groups — one lead by his father — who want to use this as another chance of coming out on top once the threat is over. Jack’s father and stepbrother don’t survive this storyline. Sadly, neither does Wizard.

Finally, we get a further sequel, set eight years after the previous one. And it appears this will also be a two-part story with The Four Legendary Kingdoms and a follow-up novel that may be called “The Three Lost Cities.” Jack is kidnapped and finds himself forced to compete in a gladiatorial game with other warriors. His friends work to find and free him. And Jack discovers that one of the others in the game is Scarecrow! (so now we know both characters are set in the same “universe.”) As the good guys, they will team up.  This time the Earth is threatened by a rogue galaxy sent by “God”! The game will stop this, and further will provide information to the winning “king” to allow them rule over the world. How this turns out will be covered in the sequel.

I understand that further novels are planned, so figure we will continue to see a countdown to zero. I look forward to this.


  1. Sounds a lot like an old movie serial plot. (Maybe Captain Marvel’s Scorpion is involved!)
    Good review. Peaked my interest. Will have to check out this series. -P.E.

    • I’ve enjoyed Matt Reilly’s work. As I noted in my prior review, the action scenes ramp things up.

      I have been critical about some of the hokey stuff in regards to the military that I saw in the Scarecrow series, but the action makes up for it.