“I cannot see it. The options of my time are not good enough. But the mathematics are inescapable. It is coming. It will be up to the wise and noble men of the future generations with options of a more advanced nature than mine to find it in the night sky and initiate the return call. Or else all is lost.” – Sir Isaac Newton
This book is the next in the Jack West Jr series and follows on from The Five Greatest Warriors.
The last thing Jack West Jr remembers is being with his family…
“Most people are good, kiddo. In the end – and this applies to every single person in the world – the only person anyone has to be true to is themselves. We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror and like what we see.”
Now, waking up in a prison cell with a shaved head and a Minotaur charging at him – he wonders how in the hell he got here and how he’s going to get out.
“And there along the shattered chasm’s edge we found the infamy of Crete stretched out – the beast conceived inside the wooden cow. And seeing us, the creature bit himself as though tormented by an internal rage…
That is the way the Minotaur behaved. My wary guide called out “Run towards the crossing: best descend while he is mad.” – Dante’s Inferno
Soon Jack discovers that he has been chosen to take part in ‘The Games.’ These consist of 16 deadly challenges that eventually will only leave one winner alive.
“There were other carvings, including one of four throned kings sitting shoulder-to-shoulder and flanked by five standing warriors…” – from the six sacred stones
If Jack chooses not to compete, then he, his daughter Lily and the rest of his companions will be killed. Lily has actually been forced to watch her father compete, by being taken to Hades royal box.
“Why do we loathe Hades more than any God, if not because he is so adamantine and unyielding?” – King Agamemnon, The Iliad
Yes you heard me correctly, Hades.
“I have many ceremonial names. I am the Adversary of Light, the Accuser, the Fallen One, the Keeper of the Temple, the Prince of the Grigori, Iblis, Shaitan, Ruler of the Nightlands, Ba’al Zevuv, Beelzebub, King of the Fourth Kingdom, or simply Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Welcome to my Games, champions. Welcome to the Underworld.”
As the Games commence, Jack must fight tooth and nail against assassins, traps and unimaginable horrors, learning that not all who fight, fight fair. And discovering that he may find allies in the unlikeliest of places.
“It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain
Think Hunger Games – the only way to win, is to survive. To kill the other competitors before they kill you.
“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” – Milton, Paradise Lost
In the process of competing, he discovered the conspiracy and mystery behind it all. And along with it, the grand plan of the four legendary kingdoms.
“They are the four shadow families that rule the world: the Kingdoms of Land, Sea, Sky and Underworld.”
Their purpose – to save the universe from extinction.
“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
Only Jack West Jr and his team can save the universe. But this a challenge none of them were prepared for, this is a challenge that could break a guy and push them beyond their limits.
“Knowledge must continually be renewed by ceaseless effort, if it is not to be lost.” – Albert Einstein
This is an adventure book about being tough as nails and pushing yourself to the limits and then some. This is a tale about knowledge; how the right kind of knowledge can power you to success when nothing else can.
“Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind that looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago.” – John Maynard Keynes
The main basis for this book and the adventures contained within it actually can be found in another book I’ve recently reviewed, The Labours of Hercules. Now whilst that may be an Agatha Christie, Hercules Poirot classic, it still discusses the labours, all be it in a bit more of a comedic value.
“Upon completing his Twelve Labors, Hercules was initiated into the Mysteries of Eleusia and so ascend to Olympus and became a God.” – Greg Batman
Now I found this book different to the others in the series so far and I think that’s because it was so different and unexpected. Whilst the others I couldn’t put down, this one I could read at my own pace and put it down and pick it up whenever I felt like it. Whilst I did enjoy the book and it was definitely still full of action and thrills and spills, it felt like this book was a filler, a set up for what’s to come in the following three books. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Keep an eye out for Three Secret Cities in my upcoming reviews!
If this is your cup of tea, then find it on Amazon!
Until next time,