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Awesome / Matthew Reilly

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Matthew Reilly.

Say no more.

Actually, say a lot more. This is the place where we bow down to his sheer awesomeness, or to be more precise, his characters.

The Shane Schofield Series

(Note: Any time Scarecrow takes out his Maghook the chance that something awesome is about to happen increases to six hundred forty percent.)

Ice Station:

  • The nitrogen grenade on the bridge scene, for a start.
  • Christ, just the Scarecrow himself. And the scars just make him sound cooler.
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  • Killing a French soldier with an underhand knife throw, WHILE WALKING!
  • Destroying a sub with explosives and a grappling hook.
  • Imploding a diving capsule with a harpoon gun.
  • Reversing a trap by turning around the claymore mines.
    This side towards enemy.
  • Ever flown a plane out of a collapsing ice tunnel? The Scarecrow has.
  • Buck Riley kicking a frag grenade back to the people who threw it.
  • Mother shooting the killer whale about to eat her.
  • Running over the top of an enemy hovercraft while firing blindly into it, and nailing the driver. And doing it while dragging along a little girl.
  • Gant killing the French soldier who almost got her, sending the arrow stuck in her helmet through his eye with a headbutt.

Area 7:

  • Even though he's a bastard, Caesar does sound pretty cool.
    • Also, the awesome scene when he goes:
    Caesar: Oh, no, no, Scarecrow. Remember, no shooting Uncle Caesar.
    Schofield: No?
    Caesar: No.
    Schofield: Oh... *shoots Caesar*
    Caesar: Wh... what... you can't shoot me!
    Schofield: I think I'll leave you to decide that.
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  • Ejection seat + rocket launcher.
  • Crashing an AWACS plane:
    Schofield: Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts, because we are about to take off.
    • note: this is said while hijacking a grounded AWACS in the 3rd Level of a underground base, surrounded by anti-air humvees (avengers) and also special forces soldiers that are literally on steroids!
  • The maghook swing beneath the elevator done by Schofield and the President.
  • Elvis' kamikaze attack on Bravo Team.
  • "I only have one word to say to you" draw." Followed by shooting a missile out of the sky.
  • Mother keeping up with a 747 about to take off with a steering column blown to crap.


  • Blowing up an aircraft carrier.
  • Flying side by side with a missile at Mach 6.7 to disarm it before it blows up Mecca. And with an AMRAMM missile behind him to boot. Kinda helps that they're in what is basically a rocket plane.
  • The Black Knight. The scene when he and Schofield blast their way out of the castle deathtrap is awesome.
  • Schofield proving himself to be a Badass Driver by driving up a wall and landing upright.
    • Not to mention the thing with the fence, the helicopter, and the big rigs.
  • Speaking of Badass Drivers, the previous book's Non-Action Guy David Fairfax takes a few levels with his fight with the Zulu.
  • Mother snapping Schofield out of his Heroic BSoD after Gant's death.
    • And her Big Damn Heroes at the climax, after escaping a death that seemed even more certain than the one in the last book.
      • Reilly even lampshades it, saying that if there's one person that Death is afraid of, it's Mother.

Hell Island

  • The entire second half of the book, with Schofield and his team fighting hundreds of gorillas with guns. Highlights include getting into a plane to gun down nearly a hundred of them, and tricking them into entering a room where he can blow them all up.

Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves

  • Bertie. Described as WALL•E with a machine gun, and completely lives up to that.
  • Veronique Champion pulling out her own "Maghook", cutting off Schofield's attempt to use his own for the first time in the book.
  • Sliding down a girder while single-handedly taking out a whole tower of bad guys.
  • The entire "smash and grab" run to get the red uranium spheres: bridging the gap to the main tower with a tanker truck and four Maghook cables, blowing up the laboratory tower while inside it, taking out a helicopter by cutting the tanker free, and a desperate car chase to dump the spheres in the ocean. Sure, it was all in vain, but A for effort.
  • Ira Barker saving the world with a quiet piece of sabotage after Scarecrow himself completely fails.
  • Taking down 40 men with sheer Unstoppable Rage after coming back from the dead.
    • And meanwhile Mother and Baba bit the heads off the rats that were going to kill them.
  • Zack killing Bad Willy with a nearby acid-spewing valve and rescuing Emma in the process.
  • Mother MacGyvering a salve to seal Baba's wounds. Showing that even she can think of something brilliant.
    • And this was after surviving yet again another seemingly unsurvivable situation.

The Jack West Series

Seven Ancient Wonders

  • Jack deliberately setting off a trap system because his competitors wouldn't be brave enough to follow him.
  • Stretch shooting RPGs out of the air with his sniper rifle.
  • The Halicarnassus floating just near the Great Pyramid on the day of Tartarus.

The Six Sacred Stones

  • Jack gets crucified and comes Back from the Dead. Bound to happen, really...
  • Zoe's duel with the Neetha prince, ending with one of the most gruesome deaths Reilly has ever devised.

The Five Greatest Warriors

  • Pooh Bear killing his brother Scimitar in a Knife Fight by using plastic explosives. Then killing Vulture by throwing Scimitar's knife into his throat.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms

  • Scarecrow. The motherfucking Scarecrow.
    • The whole build-up to this is masterful. In the lead-up to the book's publication, Reilly gave no hints at all that Scarecrow would be in it. Then we see one of the other Champions is a Marine wearing wrap-around sunglasses, and the longtime fans start thinking "Wait a minute...". Then when the Champions get a partner, the Marine's is a large woman who fights just as well. And then we actually see his name, buried among all the others Champions in an illustration of the screen showing their status. And just when you start thinking all this is just some Easter eggs for the fans, Jack and Scarecrow finally meet, and ultimately even fight each other just like Reilly knew we'd all want to see.
  • Jack uses his knowledge of history alongside his combat skills to not only come completely from behind in the Games, but win, in the final challenge not even needing to fight. Jack West Jr. may be the Fifth Greatest Warrior, but it's his brain that makes him awesome. He goes from running around barefoot in jeans and a Homer Simpson t-shirt to wearing high-end ballistic armor and weapons - all of which he pried from the former owner's fingers.
  • The book's climax is tremendously satisfying given the political climate when it was released. The long-subjugated minotaurs finally have the spark of rebellion ignited by a Champion saving one of their own and the news that the heir to the Underworld is planning to kill their king, and storm the palace where they brutally kill a bunch of the arrogant, entitled royals who've been smugly watching the whole time.

The Three Secret Cities

  • Aloysius Knight returns.

Stand-alone novels


  • The scene where Swain, Hawkins and Selexin bamboozle the Karanadon by shouting, "Hey you! Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you! Well, fuck you then!" in turn.
  • The Elevator Action Sequence beneath the elevator.
  • Swain's Big Damn Heroes as he reunites with his daughter. "Initialize!"


  • Professor Race disarming a doomsday device while freefalling in a tank!
  • Doogie killing a helicopter with an enemy-piloted Rigid Raider by turning a seaplane so sharply that the wings form a ramp. He was out of bullets.
  • Race thinking fast enough to escape an explosion by hiding in the containers used to transport the Supernova. And this was well before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out.
  • Renco ziplining through a hail of bullets onto a horse, firing back the whole time.
  • Doogie providing covering fire for Race to get to the citadel, against Nazis and rapas alike.

The Tournament:

  • This book is extremely light on action by Reilly standards, but still gives us Roger Ascham's Combat Pragmatist defeat of the murderer Sinon, and showing his Brass Balls by telling Sultan Suleiman to his face that he knows the tournament is rigged.

Troll Mountain:

  • The book was specifically designed because of Reilly's love of the destruction of the Hall of the Mountain King in the opera Peer Gynt, so that he could write a similar scene. Once we get there, it fully lives up to that.

The Great Zoo of China:

  • Halfway through the book, we find out how CJ got away from the crocodile that scarred her face: stabbing it over and over in the belly until she got its heart.
    • To elaborate, CJ accomplished that while a crocodile had her head in its mouth! CJ was drowning, disoriented and was in the process of having her head crushed in a prehistoric killing machine's vice like grip and CJ not only survived, but managed to WIN the fight and kill the crocodile "Don't mess with CJ Cameron" indeed.
  • Any of CJ's Kill It with Fire moments, each more impressive than the last.
  • The main attraction's themselves of the Great Zoo are undoubtably awesome and it's impressive how Reilly was able to create Dragons that were not only menacing, but incredibly believable and realistic, with so much detail put into the creatures biology and collective subspecies. This is not even going into what the monsters accomplish in the story. The velociraptors from Jurassic Park have absolutely nothing on the Great Zoo's main attraction.


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