Aussie novelist Matthew Reilly writes an absolute cracking book.
No, he didn’t pay me – or even ask me – to tell you that. Probably because he doesn’t know I exist. But we have met once, for all of five seconds, when I had one of his books signed at a breakfast.
Anyway, what I like about him is that a) he started off self-publishing before getting picked up by a publisher – I love people who make their own dreams happen - and b) he writes action stuff that boys like to read, which can be hard to get them to do.
But what I also like about his books is I always turn the final page having learnt something new. And so it was I turned to him to answer a question that had me stumped – what were the seven ancient wonders of the world?
The question had come up in conversation with my friend Angie and between us we could only name two with any certainty – the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
We were stumped, but luckily I knew where to find the rest, since they were a key part of Reilly’s book Seven Ancient Wonders, part of the Jack West Jr series that also includes The Six Sacred Stones and The Five Greatest Warriors.
Now, I’m not going to recite the plot chapter and verse, but basically it supposes that thousands of years ago, the capstone on the summit of the great pyramid absorbed the energy released by something called the Tartarus Rotation, thus saving the earth from catastrophe. Alexander the Great then divided the stone up and hid a piece inside each of the seven wonders.
Fast forward to modern times, and the capstone must be reassembled to ward off another world-threatening solar event. Of course this is easier said than done as many of the wonders have been lost to knowledge and some of the pieces have been moved too.
But there’s also a bonus to the quest – whoever lays the final piece will secure 1000 years of peace or power for their nation. And yes, competition is fierce.
So anyway, several years after I bought the novel, I paid it another visit to find out what the wonders were. And here’s the end result:
- Great Pyramid of Giza
- Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
- Colossus of Rhodes
- Lighthouse of Alexandria
You can read more about each of them at the 7wonders site, which also has lists such as the new wonders, underwater wonders and man-made wonders.
Strangely though, there’s no list of the male wonders who rock a mean superhero cape.
Perhaps I could do my bit for knowledge and write that list myself. Starting, of course, with Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. Mmmmm, Aragorn . . .