This very short (120-page) action story was originally written as a free giveaway in Australia as part of a book initiative. It is pretty much non-stop activity: a group of marines land on an aircraft carrier docked at a secret island
and discover they are battling for their lives against unusual opponents.
In such a short book, thereís little time to develop characters or complex plots. However, it should be possible to suck the reader into the story, particularly one so fast-paced. Unfortunately, the story never really grabbed me, it didnít convince me, and the action sequences felt a bit too unrealistic. It has the feeling of a video game, where people seem able to survive seeming certain death, where they always have the right knowledge and equipment to deal with whatever hazard they face.
Blood and gore and death are everywhere, as well as some surprising plot lines
throughout which the usual American idea of honor and patriotism are conspicuously absent.
The author has a strange tendency to put short phrases in italics. I did like the maps, charts, diagrams and drawings of the principal characters scattered throughout the text.
As an introduction to Matthew Reillyís work, I suppose Hell Island suffices, although it didnít inspire me to read any of his full-length novels. However, as a book to encourage people to read who are perhaps put off by longer stories and who like this kind of writing, itís a great option.