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3 Stars

WARNING: Scarecrow is not recommended for pregnant readers, readers with heart trouble or high-blood pressure.

Matthew Reilly is well known for his non-stop, shoot first ask later stories. Having read the two previous in this series plus the Jack West Jr. Series, I can say without a doubt this is the most action packed book of them all.

In addition to the most action , it is easily the BLOODIEST of the novels. The story is set amid a worldwide bounty on the heads of a list of various characters, one of which is our very own Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield. When I say price on their head, I mean in literally. Heads rolled on page after page with a generous helping of bad guys shot in the face, chest, arms, leg, neck, eye, ears, back and at least one in the mouth.

Cons

1. Location - In the first two in the series, Reilly was masterful at writing a story in a single locale. Ice Station was set in an underground, research station in Antarctica. Area 7 was set in a secret government installation. I may be personal preference, but Reilly's writing was tighter and his locations were far more vivid when the majority of the story was set in one location. Scarecrow takes you around the world. This adds to the action but detracts from the story as a whole.

2. From a super human to Superhuman - Scarecrow as a character has drifted into the invincible hero category. He has gone from escaping improbable situations to escaping impossible situation. Scarecrow thrives on the hyperbole. He escapes the BIGGEST Arial armada the world has ever seen while flying the FASTEST plane the world has ever know while dodging the MOST technologically advance missile in the world while at the same time chasing down the MOST deadly atomic tipped missile while attempting to detonate it with the MOST complex disarming system EVER created because our hero is the ONLY person in the world qualified to do it. Some readers will eat this up. Don't get me wrong, I do like it but it is a bit over the top. Story is sacrificed in the name of action.

Pros

1. Brave Story Decisions - While the overall storytelling takes a step back as stated above, Reilly makes some brave and satisfying decisions with the story arc of Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield. For the most part, you won't be surprised with what happens. You can predict much of the story after 50 pages. If you are reading this book its mostly for the ride. That said, I was SHOCKED by some developments. I had to stop and rewind my audiobook after Shane's girlfriend was beheaded by a guillotine. "What's going on?" is what I though after I heard this. This was a shocking development in the overall story arc and can lead to new, interesting storylines and some new motivations for the Scarecrow.

2. Satisfying Resolutions - Without giving anything away, there was a change in our hero and for once, he was not held back by his morals or some sense of duty. At times, our hero felt a bit like an anti hero, which was a nice change. Lets be honest, we all want the good guy to do the wrong thing sometimes.


Don't expect realism but expect a rip roaring thrill ride.