Monday, July 21, 2008

Recycle a book! Contest by Matthew Reilly

What is the fate of many great but little-known books when they leave the new book display and go to their new homes in the stacks? We forget about them. The books languish in all their unread glory, waiting eagerly for a patron to once again riffle their pages. It’s time to recycle these books, so they can be read and enjoyed by a whole new audience.

I choose to recycle:
Contest by Matthew Reilly (2003)

“Winning is everything when you have everything to lose.”

Picture, if you will, an intense gladiatorial bout, called The Presidian. The host planet—Earth. The setting—The New York Public Library, a modern-day labyrinth. The contestants—seven sentient beings from across the galaxy. The charge—seven enter, one survives.

The Presidian is a competition dating back over six millennia, well-known throughout the universe--but not to anyone on earth. It is a battle among hunters and warriors, willing to stake their lives on their talents. The earth’s contestant is Dr. Stephen Swain. The radiologist was drafted to represent his race, not as a powerful human, but as a human possessing a “quick-thinking, adaptive personality”. Unfortunately, his daughter was pulled through the force field surrounding the library with him. Now the two of them are trapped and hunted. And Swain must summon all his mental and physical skills to ensure that they survive and escape the confines of the library.

Part science fiction, part thriller and part horror, Contest is an intense and plot-complicated book that will make you read obsessively to the final page. The author wrote the real-world architecture of the New York Public Library into this book as an accurate setting. Track the action by means of the NYPL floors maps provided at the front of the book.

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