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ETs with a mordant sense of drama turn the New York Public Library into "the labyrinth" for an interstellar survival game show in this ungainly thriller from Australian Reilly (Ice Station). Seven players, each from a different world, compete for their lives, combating not only each other but also a monster called the Karanodon. The earthly representative is Dr. Steven Swain, chosen for his courage in successfully fighting off a gang of thugs who invade his operating room. Unfortunately, Swain happens to be holding Holly, his plucky little daughter, at the moment he's transported into the labyrinth, so she goes with him. The most devilish trick the "sponsors" provide is an unremovable digital bracelet, whose face shows how many opponents remain, and will commence a deadly 15-minute countdown should its wearer manage to escape the library's electrified confines. Derivative of Michael Crichton's techno-thrillers as well as Stephen King/Richard Bachman's The Running Man, the book offers constant, nail-biting action, but not a lot of reverence for one of New York City's greatest public institutions.  From Publishers Weekly.
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ISBN-10:  0312990049 (MM pbk.)
ISBN-13:  9780312990046 (MM pbk.)
Author:  Matthew Reilly
Genre:  Suspense
Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks
Date Published:  December 27, 2005
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review by . May 08, 2009
This is the fourth Reilly book I have read. I rate it second to Ice Station. It expands on the old scifi tale The Arena (which was also used in a Star Trek episode where Kirk fights the Gorn) and instead of one Alien enemy, there are 6. Swain, a doctor is kidnapped by the Aliens running the show and teleported to a sealed off New York library where he must battle the other 6 aliens to the death. Unfortunately for Swain, not only is he in danger but his young daughter was accidentally sent with him …
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Contest a novel by Matthew Reilly
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