YA Book Review | Troll Mountain (1,2,3) | Matthew Reilly

I’ve been a Matthew Reilly fan for a number of years. Yes, his plots are over the top. Yes, the characters find themselves in impossible situations but always find a way out. Yes he’s an Aussie like me. They are all reasons that I read and enjoy his books. I love the action, the ingenuity, the never give up attitude, and the grand scale of the settings (and I think that MR’s diagrams are cool too).

For my normal followers, now is the time to warn those who haven’t heard of or read MR’s books, his books are normally written for adult readers. However, MR does state in an interview at the end of Troll Mountain, which has been released as three novellas/episodes, is targeted to a family audience. There is some violence, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s suitable for Middle Grade readers or not.

I’ve decided to write these review comments as I complete each book. I wanted to capture my thoughts on each episode before I was backed up or disproved in the next episode/s. So, you’ll either see how way off I was along the way … or be amazed at how perceptive I was ahead of the final climax (see, I’m even assuming there’s an awesome climax as I write this).

A dauntless young hero. An army of brutal monsters. An impossible quest.
Journey to the mountain …


Troll Mountain 1TROLL MOUNTAIN

by Matthew Reilly

In an isolated valley, a small tribe of humans is dying from a terrible illness. There are rumors, however, that the trolls of Troll Mountain, the valley’s fearsome overlords, have found a cure for the illness: a fabulous elixir.

When his sister is struck down by the disease and his tribal leaders refuse to help him, an intrepid youth named Raf decides to defy his tribe and do the unthinkable: he will journey alone to Troll Mountain and steal the elixir from the dreaded trolls.

But to get to Troll Mountain, Raf will have to pass through dangerous swamps and haunting forests filled with wolves, hobgoblins and, worst of all, the ever-present danger of rogue trolls …

The journey to the mountain has begun.  – Goodreads

My thoughts – Episode I

This is a complete surprise from Matthew Reilly. The storyline and writing style is totally different from any other MR writing that I’ve read (that’s most of his books). The language used is quite simple, almost childlike, but that gives the book the very feeling that I’m being told a true story by some wise old man.

I may be on the wrong track, but I see the story has a much deeper meaning. My guess is that it’s really making a statement on how the real world works. It’s entertaining and the plot moves along at a brisk pace, so I’m jumping straight into Episode II.

Troll Mountain 2TROLL MOUNTAIN
by Matthew Reilly

The only unguarded entrance to Troll Mountain is the abandoned kingdom of the hobgoblins. With no other route available to them, Raf and his newfound friends, Ko and Dum, enter the dark, dank world of the hobgoblins.

But is it truly abandoned?  – Goodreads

My thoughts – Episode II

And so … we have a cliff-hanger at the end of Episode II.

This second part of Troll Mountain sees the return of trademark Matthew Reilly maps and traps, which I love to refer to as I read through the story. They’re a handy feature indeed.

I’m still convinced that the whole story is a reflection of modern society. Manipulative powers at the top and everyone fighting their own struggles below. On to Episode III.

Troll Mountain 3TROLL MOUNTAIN

by Matthew Reilly

Raf’s mission to Troll Mountain is in ruins.

Having penetrated the mountain, only to be caught in the act of stealing the fabled elixir, Raf must now face the trolls’ champion in a fight to the death.

As the trolls gather to watch the fight, Raf watches them closely. If he can somehow survive this fight, his mission may not be over.

The final battle for Troll Mountain is about to begin.  – Goodreads

My thoughts – Episode III

Well, the action cranks up a notch in this one. Up to normal Matthew Reilly levels. I did enjoy reading this story, so much so, that I read all three in a relatively short time (for me).

As for the climax that I was hoping for …. you’ll need to read the books to find out. And, in case you’re wondering if my earlier ideas(in my thoughts for Episodes I and II) about the underlying inspiration and message were correct, I’d rather not reveal too much plot or detail in my review, as I’m not one for spoilers.

I suggest you read the interview with Matthew Reilly at the end if Episode III and you’ll see that his comments will either back-up or trash my thoughts.

In a nutshellAs a loyal and long term Matthew Reilly fan, I was bound to like these books. Although they were quite different to MR’s other books the story kept me enthralled and glued to them until finished. They may not be for everybody, but then again, no books are. Great job MR.

Note: I don’t claim to be a pro-reviewer, I am a reader. My reviews are based on my personal thoughts around the story that the book is trying to tell. I try to focus on the story (which is the reason I read) rather than dissect the book and pass comment on typos, writing style or structure.

Here is  a little something extra that has been set up for Troll Mountain fans – Matthew tells us about Trollpedia.

Want to know more?
Click below to check out more information about
Matthew Reilly.

Matthew Reilly

While you’re here, please check out my edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure series’  by clicking the pic below.

4 books

8 responses to “YA Book Review | Troll Mountain (1,2,3) | Matthew Reilly”

  1. Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing your post on Matthew Reilly’s books. I devour all of his stuff. Wasn’t aware of this set. Can’t wait to read. I’m finishing “Time Square: The Shift” first!


    1. 🙂
      Have you read Tournament yet? (I haven’t) Based on its setting, I suspect it would be one that you’d love.


  2. I’ve never heard of Matt Reilly, but then you know my MG education is lacking. Sounds like a great idea – and I have been warned about the cliff-hangers 🙂


  3. I wonder how I missed these. Always wanting more of Mathew’s books. Gping to have to get these right now! Thanks for sharing.


    1. They’re only short books, I hope you like them.


      1. I’ll let you know. My favorite book by Mathew is Contest. I’ve read so many of his books but that one hooked me. Read it several times and whenever I’m looking for a relaxing reread, I usually grab it.


  4. Without doubt Matthew Reilly is by far my favourite author. I think I have read everything he has written so far. I don’t have a favourite book by Matt, but I will say Scarecrow (Shane Schofield) is my kind of man. Keep up the good work Matt.


    1. Thanks for dropping by, Len. He sure knows how to get action into a book. I havent yet read Tournament – do you like that one?
      I have a crisp new hardback of his latest book, The Great Zoo of China, sitting here, soon to be read.


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