I read a lot of novels for fun, but also dissect them in the back of my mind, thinking about the author's craft: what works, what doesn't, why he or she has made the choices they have and whether I can learn anything for my own writing.
I've just finished re-reading some books by Matthew Reilly, an author that I like in many respects, but find frustrating in others. I first discovered Reilly when he published Area 7 , finding it to be a fun read with some aspects that bothered me a little, then gradually collected his whole set.
There's a lot to like about Reilly. He self-published Contest, caught the attention of mainstream publisher and went onto international success. He was an earlier adventurer in the e-book world, uploading free .pdfs of Hover Car Racer to his site way back in 2004. His style builds on the science-based techno-thrillers of Michael Crichton, military tactics of Tom Clancy, history/mystery of Dan Brown, secret agent gadgets of James Bond (more the movies than the Fleming novels) and shear action/adventure of Lucas & Spielberg's Indiana Jones.
But, as I've noted before, if Stephen King is the (self-described) "literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries", then I doubt Reilly would object if I called him the literary equivalent of Jerry Bruckheimer or Michael Bay.