On the up-side, there is plenty of action, and the premise of the book is intriguing. However, if you enjoy even a modicum of character development, then look elsewhere. You won't find it here. The hero of the book, Dirk Pitt, is as one dimensional as characters get. All his decisions are always right, and he never makes a mistake. Yawn.
Dirk Pitt, Clive Cussler's aging but still potent superhero, returns in the 16th adventure in this popular series about the director of special projects for the National Underwater Maritime Administration (NUMA). Pitt's NUMA survey ship happens to be in the vicinity when the world's newest and biggest cruise ship founders and sinks, giving Pitt the chance to stage the daring rescue of nearly 2,000 passengers. Among those who perish is a famous scientist whose revolutionary engines powered the ship to her watery grave; while Pitt is unable to save Dr. Egan, he rescues his beautiful daughter Kelly from the sea, and later from a murder attempt aboard the rescue vessel
It is July 2003. In the middle of its maiden voyage, the luxury cruise ship Emerald Dolphin suddenly catches fire and sinks. What caused it? Why didn't the fire control systems work? What was its connection to the revolutionary new engines powering the ship? NUMA special projects director Dirk Pitt races to rescue the passengers and investigate the disaster, but he has no idea of the bizarre events that are about to engulf him.
Before the next few weeks are over, Pitt will find himself confronted by an extraordinary series of monsters, both human and mechanical, modern and ancient. He will tread upon territory previously known only to legend. And, at the end of it all, though many lives will be lost, and many saved, it is Pitt's own life that will be changed forever...
The master of action/adventure fiction strikes oil with this nonstop thriller, which tangles ancient Viking runes, Captain Nemo's Nautilus, the Red Baron, water propulsion engines, murderous oil magnates, undersea catastrophes and cruise ship explosions into a knot that only Dirk Pitt and his laconic sidekick Al Giordino can unravel. Dirk spots smoke on the horizon from his NUMA research vessel and races to the flaming cruise ship Golden Dolphin in time to save most of the 2,000 passengers and crew, including Kelly Egan, beautiful daughter of the inventor of engines that run on seawater. Dr. Egan drowns, leaving Kelly with a leather case that she believes contains the secrets of his life's work but a couple of ruthless villains want it, too, and with Dirk's help she narrowly escapes. When the Dolphin wreck sinks, Pitt and Giordino use a mini-sub to search for arson clues, but the NUMA ship and crew are hijacked while the sub is under and Pitt and Giordino drift until rescued by a private boat. They then cross paths with Curtis Zale, a ruthless oil baron bent on monopoly and unafraid of using mass murder to gain his ends. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Loren Smith, Pitt's erstwhile lover, heads a committee probing Zale and is added to the target list. Cussler speeds and twists through the complex plot and hairbreadth escapes, giving the thriller the intensity and suspense of a NASCAR race. Historical asides of submarine lore, Jules Verne minutiae and references to Viking runes in America add touches of real-life oddity to the mix, and nothing will prepare even longtime Cussler fans for the major surprise he drops at the end.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
There isn't a Dirk Pitt adventure that I haven't loved! Clive Cussler writes fantastic novels that stretch the believability factor but never the imagination. His adventures are all something that really could happen using smarts and technology. Dirk always gets the bad guy (or gal). The books always introduce a few different plots happening at the same time which seemingly have absolutely nothing to do with each other but somehow are all tied together. The process of tying them together is fascinating and really keeps you turning pages. This one has Vikings, pirates, luxury liners, luxury submarines, oil tankers, oil conglomerates and one really really bad character with more money than brains. This is one of the few series that really don't have to be read in sequence. Simply spectacular!
Dirk Pitt is thst rarest of individuals without whom the world could not survive.He is a man of swift, decisive action who lives by his honor-forever standing watch on the front lines in the enduring war between good and evil. As the son of a U.S. sentor, graduate of the Air Force Academt,and special projects director of the U.S. National Underwater and Marine Agency,his courage and cool under fire are matched only by his forcefulnature and ferocious determination to do whatever is neccessary...
It is July 2003. In the middle of it's maiden voyage, the luxury cruise ship Emerald Dolphin, suddenly catches fire and sinks. What caused it? Why didn't the alarms go off? What was it's connection to the reveloutionary new engines powering the ship? NUMA special projects director Dirk Pitt races to rescue the passengers and investigates the disaster, but he has no idea of the bizarre chain of events that are about to engulf him.
Before the next few weeks are over, Pitt will find himself confonted by an extradorinary series of monsters, both human and mechanical, modern and ancient. He will tread upon territory previously known only to legend. And at the end of it all, though many lives will be lost, and many saved, it is Pitt's own life that will be changed forever...