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Artifact [Hardcover]

Kevin J. Anderson , Janet Berliner , F. Paul Wilson , Matthew Costello
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 23 2003 Anderson, Kevin J.
Deep in a tomblike cavern along the ocean floor lies a secret that has remained hidden from humanity. Until now. . .

An Oilstar drilling rig off the coast of Venezuela in the Dragon's Mouth channel has pierced an underwater cavern and brings to the surface four stones unlike anything on this earth. Frik Van Alman, the tough-as-nails maverick head of Oilstar realizes immediately that they represent an extraordinary opportunity . . .and a terrible danger. His superstitious native crew, already uneasy working in the infamous waterway, refuse to dive in search of a fifth stone, and when Frik's lab chief tests them, the results confirm Frik's hunch: when these four stones are connected they hint at a power source that could revolutionize the world's energy production. And, Frik realizes, such a revolution would put him and all other oil companies out of business.

Before he can plot his next move, his lab chief Paul Trujold, fearing the greed and calculation in Frik's eyes, sends the stones to safer hands. One of the stones lands in the hands of Paul's daughter, Selene Trujold, the leader of an ecological action trying to halt Frik's drilling and the damage it's causing to the Caribbean ecology.

Frik and Trujold meet in the lab after Paul has sent away the stones, and an accident badly burns them both, killing Paul before Frik can find out what he's done with the find. Desperate to reclaim the stones and determined to find the fifth piece of the puzzle, Frik enlists the aid of the Daredevils Club, a select few risk-taking thrill seekers of whom Frik is one, who meet every New Year's Eve to compare bold new stories of the past year's exploits. Their members are a disparate bunch, including a doctor, Arthur Marryshow, whose greatest risk is healing those who risk their lives in political hotspots; Ray Arno, a stuntman turned demolitions expert; Simon Brousseau, an expert deep-sea diver; and Joshua Keene and Terris McKendry, a bickering best-buddies tandem experienced in undercover operations requiring strength, expertise with weapons, and nerves of steel.

At the next New Year's Eve meeting, Frik proposes a mission: collect all five stones and return them to him. Along with the rest of the daredevils is Peta Whyte, Marryshow's protegé, not officially a member, but more than qualified by her role in planning and effecting Arthur's escape from prison on her native Grenada sixteen years before, when she was but sixteen. She attends in Arthur's place, for he's been killed, victim of a terrorist bombing just blocks from their Times Square rendezvous.

The Daredevils embark on an adventure that takes them along the coast of Venezuela, from stealth jungle raids to deep-sea dives, from the haunts of Latin American power brokers to the camp of eco-terrorists. A fast-paced, thrill-a-minute hunt challenges the loyalties of the daredevils, as they become pawns in a deadly game of deceit and betrayal. After all the adrenaline rushes and spilt blood, the remaining members of the Daredevils Club gather once again on the following New Year's Eve, this time in Las Vegas, for one final confrontation, as Frik slips the five stones into place. . . as the unthinkable is created.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Given the formidable talents of the writers involved, this first adventure of a club of professional thrillseekers is a surprisingly unfulfilling affair. The six male members of the Daredevils Club meet every New Year's Eve to swap stories about the past year's missions impossible. In 1999, oil magnate Frik Van Alman sows the seeds for the following year's bragfest when he asks his fellow Daredevils to help him recover pieces of an unearthly artifact he discovered while drilling in an undersea cavern. Never mind that the devious Frik doesn't tell them the artifact can harness energy magically, or that its parts were deliberately disassembled and dispersed to different people by one of his employees (whose death Frik hastened) to keep it out of his unscrupulous hands. The Daredevils are off and running, and the scavenger hunt that follows is as disjointed as the artifact itself, split over subplots involving an ecoterrorist group's efforts to destroy Frik's oil business and the growing suspicion of Dr. Peta Whyte, lover of a deceased Daredevil, that Frik will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Explosions, death-defying feats and Houdini-like disappearances and reappearances keep things lively. But there are also enough convenient coincidences and key mysteries left unexplained to raise doubts about how closely the authors collaborated on the plotting.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Artifact is fun, exotic, and fast. The only part of the ending you'll guess is that it's good. And the characters are as exotic and fascinating as its settings, and the story itself."
--New York Times bestselling author Larry Bond

“A fascinating page-turner with enough spellbinding intrigue to last until the authors’ next tale. Full of action with terrific characters and a fast moving plot.”
--New York Times bestselling author Clive Cussler on Artifact


"Artifact is fun, exotic, and fast. The only part of the ending you'll guess is that it's good." (New York Times bestselling author Larry Bond)

"A fascinating page-turner with enough spellbinding intrigue to last . . . Full of action with terrific characters and a fast moving plot." (New York Times bestselling author Clive Cussler) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"After a full day on the platform observing the core samples being raised at the Dragon's Mouth test drill site, what little patience Frikkie Van Alman might have had to begin with had dissipated." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulpy Goodness July 3 2003
Format:Hardcover
There are certain things I demand of my summer reading. I want it to take me places I haven't been before, introduce me to characters whose adventures I want to hear more of, and, last but not least, blow stuff up real good.
Artifact does all this, and then some. Written by four excellent authors (Janet Berliner, F. Paul Wilson, Matthew Costello and Kevin J. Anderson), it has the distinct feel of something that they all enjoyed writing. It's that kind of fast-paced fun, complete with a tough heroine, exotic locales, and an impromptu course in what to do if you get too close to a shark while scuba diving for pieces of an alien gizmo. (Hey, you never know)
Artifact doesn't have a traditional slam-bang ending, which might confuse folks who are looking for something a little more Spielbergian, but the ending it does have satisfies and makes more character sense than any special effects extravaganza would have. That being said, there's still plenty of room for a sequel, and I definitely wouldn't mind learning what the Daredevil's Club does next.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Where is the other half of the book? June 26 2003
Format:Hardcover
Where to begin? As a Kevin J. Anderson reader, I was somewhat intrigued at the premise of the novel. However, I should have sensed danger at the extremely lengthy and confusing front flap. However, I risked it and read the book anyway. The middle of the book is somewhat interesting, but I agree with some of the other reviewers that the plot and timeline were choppy. With two chapters to go, I was moderately doubtful that the book could be tied up neatly. Well, the writers didn't think that was impossible. In fact, as if they were desperately tired of writing, the book simply stops. I cannot express my severe disappointment in the quick and shallow way the end of the book was treated. I half-jokingly suggested to my husband that I take the book back to the store and get half my money back since it was, after all, only half a story. My only comfort I can get from spending time reading this book is that it wasn't too long. Therefore, I didn't waste too much of my life reading it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks May 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
Upon seeing the names F. Paul Wilson and Kevin J. Anderson together on the book cover I thought for certain I had found a jewel. However, I did not take into account that they were accompanied by two other names. Dual authors can create some of the best fiction (Weis & Hickman, Preston & Child...) because they can often present different points of view and character interaction more realistically than a single author. Yet, after plowing through ARTIFACT, an old cliche came instantly to mind; too many cooks can spoil the soup.
That is exactly what happened here. The story is jerky with sudden spurts through time in whitch (unrealistically) little happens to or with the characters. Many questions are left dangling, character plots left unfinished, but the greatest frustration comes from the fact that the title character (the artifact) is never adequetely explored. It is always hovering in the background, even at the supposed climax of the story.
Even the characters are bland for a supposed "daredevil club". The seemingly central character, Peta, is hollow and essentially meaninglass. One can see that she was supposed to be a strong, independent heroine, yet her every thought, feeling and action is dictated by the men around her.
After the wonder of the Repairman Jack novels, I expected so much more from F. Paul Wilson, and was extremely disappointed by ARTIFACT. While it may be easy to blame the other authors, I believe that none of them took the project too seriously and it shows clearly in the result.
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many cooks May 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
Upon seeing the names F. Paul Wilson and Kevin J. Anderson together on the book cover I thought for certain I had found a jewel. However, I did not take into account that they were accompanied by two other names. Dual authors can create some of the best fiction (Weis & Hickman, Preston & Child...) because they can often present different points of view and character interaction more realistically than a single author. Yet, after plowing through ARTIFACT, an old cliche came instantly to mind; too many cooks can spoil the soup.
That is exactly what happened here. The story is jerky with sudden spurts through time in whitch (unrealistically) little happens to or with the characters. Many questions are left dangling, character plots left unfinished, but the greatest frustration comes from the fact that the title character (the artifact) is never adequetely explored. It is always hovering in the background, even at the supposed climax of the story.
Even the characters are bland for a supposed "daredevil club". The seemingly central character, Peta, is hollow and essentially meaninglass. One can see that she was supposed to be a strong, independent heroine, yet her every thought, feeling and action is dictated by the men around her.
After the wonder of the Repairman Jack novels, I expected so much more from F. Paul Wilson, and was extremely disappointed by ARTIFACT. While it may be easy to blame the other authors, I believe that none of them took the project too seriously and it shows clearly in the result.
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars art is lacked
This is terrible. Unconvincing characters who speak only in cliches. Forced and boring action. Themeless and unstimulating. Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars A Book By Committee
This book reminds me of a ransom note put together by cutting letters out of a magazine and gluing them on a piece of paper. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2003 by Claude T. Hawkins
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Being a fan of 3 of the 4 authors I had hoped for something more. Very choppy flow and an overall simplistic plot lead to a very week read. Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2003 by M. Watkins
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun ride beginning to end!
I'm no pro, but I can say this, this book was a fun read from beginning to end! I don't often read "adventure" type novels, and had a hard time putting this one down. Read more
Published on July 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars page--turner
After reading some of the reviews here, I think we must not be reading the same book. I agree with the quote from Clive Cussler on the book's jacket, "A page-turner with... Read more
Published on July 6 2003 by mike paulle
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulpy Goodness
There are certain things I demand of my summer reading. I want it to take me places I haven't been before, introduce me to characters whose adventures I want to hear more of, and,... Read more
Published on July 3 2003 by Richard Dansky
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulpy Goodness
There are certain things I demand of my summer reading. I want it to take me places I haven't been before, introduce me to characters whose adventures I want to hear more of, and,... Read more
Published on July 3 2003 by Richard Dansky
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars
Though it's an easy way out of writing a critigue, I pretty much have to mirror everything PW has to say about this book. I know if F. Read more
Published on June 7 2003 by Konrad Kern
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment
I had to search for this book after hearing about it and reading a glowing review. I couldn't wait to start it. But it was not worth my efforts. Read more
Published on June 5 2003
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