I was (and always am) thrilled to see a new Clive Cussler book on the shelves...but was immediately skeptical because it wasn't in hardback. As many know, certain authors ALWAYS produce new novels in hardback, and lately, authors like Clancy, have lent their name to paperback novels who are written by 'other' people (OP Center), OBVIOUSLY less talented then they--and of course I wondered whether or not this was the case here with 'Serpent'. It didn't take long to recognize the trademark 'Cussler
Style' and as far as I could tell, it was just a novel about Dirk Pitt going by another name. With that said, I found the book VERY entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised that all the 'regular' elements of a fun and exciting Dirk Pitt novel were all there, including a sidekick (almost exactly like Al Giordino). Now this is only a SMALL complaint, since I have been an avid follower of Cussler since I read 'Raise The Titanic' shortly after it was published. I
have been hooked ever since, and since his 'style' has worked so far, it was just fine with me on this one as well. If you are struggling with the decision of buying this book, here's a suggestion: read it, and substitute Dirk Pit for Kurt Austin, do that every time you read it and TRUST me, you WON'T be able to tell the difference. And for all those who have negative comments about this book, they MUST have an attachment to Dirk that cannot be broken, because this is really a fun book. Don't get me wrong, nobody is gonna increase their IQ by reading this--or ANY other Cussler novel for that matter--but just like his past books, he provided me with several hours of escapism and fun, which is really the only reason why I read him to begin with, I have FUN while reading his stuff. Give it a try, and just remember, Kurt is just Dirk in disguise. Enjoy.