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on July 24, 2012
Cussler is up to his usual magic in writing this entertaining story. The gripping narrative holds the reader in the book which is action packed with adventure. From the snowy Alaskan shores to the topical south-seas, the hero fights off stereo-typed villains and always wins the day; anything less would not be a Cussler story.

The villains are North Koreans and their evil plan to force unification of the Korean peninsula is thwarted by the all American hero and his son and daughter. Family ties are only a side bar, but the typical Cussler technical descriptions and predictable dialogues are the order of the day. Cussler also offers up a review of maritime culture and technology that is attractive to those interested.

The purpose of this book is to entertain and Cussler does just that with his experienced skill. If I was to offer up a criticism it would be that Cussler is to predicable. But on the other hand if the heroes didn't escape from the all the near misses, I for one would be disappointed.
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The best Dirk Pitt books cause your heart to pound, make your head woozy from empathy for the danger and leave you with chills after the action settles down. While Black Wind has a section like that near the end, the bulk of the book reminded me of the early James Bond books by Ian Fleming. The hero is cool and resourceful and not very reckless . . . and up against some bizarre cartoon character industrialist. Why the change? That's because the hero of this book is Dirk Pitt, Jr. with Dirk Pitt not appearing except for a cameo until near the end of the book. When Dirk himself appears near the end, all the usual physiological symptoms from reading Clive Cussler's work are present.

This book is a collaboration between Clive Cussler and his son, Dirk (talk about having a tough name to live up to!). One gets the sense that Dirk, Jr. is either modeled on Dirk Cussler or has been developed by Dirk Cussler because this is a different Dirk, Jr. than we have read about before.

However the story developed, we should be grateful that Dirk Pitt, Jr. emerges as a more credible and interesting character than in the earlier novels where he was mostly someone for Dirk Pitt to rescue.

The story itself has too many holes in it to be credible . . . which is part of why the story doesn't create more chills for the reader. Here are a few examples: North Korea cannot get a sample of an ages-old virus without stealing one from a 60+ year-old Japanese submarine; the U.S. Air Force would allow a mobile rocket launching platform complete with rocket to operate a few miles from its own launch site at Vandenberg without constant surveillance and a military escort; U.S. spy satellites are so few in number that a ship can simply disappear without the satellites picking up on it; and huge batches of a new strain of virus can be created in a few hours. This lack of credibility has been a problem with Clive Cussler novels for years. So if you haven't minded the past novels in this regard, this one isn't much worse.

The book's strength is its continuing action sequences and entertaining cliff hangers. Although these events are more cool than heart-pounded, they keep the story moving and make it continually interesting. I started the book early in the evening and couldn't put it down until I finished it. I seldom have that reaction to an action novel.

I also liked the way the plot evolved gradually enough that there is some mystery left to intrigue the reader throughout the first half of the book. This was an improvement over some of the recent Dirk Pitt novels.

As for the plot, the less you know before starting . . . the better. Let the book surprise you. I think you'll be glad you did.

The other main flaw in the book is that it seems to have lacked a thorough editing. If you find less than 50 embarrassing mistakes, you are not paying enough attention. That hurts the story also because each mistake reminds you that this is a novel, and that realization takes you out of feeling like you are living in the story.
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on May 24, 2005
Clive Cussler has revealed once again his mastery of adventurous and thrilling stories As usual; the plot is fast-paced one, moving so quickly that the reader is not given the opportunity to notice any flaws. I loved the rugged nature of the characters. The plot is amazing, far-reaching and creates a sense of disbelief. Alaska, Korea, Japan.....the scope is wide. I will always continue to read the works of Cussler because I enjoy them as a quick relief from more serious works, and consider then to be good page-turners. If liked Cussler's earlier books, then here is another to enjoy. The story has an interesting plot and the dialogue is great. Once started, you won't want to put it down. The story flows.Also recommended: DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, POLAR SHIFT ,THE GOLDEN BUDDHA are other gripping page turners.
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on February 22, 2006
Think of what normally would be an ending to a great series and now that this series will continue with 'Dirk's' and Clive's sons. It might not be up to Clive's standards but it gives an excellent start to Dirk's continuing the series. What I have worried about is the series ending with the death of Mr. Cussler or the killing off of the Dirk Pitt character. It will not come--THANK GOD!! Mr. D. Cussler thank you for continuing the most enjoyable book series I have read. I would also recommend ' The Quest ' by Giorgio Kostantinos. Another great action series.
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on March 20, 2014
Everyone of Clive Cussler books that I read are interesting from the first page. The opening of each story eventually blends into the plot. The facts are strikingly real even though the story sometimes is a stretch. Even though you understand the good guys and the bad guys, you still can't stop reading until the very end.
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on December 9, 2005
Like most of the Dirk Pitt novels, I find they start out good then they become tiresome and frustrating to read. If you're into americanism and unrealistic adventure, then this is the book for you, but definitely not for me.
I think these types of books are written at adolescent level and meant for that audience.
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on October 8, 2013
Ron Dobson....written well ......entertaining ,action filled a usual Clive Cussler book....the subject matter is a little frightening as it could be possible
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on March 1, 2014
I really enjoy the history that Clive Cussler starts his novels with . Once I start his novels I cant put it down until I am finished.
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on April 12, 2015
GREAT READ
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