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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Progression
Clive Cussler has done what some other accomplished writers have tried and failed to do. He started a new series that he co-authors, he has kept the quality of the reading very near that of his own books, and now they have gone from a paperback format to hardcover. The last step is a major one and speaks very well of the care this new series was created with. Other...
Published on June 5 2002 by taking a rest
3.0 out of 5 stars Long live the new Tsar!
"Fire ice", scientifically known as methane hydrate is the focal point for the latest plot to dominate the world. Large deposits located off the undersea continental shelves are thought to be the abundant next new energy source. Ataman Industries a huge mega corporation involved in oceanic mining is a leader harvester of this new energy source. Ataman is headed by...
Published on Aug. 25 2002 by Cory D. Slipman
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Progression,
Clive Cussler has done what some other accomplished writers have tried and failed to do. He started a new series that he co-authors, he has kept the quality of the reading very near that of his own books, and now they have gone from a paperback format to hardcover. The last step is a major one and speaks very well of the care this new series was created with. Other authors have tried the same diversification and they are not worth the soft cover format they were introduced with, and will never see the more expensive binding.
The central organization is the same; specifically NUMA, but the central character and the events he is involved in are stepped down from the more outrageous elements that sometimes turn a Dirk Pitt adventure into something akin to Indiana Jones. The famous bathtub escape comes to mind. The Pitt adventures have become classic in the genre and they make for great reading, they also have had occasion to go over the top at times. Kurt Austin is Dirk Pitt on a smaller scale. Austin collects antique dueling pistols while Dirk accumulates World War Two German Jets, railroad cars, and fantastically rare cars.
The idea of introducing a Romanov theme into a story is a gutsy decision for it has been used countless times, and in the majority of uses has become an overused cliché. Cussler and Paul Kemprecos handle the idea well, and while it is still a bit fantastic it does not cross the line in to storytelling that really is a pretty wild stretch to suspend disbelief.
I don't know the science of the Methane (Fire Ice), but again it strikes me as being credible. These books almost seem to take their cue from some of the countless ships that Mr. Cussler has located in real life, and which history will always owe him a debt. This story has a tragic event, but unlike many of the Pitt series the results are far less dramatic and flamboyant. Austin certainly enjoys the beautiful woman that NUMA scientists seem to have a knack for finding wherever they go, but again it is toned down quite a bit.
Whether on his own or in collaboration with another author, if a book has Cussler's name on it you invariable get your money's worth. He is a great teller of tales, and knowledgeable of history, a combination that guaranties good books. This is really escapist fiction at its best. And for those who enjoy the non fiction work of Cussler and his search for old ships there is a second installment of that book on the way as well.
4.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Escapist Read and Nothing More: Fire Ice,
This review is from: Fire Ice (Mass Market Paperback)
What do tsunamis, methane hydrate (nicknamed fire ice), a studly hero and a plot to take over the world by a mad man all have in common? No, it isn't the latest James Bond picture-at least at the time of this writing. Instead, it is another thrilling adventure from the empire of Clive Cussler. One does not read him for deep penetrating insights into the human species. You read him because he does adventure better than just about everyone else even if some of his scenes stretch the limits of believability at times.
As noted in the title, this is another in the new series featuring Kurt Austin. And everyone is back to face a foe bent on worldwide domination. In this case the mad man, Razov, is owner of a mining consortium in Russia. He believes that he is an heir to the Tsar's, which were last in power in Russia in 1918. He believes that it is his duty to restore Russia to its early glory and he has a plan to do so. He plans to detonate the massive pockets of methane hydrate along the continental shelf along both coasts of The United States. Among other consequences, the resulting massive undersea landslides would case huge tsunamis that would destroy major east and west coast cities.
Of course, with the fate of the world in the balance, he must be stopped. Enter the always studly, Kurt Austin, and the merry band of operatives from NUMA. After being involved in several strange incidents in the Black Sea, Kurt begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Along with the usual scenes of him angrily crossing words with the evildoers, he also has time for the ladies. They, of course, are beautiful, interesting and alluring, and would welcome a brief interlude from the dangers of a world in peril.
This writing team does not plough any new ground but one really does not expect them to do so either. These novels are sheer escapism and this novel has several sections devoted to briefly explaining earlier novels in the series. As such, because of those explanations, if you read this novel first, then you don't need to read the others. Regardless take this one for what it is-a light fun read where everything ends happily and the stud does get the girl (for the night, weekend, or whatever.) Life is good.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire Ice - a fun and engrossing book,
This review is from: Fire Ice (Mass Market Paperback)
In his third installment in the NUMA Files series, Clive Cussler delivers another exciting adventure packed with action, intrigue, and dangerous exploits.
Emanating from the Soviet Union, a mining and shipping tycoon has designs on overthrowing the current Soviet government believing himself to be the Tsar of Russia. To avoid the interference of the United States, he orchestrates a plan to create a massive disaster that would affect a large part of the U.S. eastern seaboard. On the continental shelf are pockets of a highly combustible compound known as methane hydrate or Fire Ice. Detonating this material would cause tidal waves sufficient enough to destroy major cities. Unbeknownst to NUMA officials and the American government alike, an even more insidious plan is in the works and time is fading fast to avert a catastrophic event that could have global implications.
Fire Ice is a fast paced and very entertaining read that will be sure to please Clive Cussler fans and anyone who enjoys a solid, well written adventure tale.
4.0 out of 5 stars Kurt Austin and the giant fart...,
Clive Cussler must have been watching the Discovery Channel on cable television and came up with a new idea for a story. Originally aired in 2000, this cable show presented a documentary on the cataclysmic effects of an undersea earthquake off the eastern seaboard of the United States. Interviewees theorized what would happen to the coast should such a natural disaster occur, citing historical proof of similar events several millennia in the past.
But if Kurt Austin were involved in such a theory, we all know that this natural disaster would be the result of a corrupt mastermind bent on some evil ploy that will allow him to control the world in some way. What if Cussler invented huge deposits of methane gas strategically-placed just below the seafloor? Evil, corrupt mastermind could plot to detonate this ready source of destruction! He'll never get away with it! Why? Because Kurt Austin is here!
Cussler comes up with another fun story that makes we engineers chuckle. His concoctions of scientific theory toy with our educated backgrounds, but to criticize the basis for his adventures would destroy the fun of the story. Get past all the obvious nonsense and enjoy the ride, all you fellow enginerds.
5.0 out of 5 stars His best with Kemprecos,
I have read every novel that Clive Cussler has written and thoroughly enjoy his writing style. All of his novels have been an 'escape from reality' for me. Yet, I must admit that all of his published work is not of equal quality. Or perhaps a better way of articulating it, all of them are not equal in the quality of "escapism." For example, I have read the other two novels that Cussler has co-written with Kemprecos. These include BLUE GOLD and SERPENT. They were OK, but they were not able to achieve the quality of Cussler's other novels. For example, I don't think that BLUE GOLD and SERPENT were nearly as well written as VALHALLA RISING and ATLANTIS FOUND. However, I think FIRE ICE is a great improvement and has that 'escape from reality' quality that I found in VALHALLA RISING and ATLANTIS FOUND.
To be more precise while reading FIRE ICE, I felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. When a book takes me away to a different place, it is a grand experience and my favorite type of reading. I don't know what writing skills enable an author to accomplish this task, but feel sure that it has something to do with the disposition of the reader. For example, Cussler and Kemprecos are able to make a highly implausible plot a plausible plot. When this happens, I am locked into the novel and will not be able to put it down. ICE FIRE and most all of Cussler's novels have this important quality - the implausible becomes plausible.
The bottom line is FIRE ICE has a quality far superior to BLUE OLD and SERPENT. Let me know if you agree with me.
3.0 out of 5 stars Long live the new Tsar!,
"Fire ice", scientifically known as methane hydrate is the focal point for the latest plot to dominate the world. Large deposits located off the undersea continental shelves are thought to be the abundant next new energy source. Ataman Industries a huge mega corporation involved in oceanic mining is a leader harvester of this new energy source. Ataman is headed by ruthless, and fabulously wealthy Russian ex-mobster Mikhail Razov, the latest megalomaniacal nemesis of NUMA.
The story starts off inimitable Cussler fashion with a tale from the past. A mission, in 1918 to rescue the Tsarina and her four daughters from the Bolsheviks has failed. A rusted old freighter carrying them across the Black Sea to Constantinople has been sunk killing all but one aboard and submerging the priceless regalia of royal riches. One daughter was thought to have
A series of three seemingly unrelated incidents mobilizes Kurt Austin, leader of NUMA's Special Assignments Team to investigate.
A secret Soviet submarine base guarded apparently by fur capped, black booted Cossacks is discovered on the shores of the Black Sea. A U.S. submarine used for underwater salvage and its crew are hijacked. The town of Rocky Point, Maine is partially devastated by a tsunami of unknown origin. Only the quick thinking of retired oceanographic professor Leroy Jenkins, who while asea detected the oceanic surge that resulted in the tidal wave, and radioed ashore averted more major disaster.
Austin assembling his team including sidekick, Joe Zavala and under the supervision of red bearded martinet and head of NUMA Admiral James Sandecker, start investigating Ataman Industries. They learn that the powerful magnate Razov, whose Cossack roots have been nurtured by the belief that he is descended from the royal Russian family, yearns for a return to old ways of tsarism.
Bolstered by his advisor a mad, lecherous, Rasputin-like monk Boris and using his vast resources he hatches a plot to set himself up as the supreme ruler of the politically fractionalized Russian empire. Austin and his team learn of his scheme and with help of his ex- KGB counterpart Viktor Petrov attempt to thwart Razov and his cronies.
What starts off as a cleverly conceived plot with fascinating scientific background fizzles into a moronically sophomoric conclusion. It was as if Cussler's (or was it Kemprecos) creative flow was extinguished and he hurriedly terminated the story with an implausible and unsatisfying ending.
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot & Cold,
A wealthy criminal plans to take over Russia. He must demonstrate his ancestry with Czar Nicholas. He also must distract the United States with a major underwater disaster. Only one man - Kurt Austin and his NUMA team can stop them. Clive Cussler -- best-selling author of the Dirk Pitt - NUMA series, and Paul Kemprecos -- oceanographer and past Cussler contributor, developed a hot tale with only a few cold spots.
'Fire Ice' is a great mix of history, technology and adventure. Kurt Austin is an ingenious hero with a courageous and cocky swagger. He is surrounded by well-rounded characters, like Vladimir Petrov -- a former KGM foe turned ally of Austin. The villains for the most part are pretty diabolical with enough evil to drive the plot. Kemprecos' contributions are evident with enough technology to sale an outrageous story line into credible waters.
One particular battle scene between "Old Ironsides' versus machine gun toting villains in Boston Harbor illustrates the skill Cussler and Kemprecos deliver in weaving a far fetched idea into a semi-plausible sub-plot. This does not work throughout the book. The key villains, so skilled at the outset, transform from smart Cossacks to Keystone Cops toward the end. A more balanced battle would have heightened the overall satisfaction.
Regardless of a few holes in the hull, 'Fire Ice' is a hearty tale that is worth a look. Enjoy!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Escape,
This is yet another NUMA adventure, this time starring the hunky Kurt Austin and his team of regulars. As usual you get a great opportunity to stick the brain into neutral as the intrepid team from NUMA outwit another dastardly fiend hell-bent on destroying the world.
The villain this time is a Russian mega-millionaire who thinks he has found a way to prove that he is the rightful heir to the Romanov throne and thus will become the new ruler of Russia. At the same time, he has devised a cunning plan to destroy the US seaboard and alter the climates to make Russia the most powerful nation on the planet. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me as far as crazy megalomaniacal schemes go.
This is the usual fast-paced adventure that requires you to suspend your belief at the door. It maintains interest by making use of numerous underwater vehicles and gadgets and the genius computer wizardry of Hiram Yaegar gets a solid workout. As a long-time fan of the Clive Cussler books, both Dirk Pitt and NUMA Files, I found this to be yet another fantastic escape vehicle.
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting,
The novel was quite enjoyable mostlty and reminded my of earlier Cussler novels as Iceberg and The Meaditeranean Caper. A Russian mobster, who has appeared to be legitamized to the rest of the world, has visions of a Imperical Russia and believes himself to be a surviving member of the Romanov line. Kurt Austin (a more subdued hero)stumbles his way onto Razov's (the Russian badie)plans and, after a tradgedy, takes the situation personally and gets his revenge by way of saving the US. Some great underwater sequences and an old Barbury Pirate style raid against Old Ironsides make the story breeze right along. This is certainly not high literature but makes a great beach book.
I came into the Dirk Pitt series with the later books (Atlantis Found was the first I read) and I have gone back and am reading all of the Dirk Pitt books. This was the first Kurt Autin novel I have read and I will also check out the earlier ones in the series.
Recommended if you like this book: Valhalla Rising, Inca Gold, The Medeteranean Caper, Pacifc Vortex & Iceberg (same author); Relic, Reliquary, The Ice Limit & The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; Shogun by James Clavell
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Cussler novel,
Clive Cussler is an established author with a proven formula of success in his books. I love the way he takes a historical event, puts a twist on it and then works it into his story. I feel that this particular aspect adds a dash of credibility to his fantastic adventures. The book starts out in Odessa Russia when the Czars family is fleeing persecution from the Bolsheviks. Supposedly the family perishes in a ship while escaping through the Black Sea, but one of the girls survives and leaves the possibility for descendants. The villain of this adventure is a mining tycoon named Mikhail Razov who claims to be descended from the Romanovs. Razov hopes to claim world dominance by creating a series of tsunamis using an unstable methane hydrate compound called fire ice that would wipe out the United States coastlines. This action would weaken Russia's main opponent and leave him free to claim leadership of the Soviet Union and dictate world economic policy. In actuality, I found Razov to be a weak and boring character. His sidekick Boris actually made a better and more interesting villain. It was later revealed that Boris might have been descended from Rasputin himself so I think he would have made a much better antagonist.
Kurt Austin proves to be the same womanizing adventurer on the same caliber as Dirk Pitt. The two are very interchangeable. In this adventure, Kurt works in conjunction with one of his cold war enemies by the name of Viktor Petrov. Since the cold war has thawed out, Petrov is now very cooperative and has a new attitude toward the United States. They make a good team and their competitive relationship makes this novel more interesting. Kurt Austin also has a cast of supporting characters such as Joe Zavala, Paul Trout and Gamay. I felt that these characters needed to be developed a little more, their personalities need to be a little more distinctive and unique. Luckily Clive Cussler had a sprinkling of old familiar characters such as Admiral Sandecker, Rudi Gunn, Hiram Yaeger and Julian Perlmutter that strengthened the story.
The adventure in Fire Ice is as exciting as you would find in any Clive Cussler novel. I particularly liked the way he included the USS Constitution in a firefight exchange with the bad guys. The one thing that you notice right away is that Cussler did not make his usual cameo appearance in the novel. I thought that the officer on board the Constitution named Josh Slade would have provided Cussler with a good opportunity to write himself in but that does not happen in this book. I was disappointed when I first heard that Clive Cussler had written new novels that starred a different hero by the name of Kurt Austin. I didn't even bother to read "Serpent" or "Blue Gold" but when I saw "Fire Ice" at the bookstore I decided to break down and give it a try. I'll have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Now I'm going to go back and find the other two Kurt Austin novels to see if they are just as good.
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Fire Ice by Paul Kemprecos (Mass Market Paperback - May 27 2003)
CDN$ 12.50 CDN$ 11.25