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Serpent From The Numa Files Paperback – Jun 1 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
After more than a quarter century of chronicling the aquatic adventures of action hero Dirt Pitt, Cussler (Flood Tide; Shock Wave) has finally decided to cast his line in somewhat different waters. Co-written by veteran mystery author Paul Kemprecos (Bluefin Blues; The Mayflower Murder), this novel still features the sturdy men and women of the National Underwater Marine Agency, plenty of hair-raising derring-do and a convivial cast of characters engaged in an outlandishly hatched thrill ride. The stars of this show are NUMA divers Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala, two young bucks without the seasoning and panache of Pitt but worthy successors, nonetheless. They are trying to find out why top archeologists are being killed, some of them butchered, at dig sites. The archeologists have apparently stumbled across artifacts proving, contrary to established historical thought, that Christopher Columbus wasn't the first Old World explorer to set foot in the New World. The killings can be traced to a mysterious organization in Texas called Time Quest, whose stated mission is to provide volunteers for digs. Its real intention, however, is much darker: to prevent anyone from learning that Spain was not the first on the scene in the New World and that the culture it claimed to discover had, in fact, been imported from other corners of the globe. Ultimately, Time Quest's leader, the evil Francisco Halcon, wants to foment revolution in the Western U.S. and reclaim it as Latin-American territory. The showdown between Halcon and NUMA's forces plays out in typical Cussler furyAfirst on the decks of the sunken passenger liner Andrea Doria in the waters off Nantucket and again in an underwater Mayan crypt in Guatemala. It's all great fun, if not a little top-heavy at times from flabby subplots and excessive detail on arcane historical facts and the machinery of deep-sea exploration. As for Pitt, his fans will be relieved to know that he and longtime sidekick Al Giordino make a brief appearance to wish Austin and Zavala luck, then depart for a mission in Antarctica, no doubt to return with tales of peril and glory. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It won't surprise those who remember Cussler's Raise the Titanic! (1976) that he now uses the 1956 sinking of the Andrea Doria as the springboard for another thriller involving the National Underwater and Maritime Agency. According to Cussler, the Andrea Doria sinking was deliberate, but that secret begins unraveling two generations later, when archaeologist Nina Kirov, fleeing a "terrorist" attack on her dig, is rescued by a NUMA vessel. Aboard are Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala, NUMA field operatives equally deft with underwater hardware and the ladies. The pair's first job is standing off the "terrorists" pursuing Kirov. Plots--not to mention counterplots--rapidly thicken as NUMA squares off against Halcon, who is clearly a descendant of Fu Manchu despite his Latino characterization. Halcon seeks an immense treasure, brought by fleeing Carthaginians to the Mayan empire, to finance an independent Latino nation in the U.S. Southwest. Before Halcon is defeated, Cussler dispenses, with new collaborator Kemprecos' aid, the fast action, larger-than-life characters, less-than-graceful prose, credulity-stretching scenarios, and high-saltwater content that are his trademarks. A superlative subplot relays the adventures of archaeologist Gamay Trout and her companion, the Mayan Dr. Chi, as they try to escape outlaws, Halcon's minions, and the natural hazards of the Yucatan Peninsula. Likely to prove eminently satisfactory to Cussler fans. Roland GreenSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Having said that, I thought this book was entertaining. Even though all of Cussler's books tend to be the same, I still thought it was a rip-roaring adventure. I couldn't really detect what value Kemprecos added, though. It was as if Cussler wrote this book himself.
My only major complaint would be that I'm a little disappointed that since he was starting a new series, that Cussler couldn't even try to make it more unique. The pairing of a tall, thin Anglo Saxon man who collects strange things (cars/pistols) with a short, stocky, strong ethnic (Italian/Latino) partner who smokes cigars.... oh well. People complain that this is a Dirk/Al clone, and rightly so.
2) Dirk Pitt clone...whats the point?!?
3) The "far-fetched" story was so complex that a large percentage of the audiobook was simply dedicated to characters trying to explain how everything came to be with the bad guys and their motives.
4) A few of the characters are engaging and fun.
5) Visiting foreign locals always adds to the adventures.
6) I've read far better from Cussler and would say this one you can take it or leave it.
Most recent customer reviews
This was such a great Kurt Austin adventure that I had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it! I would recommend this book to all Clive Cussler fans!Published on Nov. 4 2013 by Amazon Customer
Just like every one of its ilk. It is what it is. One quick afternoon of reading and you are done.Predictable...but you know what you are getting when you buy it. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2013 by Bootsy Bass
This book was very good reading, but it fell apart when I was trying to read it. This was very annoying because I usually try to pass my books on to relatives when I am through,... Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2012 by Gloria Price
I don't give it a full five stars,mainly because there are better adventures. It is a hell of a read though!Published on June 21 2003 by Arel Cem
This will be short and only somewhat sweet. Clive Cussler ( with Paul Kemprecos) has written an ok novel about a far fetched theory of an outfit called The Brotherhood. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2002 by John R. Linnell
I'm not sure why some people are knocking these "NUMA File" books. I grew up loving the Dirk Pitt character and now I have new characters to learn about. Read morePublished on July 29 2002
being a long time clive cussler addict, i would have to say that serpent is not one of his better books maybe that is because there being a co author maybe not.. Read morePublished on April 21 2002 by B. Barrett
I read the other reviews before starting this. Some loved it, others were disappointed. I have to believe that if you have never before read a Cussler book, you would enjoy this... Read morePublished on Dec 15 2001 by microtv