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Vulcan's Forge

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Vulcan's Forge by Jack Du Brul

    Vulcan's Forge was the first book in the Phillip Mercer series by Jack Du Brul. It was first published in 1998. I have read the Oregon Files series of novels by Jack Du Brul and Clive Cussler and had been eager to find out what Du Brul's initial solo effort was like. Not only am I eager to read the second book in the series, but I'm actually very excited that there are 5 more books in this series after that.

    Vulcan's Forge introduces the lead character, Phillip Mercer, a creative and high energy Geologist with a knack for getting into trouble. The story actually starts in 1954 when a then state of the art transport ship is scuttled on its maiden voyage. The plan behind the destruction of the ship turns out to be a Soviet plot that will be decades in the making.

    Jump forward to present day and Phillip Mercer receives a telegram from an old friend that once saved his life. The telegram explains that the recent sinking of a Navy vessel 200 miles off the coast of Hawaii was no accident and that the only survivor of that tragedy is in danger. The survivor of that ship happens to be none other than his old friends daughter. But the mystery thickens for Mercer given that his old friend actually died several years ago.

    On top of that, political problems in Hawaii increase the tension as the United States approaches a possible civil war. As North Korea and ex-KGB operatives manipulate the politics of the United States, a new chemical compound is discover to be the result of early underwater detonation of an atomic bomb. This compound could lead to breakthroughs in modern superconductor technology and is exactly the type of technological breakthrough that any nation would kill to acquire.

    All of this boils down to a compelling and riveting story that makes the book very difficult to put down. The protagonist, Phillip Mercer, proves to be just the kind of character that readers relate to and want to read more about. Vulcan's Forge is the first book in what I anticipate to be a very exciting series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2013

    Good read. As always, Du Brul brings in a little science (that i

    Good read. As always, Du Brul brings in a little science (that is always accurate) as well as some great villins and a plot that keeps you guessing. Always great for bedtime or when nothing else is pressing because it is always hard to put his books down. Strongly recommend.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    solid first effort

    intelligent thriller, however some loose ends are tied up too neatly and quickly. Look forward to more from the author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    A real build up to the end

    I liked the main character, the engineer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Entertaining, but predictable.

    The hero is sometimes just too good, and does it too easy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Unique Plot and Fast-Moving!

    I have read thousands of books and this one actually introduced something new to me. Mercer gets into more hot water (pun intended) and you'll have to read the book to appreciate just how he gets out. To those who have read the earlier books in the series, a familiar protagonist reappears to further frustrate our hero. Remember the enemy who got away?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    Not a bad political thriller

    I don't think I need to summarize the plot as the other reviewers seem to have that covered. What I can say is that although I'm not a big fan of political thrillers, "Vulcan's Forge" is a pretty decent one. Du Brul has done some impressive research regarding nuclear testing, oceanography, metallurgy, and he knows how to read a map. His protagonist, Phillip Mercer, is endearing but ruthless when he needs to be, though his hand-to-hand combat skills (utilized fully in the novel's climax) were a little TOO good for a geologist. One thing that was incredibly annoying about the book was Du Brul's insistence of having every character repeat the entire "secret plot" to another character who didn't know it. We got the lowdown on the bad guys' scheme at least three times and with no new information being revealed. It was if Du Brul was trying to remind us of how clever his plot was. And truth be told, it was rather convoluted. Nonetheless, "Vulcan's Forge" was a tough book to put down. With a little finesse and subtlety, Du Brul could evolve into a first-rate thriller writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2000

    This is the start of something SPECIAL...

    After reading this book I was absolutely floored that it was Du Brul's FIRST novel. It read more like a seasoned veteran of the action/adventure scene. Now let me also say the ONLY reason why I gave this book 4 instead of 5 stars is that I have never given 5 stars to an authors 1st book...maybe I should change that here, but either way I want to leave room for improvement...and after finishing Du Brul's 2nd & 3rd books I have noticed that he IS in fact getting BETTER. 'Vulcan's Forge' has a plot that rivals anything written by the only peer I think Du Brul has at this point, Clive Cussler. An irresistable substance that is manufactured after an atomic explosion sets it off underwater just outside the limit of America's control of Hawaii's territorial waters. What is the purpose of this rather rash waste of an expensive weapon? Du Brul lets us wonder for a while as he sets the stage for our dashing hero to make his entrance, namely Phillip Mercer. Sort of a hard-drinking Dirk Pitt if you won't mind the comparison. Phillip becomes hopelessly involved and by the time Du Brul finally gives us the morsel of information that helps us to understand the plot a little more we are now hopelessly wrapped in the plot and we are being carried along for the ride whether we like it or not. There are a pitiful number of authors out there that I am aware of who crafts an action-thriller so well that you feel you are literally compelled to finish, even at the peril of waking up the next day having garnered only an hour of sleep--or LESS. I officially add Jack Du Brul to that list of authors. Simply put, a first rate story written with first rate style. I look forward to many more adventures with Phillip Mercer. A note to Mr. Du Brul: As long as you keep pumping out novels of this caliber...you can COUNT on getting the royalties off of THIS reader--gladly. By the way...Mercer #4...DON'T make us wait too long, PLEASE.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2000

    Vulcans Forge - Loved It

    I have just finished reading Jack Du Brul's 'Vulcans Forge', and I loved it. His writing style is similar to Clive Cussler's, a riveting central plot line surrounded by many interconnecting sub plots, all cleverly melding toward the end. The main character 'Mercer' was great, loved his occupation, engineer just like me. His fondness for a beer or three always brought a smile to my face when reading. Jack's depiction of the villian Ohnishi was memorable, particularly his disgusting eating disorder. You could not like the man if you tried. The double crosses and triple crosses amongst the many villians was great. You kept wondering just who would betray who next. Now I can't wait to start Jack's next book 'Charons Landing'. From the look of things, Mercer is up against one of his old foes from 'Vulcans Forge'. Will he triumph .... will he get the girl. Read it and see, I don't think you'll dissappointed.

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted June 17, 2011

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