White Death: A Kurt Austin Adventure (NUMA Files Series)

( 74 )

Overview

A ruthless corporation is about to take command of the seas.  This is a mission for Kurt Austin and the NUMA team.

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White Death: A Kurt Austin Adventure (NUMA Files Series)

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Overview

A ruthless corporation is about to take command of the seas.  This is a mission for Kurt Austin and the NUMA team.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cussler's multitude of fans arrive at the table expecting a roiling stew of seafaring adventure, exotic travel destinations, cutting-edge science, a splash of romance and insider tips on food and drink. In this latest starring series hero Kurt Austin (Fire Ice; Blue Gold), readers will find all their expectations extravagantly fulfilled. The bronzed, rugged Austin, leader of the NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) Special Assignments Team, and his partner, Joe Zavala, are called in to free survivors trapped inside a Danish warship sunk after a collision with the flagship of the radical environmentalist group Sentinels of the Sea. After a successful rescue, Austin's investigations lead him from the haughty environmentalists to the Oceanus Corporation, a shadowy fish farming organization: "A miasma of pure evil seemed to hang over the Oceanus operation." Austin sneaks into one of the fish farms on a solo recon and is nearly killed by the swarthy, black-clad, facially tattooed Eskimos of the evil Kiolya tribe who guard the company's many operations. The Kiolyas are led by albino madman Toonook, a genius fish geneticist who has engineered members of the harmless salmon family into a breed of 10-foot, piranha-like Frankenfish. All the villains have satanic smiles and pitiless eyes, and snarl their dialogue. If it all sounds highly preposterous, it is, but Cussler manages with his usual aplomb, impressively juggling his plots and bringing everyone home in an action-fueled, rip-roaring finale in which evil doers are soundly defeated and swashbuckling heroes reign supreme. Who would have guessed that the world of high-stakes fish farming could be so thrilling? Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
An old Nazi blimp, a dogsled ride through Washington, DC, "Franken-fish"-this is a mixture that could only occur in a Cussler novel. For years, this sea dog has taken listeners on flights of fancy with his NUMA hero, Dirk Pitt, but even Dirk needs a vacation now and then; enter Kurt Austin and his faithful companion, Joe Zavala. After a daring rescue of some Danish submariners, Kurt and Joe find themselves being drawn into a world of genetically altered fish and a madman's scheme to corner the world's fish market with these hideous creatures. Cussler's usual florid prose seems to be tempered somewhat by his coauthor, Kemprecos, but he still manages to produce a rousing good yarn that takes listeners from the Faroe Islands to the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum and finally to a remote Canadian lake. The bad guys still snarl their dialog, the good guys still wisecrack in the face of adversity, and the listener still gets the benefits of Cussler's storytelling talents. Reader Scott Brick adds a special spark to the story with his exceptional skills in giving each character individuality without resorting to extreme voice changes; he is especially gifted in presenting conversations in a very realistic way, rather than in a flat, toneless recitation of text. Highly recommended for public libraries.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Kurt Austin and his partner, Joe Zavala, of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, receive a frantic call about a crew trapped inside a sunken ship off the Faroe Islands. Using cutting-edge technology, they pull off the rescue with a new submersible, only to find themselves involved with members of an environmental group and, at the same time, up against the mysterious Oceanus Corporation. After several attempts by Austin at industrial espionage to gain information about Oceanus, he and Zavala, other members of NUMA, and select individuals from the environmental group unite in their attempts to prevent the corporation from unleashing hundreds of genetically altered, large white fish into the oceans. Starting with historical background, the authors smoothly move the story into the contemporary plot. The information about genetically altered fish provides enough detail for understanding events without overwhelming readers. Myriad secondary plots supplement the main one, and lots of action keeps the story moving at a swift pace. Cussler and Kemprecos have a gift for fitting history, science, and action into an interesting story, and this book is an example of their best efforts.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fourth in the new, co-authored, Kurt Austin series (Fire Ice, 2002, etc.), which has been received with restrained jubilance. Once more Cussler/Kemprecos open with a historical anchor for their tale. West of the British Isles in 1515, a sprightly Basque caravel battles three Spanish war galleys and sinks two of them before the third takes off. In Germany in 1935, the huge hydrogen-filled zeppelin Nietzsche sets forth on a secret flight to reach the North Pole-though the world will hear if success is had. Entering the Arctic, however, the German captain spies a ship stranded on the ice, and he descends (fatally?) to lend aid. Then, in the present, by the Faroe Islands halfway between Denmark and Iceland, whale-huggers on the big, blindingly psychedelic Sea Sentinel make an SOS eco-intervention to save a pod of fifty whales about to be slaughtered by Faroe Islanders. But a chopper overhead somehow takes control of the ship and rams it into the Leif Eriksson, a Danish cruiser, sinking the cruiser with several men still aboard in an airtight space. Twelve hundred miles away, off the Berents Sea by the northern coast of Russia, Kurt Austin tests a new submersible as part of his massive search-and-survey NUMA ship, the William Beebe. The new submersible has the ability to attach to the hull of a sunken ship (or a submarine with its hatch locked shut) with a big sucker mouth that allows a laser to cut a hole and salvagers to enter the lost ship. How can Kurt, his colleague Joe Zavala, and their new submersible answer the rescue call 1200 miles away before the trapped Danes are dead? Well, by Russian transport planes. Once the rescue is effected, a bit of Danish romance blooms before Kurt findshimself facing the megaloid multinationals whose chopper sank the Leif Eriksson, not to mention a madman's museum-and the horn of Roland! Zestful heroics. Should rise to the top like one of Cussler's real-life lost ships.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425195451
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/25/2004
  • Series: NUMA Files Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 217,322
  • Product dimensions: 4.50 (w) x 7.56 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive  Cussler

Clive Cussler is the author of many New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Spy and Lost Empire. He lives in Arizona.
Paul Kemprecos has coauthored all five previous NUMA Files novels with Cussler and is a Shamus Award-winning author of six underwater detective thrillers.

Biography

Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.

Cussler is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered more than 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic's survivors from the sea.

In September, 1998, NUMA - which turns over all artifacts to state and Federal authorities, or donates them to museums and universities - launched its own web site for those wishing more information about maritime history or wishing to make donations to the organization. (www.numa.net).

In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. The author lives in Arizona.

Biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA)

Good To Know

Cussler worked for many years in advertising and was responsible for coming up with Ajax's "White Knight" commercial catchphrase, "It's stronger than dirt."

The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered Cussler's 1996 nonfiction book, The Sea Hunters, equivalent to a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997.

Cussler is a fellow in the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London, and has been granted the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

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    1. Hometown:
      Phoenix, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 15, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aurora, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Pasadena City College; Ph.D., Maritime College, State University of New York, 1997

Read an Excerpt

WHITE DEATH

A NOVEL FROM THE NUMA FILES
By Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Copyright © 2003 Sandecker, RLLLP
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0399150412


Chapter One


The Faroe Islands,
the present

THE LONE SHIP bearing down on the Faroe Islands looked like the loser in a paint-ball fight. The hull of the 170-foot Sea Sentinel was splashed from stem to stern with an eye-blinding psychedelic potpourri of tie-dye rainbow colors. A piping calliope and a crew of clowns would not have been out of place to complete the carnival atmosphere. The ship's raffish appearance was deceptive. As many had learned to their sorrow, the Sea Sentinel was as dangerous in its own way as any vessel in the pages of Jane's Fighting Ships.

The Sea Sentinel had arrived in Faroe waters after a 180-mile trip from the Shetland Islands off of Scotland. Greeting the vessel was a small flotilla of fishing boats and yachts hired by international press organizations. The Danish cruiser Leif Eriksson stood by, and a helicopter circled above in the overcast sky.

It was drizzling, typical summer weather for the Faroes, an archipelago of eighteen specks of rock located in the northeast Atlantic halfway between Denmark and Iceland. The 45,000 human inhabitants of the Faroes are largely descended from the Vikings, who settled there in the ninth century. Although the islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the locals speak a language derived from old Norse. The people are outnumbered by the millions of birds that nest in the towering cliffs that stand like ramparts against the sea.

A tall, ruggedly built man in his forties stood on the ship's foredeck surrounded by reporters and camera technicians. Marcus Ryan, the captain of the Sea Sentinel, was conservatively dressed in a black tailored officer's uniform decorated with gold braid on the collar and sleeves. With his movie star profile, tanned skin, the collar-length hair tousled by the breeze and the fringe of ginger-colored beard framing his square jaw, Ryan looked as if he had been cast for the movie role of a dashing sea captain. The image was one he went to great pains to cultivate.

"Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen," Ryan said in a well-modulated voice that carried over the rumble of engines and the swash of water against the hull. "Sorry we couldn't have provided smoother seas. Some of you look a bit green around the gills after our trip from the Shetlands."

The members of the press pool had been chosen by lot to cover the invasion story. After a night spent in cramped bunks as the ship navigated rolling seas, some members of the Fourth Estate were wishing they hadn't been so lucky.

"That's okay," croaked a female reporter from CNN. "Just make sure the story is worth all the damned Dramamine I swallowed."

Ryan flashed his Hollywood smile. "I can almost guarantee that you'll see action." He swept his arm theatrically in a wide arc. The cameras dutifully followed his pointing finger to the warship. The cruiser was moving in a wide circle, just fast enough to maintain headway. Fluttering from its main mast was the red-and-white flag of Denmark. "The last time we tried to stop the Faroese from slaughtering pilot whales, that Danish cruiser you see fired a shot across our bow. Small arms fire narrowly missed one of our crew, although the Danes deny they shot at us."

"Did you really slam them with a garbage gun?" asked the CNN reporter.

"We defended ourselves with the materials at hand," Ryan replied with mock seriousness. "Our cook had rigged up a catapult to launch biodegradable garbage bags off the deck. He's a medieval weapons buff, so he developed a gadget similar to a trebuchet that had a surprising range. When the cruiser tried to cut us off, we nailed it with a direct hit, much to our surprise. And theirs." He paused and with perfect comic timing said, "There's nothing like being slimed with potato peels, eggshells and coffee grounds to take the wind out of your sails."

Laughter rippled through the group.

The BBC reporter said, "Aren't you worried that antics of that sort add to the reputation given to the Sentinels of the Sea as one of the more radical environmental and animal rights groups? Your organization has freely admitted to scuttling whaling ships, blocking waterways, spray-painting baby seals, harassing sealers, cutting drift nets ..."

Ryan raised his hand in protest. "Those were pirate whale ships, international waters, and the other stuff you mentioned we can document as legal under international agreements. On the other hand, our ships have been rammed, our people gassed and shot at and illegal arrests made."

"What do you say to those people who call you a terrorist organization?" a reporter from The Economist said.

"I would ask them: What could be more terrifying than the cold-blooded slaughter of fifteen hundred to two thousand defenseless pilot whales each year? And I would remind them that no one has ever been hurt or killed by an SOS intervention." Ryan flashed his smile again. "C'mon, folks, you've met the people on this ship." He gestured toward an attractive young woman who had been standing apart from the others, listening to the discussion. "Tell me honestly, does this lady look scary?"

Therri Weld was in her mid-thirties, of medium height, with a compact, well-proportioned body. The faded jeans and workshirt she wore under her baggy windbreaker did little to disguise her athletic but distinctly feminine figure. An SOS baseball hat covered chestnut hair whose natural curl was made even more pronounced by the damp air, and her gentian eyes were alert and intelligent. She stepped forward and gave the press corps a bright smile.

"I've already met most of you," she said, in a voice that was low but clear. "So you know that when Marcus doesn't have me slaving away as a deckhand, I'm a legal advisor to SOS. As Marcus said, we use direct action as a last resort. We pulled back after our last encounter in these waters to pursue a boycott of Faroe fish."

"But you still haven't stopped the grinds," the BBC reporter said to Ryan.

"The Sentinels have never underestimated how tough it would be to end a tradition that goes back hundreds of years," Ryan answered. "The Faroese have the same stubbornness their Viking forefathers needed to survive. They're not about to give in to a bunch of whalehuggers like us. But while I admire the Faroese, I think the grindarap is cruel and barbaric. It's unworthy of the islanders as a people. I know a few of you have been to a grind before. Anyone care to sum it up?"

"Damned bloody business," the BBC reporter admitted. "But I don't like fox hunts, either."

"At least the fox has a sporting chance," Ryan said, his jaw hardening. "The grind is simply a massacre. When someone spots a pod of pilot whales, the siren goes off, and boats herd the whales in to shore. The locals-women and kids sometimes-are waiting on the beach. There's a lot of drinking and it's a big party, for everyone except the whales. The people stick gaffs into the whales' blowholes and drag the animals inshore, where they have their jugular veins cut and they bleed to death. The water turns red from the blood-letting. Sometimes you'll see people sawing the animals' heads off while the whales are still alive!"

A blond female reporter said, "How is a grind any different from slaughtering steers for beef?"

"You're asking the wrong person," Ryan said. "I'm a vegan." He waited for the laughter to die down. "Your point is well-taken, though. We may be protecting the Faroese from themselves. Pilot-whale meat is loaded with mercury and cadmium. It's hurting their children."

"But if they want to poison themselves and their kids," the reporter said, "isn't it intolerant of SOS to condemn their traditions?"

"Gladiatorial combat and public executions were traditions once. Civilization decided these savage spectacles have no place in the modern world. Inflicting unnecessary pain on defenseless animals is the same thing. They say it's tradition. We say it's murder. That's why we're back."

"Why not continue with the boycott?" the BBC man asked.

Therri addressed the question. "The boycott was too slow. Hundreds of pilot whales continue to be killed. So we've changed our strategy. The oil industry wants to sink wells in these waters. If we bring enough bad publicity to the hunt, the oil companies might hold back. That would put pressure on the islanders to end their grinds."

"And we've got other business here as well," Ryan added. "There's a multinational fish-processing company that we're going to picket to demonstrate our opposition to the harmful effects of fish-farming."

The Fox News reporter was incredulous. "Is there anyone you don't plan to antagonize?"

"Let me know who we've missed," Ryan said to laughter.

The BBC man said, "How far do you intend to push your protest?"

"As far as we can. This hunt is illegal under international law, in our opinion. You people are here as witnesses. Things could get dicey. If anyone wants to leave now, I can arrange a transfer." He scanned the faces surrounding him and smiled. "No one? Good. Well, then, brave souls, into the breach we go. We've been keeping track of several pods of pilot whales. The waters around here fairly teem with them. That young deckhand you see waving wildly may have something to tell us."

A crew member who had been keeping watch trotted over. "A couple of pods are passing by Stremoy," he said. "Our observer on shore says the siren's wailing and the boats are being launched."

Ryan turned back to the reporters. "They'll probably try to drive the whales ashore at the Kvivik killing field. We'll put ourselves between the boats and the whales. If we can't drive the pod away, we'll start cutting the boats off."

The CNN reporter pointed to the cruiser. "Isn't it going to irritate those chaps?"

"I'm counting on it," Ryan said, with a ferocious grin.

High in the bridge of the Leif Eriksson, a man in civilian clothes squinted at the Sea Sentinel through a powerful pair of binoculars. "My God," Karl Becker murmured to Eric Petersen, the ship's captain, "that ship looks as if it were painted by a madman."

"Ah, so you know Captain Ryan," Petersen replied, with a faint smile.

"Only by reputation. He seems to have what the Americans call a Teflon shield. For all his law-breaking, he has never been convicted on any charge. What do you know of Ryan, Captain?"

"First of all, he is not mad. He is possessed with a near-fanatical determination, but all his actions are measured. Even the gaudy color scheme of his ship is calculated. It lulls unsuspecting opponents into making mistakes-and shows up quite well on television."

"Maybe we could arrest them for visual pollution of the sea, Captain Petersen," said Becker.

"I suspect Ryan would find an expert to say the ship is nothing less than a floating work of art."

"Glad to see that you've maintained your sense of humor despite the humiliation this ship suffered from its last encounter with the Sentinels of the Sea."

"It only took a few minutes of hosing down the deck to get rid of the garbage they threw at us. My predecessor felt that it was necessary to respond to the garbage attack with gunfire."

Becker winced. "Captain Olafsen was still commanding a desk the last time I heard. The publicity was incredibly bad. 'Danish Warship Attacks Unarmed Boat.' Headlines that the crew was drunk. My God, what a disaster!"

"Having served as Olafsen's first officer, I have the greatest respect for his judgment. His problem was that he didn't have clear direction from the bureaucrats in Copenhagen."

"Bureaucrats like me?" Becker said.

The captain responded with a tight smile. "I follow orders. My superiors said that you were coming aboard as a navy-department observer. Here you are."

"I wouldn't want a bureaucrat aboard my ship if I were in your shoes. But I assure you, I have no authority to supersede your orders. I will, of course, report what I see and hear, but let me remind you that if this mission is a fiasco, both our heads will roll."

The captain hadn't known what to make of Becker when he first welcomed him aboard the Eriksson. The official was short and dark, and with his large, moist eyes and long nose, he looked like a despondent cormorant. Petersen, on the other hand, fit the common mold for many Danish men. He was tall, square-jawed and blond.

"I was reluctant to have you aboard," the captain said, "but the hot-heads who are involved in this situation could let things get out of control. I welcome the opportunity to consult with someone from the government."

Becker thanked the captain and said, "What do you think of this grindarap business?"

The captain shrugged. "I have many friends on the island. They would rather die than give up their old customs. They say it's what makes them who they are. I respect their feelings. And you?"

"I'm a Copenhagener. This whale thing seems like a big waste of time to me. But there's a great deal at stake here. The government respects the wishes of the islanders, but the boycott has hurt their fishing. We don't want the Faroes to lose their livelihood so that they become a ward of the state. Too damned expensive. To say nothing of the revenue losses to our country if the oil companies are persuaded to hold back their drilling because of this whale hunt."

"I'm well aware that this situation is something of a morality play. All the actors know their roles exactly. The islanders have planned this grind to defy SOS and to make sure Parliament is aware of their concerns. Ryan has been just as vocal in saying he won't allow anything to stand in his way."

"And you, Captain Petersen, do you know your role?"

"Of course. I just don't know how the drama ends."

Becket grunted in answer.

"Let me reassure you," the captain said, "the Faroe Police have been ordered to stay in the background. Under no circumstances am I to use guns. My orders are to protect the islanders from danger. I can use my judgment on how this is to be done. If the Sea Sentinel comes close enough to endanger the smaller boats, then I have the authority to nudge the SOS ship aside. Please excuse me, Mr. Becket. I see that the curtain is about to go up."

From several harbors, fishing boats were racing to a disturbed area of ocean. They were moving fast, their bows up on plane, bouncing over the low chop. The boats were converging on a spot where the shiny black backs of a pod of pilot whales broke the surface. Fountains of spray exploded from the whales' blowholes.

The Sea Sentinel was also moving in on the whales.

Continues...


Excerpted from WHITE DEATH by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos Copyright © 2003 by Sandecker, RLLLP
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

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(25)

4 Star

(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 75 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2006

    Death for the Reader

    When you've got yourself a good one, there's nothing quite like being engrossed in one of Cussler's adventure novels. When you find yourself reading one of his weaker works, there's not much quite like it either. While this book contains mutated fish, nefarious Islanders, a Kurt Austin Romance and a shadowy international Corporation, it was just not written well. I could not shake the feeling that this was just a cookie cutter novel that was more manufactured than written. With 25 pages remaining to the conclusion of the novel, I threw it out, out of frustration. While some of his work (see Lost City for example) can have you up late enjoying his adventures, some are dead in the water. I'd pass on White Death, a book which will amount to a slow death for any reader.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    White Death dies a death

    This book is poor by any standard. Usually, when a Dirk Pitt novel gets released I interrupt other books I am reading to get stuck into Dirk's new adventures. The Austin books are generally less appealing and I only read them if I have nothing better to read at the time. With White Death, if I had known that it was such a terrible read, I would have avoided it. As it is - I started reading it in July and it is still next to my night stand - maybe I read a couple of paragraphs a night to try and finish it. Sadly, Clive Cussler has hit rock bottom with this series - this book is just boring. The dialogue (even the construction of the sentences) is bad and the characters are predictable. Mr Cussler: in your next book, please have Austin and Zavala get swept away on a tsunmai - the wave goodbye will be enormous!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    What a shame

    Wow, way to phone it in big guy! I wonder how much, if anything, Clive Cussler actually contributed to this book. A couple of times I found myself complaining out loud to his photo on the dust jacket, e.g., 'you should be embarassed.' 'White Death' was really poor, IMO ... not the plot, which you expect to be over-the-top, but the writing, descriptions and dialogue. I was reminded of those bad writing contests that produce such side-splitting entries.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Cxzmgfbdmfgdgrdggyfhhrt

    Gehdhdbd

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Awesome

    Omg si

    Cool

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is another must read by a great author.

    Another great read. From start to finish the action and adventure never ceased. I am convinced that any book written with Paul Kemprecos and Clive Cussler is an instant hit, they always seem to keep my captivated. The ending did not let me down, I was captivated until the very last page. If your into Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala then this book is for you!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    After devouring the Horatio Hornblower series by C.S. Forester, I went looking for other seafaring adventures to fill the void. What a complete and utter disappointment. The plot itself is intriguing, but the entire book is marred by endless ridiculous clichés and writing that is so choppy and terse it is annoying. At one point, I actually started counting punctuation marks. Unofficially, I think the author has set a modern day record for the most sentences printed on a single page. Horrible. Being my first Clive Cussler book, I suffered through to the end to make sure I wasn¿t selling him short. My mistake. I won¿t be spending my precious reading time with this author anytime soon.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2003

    Clive Cussler mails it in

    I fear that some reader new to Cussler will read this book and conclude that there's nothing to be gained by reading any other work by this master of adventure. Perhaps Cussler really doesn't write the 'Kurt Austin' books, but he puts his name on the cover and cashes his check so... A trademark of Cussler's best works is the imaginative blend of history with cutting edge events. While the biotech angle in the story is intriguing, the history is sloppy. Placing a King James bible 100 years before its creation (for a throwaway line no less) is suggestive of an author who just doesn't care. The link between the Basques and the Faroe Islands is almost equally suspect. Hopefully Cussler got whatever was bothering him out of his system with this subpar effort.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    Where's Dirk!!

    I will read this but will miss Dirk. Where is he? One star because he's not the focus of the book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2005

    Really, really, Bad

    This book was really bad. Awful as a matter of fact. Wish i knew what Cussler was thinking about when he penned this novel. I wonder if he was under pressure to put out a novel and just wrote anything that would fool the readers. It didn't Cussler. Damn, you! Waste of my money.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    not quite there

    this book, or series for that matter, fails to capture the allure of dirk pitt. Austin is a character with no depth or realism to him. Maybe dirk's son, who was recently introduced with a daughter i might add, can provide the spark that Austin lacks.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    You Cant Put This DOWN!!!

    I have been a long-time Clive Cussler reader and have enjoyed all of his Dirk Pitt adventures. This summer, I was made aware of his second NUMA series with Kirt Austin, the Numa Files series as it were. Well, I read Serpent and then White Death. Both are marvelous reads, with the typical short chapters and historical prologs. Austin, the hero, is cut from the same cloth as Pitt and his sidekick Zuvela is much akin to Giordano (Pitt's sidekick). White Death revolves around the ethics of genetic engineering so those who like maritime, fish, and the Canadian north sprinkeled with liberal doses of Native Canadian Indians will enjoy this latest novel. For those of you who are Cussler Starved...I have just started the Jack Du Brul series of novels (Vulcan's forge) and only wish they were available in large hardbound format. So far Vuclan is a good read. Enjoy Amigos!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    books

    I have just finished White Death. I have read everyone of Cussler's novels. Some I liked more than others such as Saraha. That was a grabber. I also like all his characters, Dirk, Joe, Kurt. I thought this was a very good read. I would like to see him write more history as he has in the prior books. I hope he writes a mystery about the southern submarine The Hunley. I recommend all of his books. They are a good read or 'chewing gum for the mind'. Keep on keeping on Mr. Cussler.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    A good Novel

    I like this character and the stories he is in but WHERE IS DIRK PITT? He is my favorite and I hope he is not put away for good. I have every book on him and I want more. Please give us Dirk again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2003

    It's not the same without Pitt!

    No more Pitt? Then soon, no more me! All the guy (Cussler) has to do is substitute Pitt for Austin in all the places and poof....then all that will be required will be to add the emotion that goes with Pitt and which Austin lacks in abundance. Maybe it's Kempercos doing the writing now and that explains it all?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2003

    WHERE IS DIRK PITT

    I enjoy the Austin and Zavala but please don't put the number one guy away. DIRK PITT Can we have a few more stories. Maybe they can work together? Carry on

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2003

    Book is a cussler classic,

    Book goes along with numa adventure and I suppose all of his charactors will live big as life, but us die hard dirk pitt people want him back and soon!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    Cussler always satisfies

    Not having read this particular book yet, I feel safe in saying it will be another great page turner from a master story teller. I enjoy Austin and Zavala immensely, but like others, I truely miss Dirk Pitt and do so hope he will return in many more stories.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    Great!

    Where is Dirk Pitt? I enjoy all of your novels, but I would like see Dirk and Al in some more adventures.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    Cussler/Kemprecos do it again!

    As usual from beginning to end the Kirk/Joe and the rest of the Special projects team do it again. However, being a Avid Dirk Pitt Fan from the beginning I totally agree with other readers and reviewers that a Masterpiece would be in teaming up Dirk and Kirk! They could come to eithers rescue or pair up from the start and you would have a Bestseller before it went on sale

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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