Book #22 in the Dirk Pitt Series
by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
Read by Scott Brick
Published by Penguin Audio
Approx 13 hours
I have to start this review off by saying; I have never before read a Clive Cussler novel. Yes, this was my first Cussler novel and I now have to admit, this guy can write a thriller. If all his novels are like this, (which I’ll be finding out soon) this is the author to go to when you want a non-stop, action hero, suspense story. This book not only kept me on the edge of my seat, but while listening to the audiobook while commuting to and from work I kept having to take my foot off the accelerator pedal because I would get so caught up in the action I would find myself driving 65 or 70 mph on a rural highway marked for 55 mph.
I have had several people tell me I would like Cussler, but I’ve never been completely sold on the idea. I saw the movie “Sahara,” which was based on the Cussler novel of the same name but was not really impressed. Maybe that is why I have never tackled one of his novels. With that in mind you may wonder what made me want to give this latest novel from Clive Cussler a listen. When Penguin Audio sent out their list of new releases I saw this novel listed and at first just skimmed over it but when I saw who was doing the reading of the book, I did a double take and put the book on my list.
There are many audiobook readers that I really enjoy hearing and this book’s reader, Scott Brick is one. I think the main reason I like Scott Brick is that through his voice alone it can sound like a multicast performance. Brick is able to present each character vocally in such a manner that there is no question as to who is speaking and when. Brick’s vocal talent not only can let the listener know the difference between character’s voices but he is also able to bring out the emotions and intensity of the story through his voice. I’ve heard him read science-fiction, murder mystery and now an action/suspense story and I will definitely be keeping him in my top 5 audiobook readers. If nothing else, he definitely sold me on this story and made me want to seek out other books by Clive Cussler.
If you are a fan already of Cussler then you probably know about Cussler’s way of weaving several subplots together into one big story and by the end of the book they all come together to form the story. I did not know this and just thought it was unique to this story, but after doing some research before writing this review, i realized this is his way of working. That is also another reason I am going to be reading some more from Clive Cussler. It was really interesting to hear sections introduced that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the main story but as the book came along they all fit in perfectly.
“Poseidon’s Arrow” opens up with three events that seem unrelated; one is of a rare earth mineral mining company being blown up by what seems to be terrorists another event takes place during World War II onboard an Italian Submarine working for the German army under attack and sinking. Finally the third event is that the U.S. Navy has just unveiled an experimental submarine that even the President is just finding out about. This sub is a completely different design which uses an undetectable engine that is capable of propelling the sub underwater at a couple of hundred knots and stealth underwater technology that makes this sub a threat to any nation. These events do eventually fit into the story but before that all happens we have to be introduced to the hero of the story, Dirk Pitt.
In this book the intro to the hero finds him and his wife enjoying some time on the ocean. As Dirk dives down for a couple of lobsters for dinner, a wayward cargo ship is on a course to collide with his boat, his wife signals him by tapping out a crude S.O.S. as he comes out of the water he sees the ship and realizes it is too late to maneuver out of its way so he and his wife dive into the water and fight to avoid being sucked into the ship’s propeller. When they surface they find their boat intact and race to keep the ship from doing further damage. Seeing that the ship is unmanned and on a collision course with a cruise ship, Dirk rams his boat into the ship’s rudder to make it change course.
Once the ship is grounded a new mystery is uncovered. The ships rare earth minerals cargo is mostly missing and there are dead crew members onboard, and so the adventure begins. From this point on hang on to your seat, because this thrillride doesn’t stop until the end of the book.
When a rich mine owner wants to destroy America he does so not with bombs but by piracy on the high seas. In a series of ships gone missing, all carrying rare earth minerals, the murder of a man who has the only plans for a new design of a stealth submarine, and the destruction of an American mining site, all signs point to the mine owner and it is up to Dirk Pitt, with the help of some federal agents to solve this mystery and stop the collapse of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals and the theft of one of America’s greatest secrets in submarine technology.
This high seas and even some land-locked adventure is a thrill-a-second ride that will keep your rooting for the good guys and on the edge of your seat for the entire book. Dirk Pitt is the action hero we’ve always wanted.