26th September 2013
The eleventh book, and the NUMA Files are feeling a little tired. This one tells the tale of Kurt Austin's adventure down under, and seems to miss the original idea of this series being about the four-piece ensemble group - having just one main character makes it fairly indistinguishable from the original Dirk Pitt series that it span off from.
The book starts well, with a thrilling opening followed by a mediocre first half in which the characters drift and try to explain a rather fantastic plot device which seems like something from a 90s Bond film (along with some of the characters). The second half turns into more of a run-of-the-mill thriller and actually picks up.
I felt there was a missed opportunity in this to take the characters deeper, as they were in some of the recent books in this series. I felt like it wanted to just be a mindless thriller, and not something that would fit in with the Clive Cussler tradition of exploring technology and telling the reader something about the world.
Overall, I felt disappointed. I've been a devoted Cussler reader for many years and the recent novels have been of varying quality. While this one had its moments of excitement, it doesn't make up for the trip into pseudoscience-fiction.