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Arctic Drift - Clive Cussler

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler / Paperback / 592 Pages / Book is published 2009-10-01 by Penguin

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    2 Reviews
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      19.11.2009 14:38
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      It's ok, but it's not as good as I expected

      Arctic Drift is the lastest offering from Clive Cussler's series of novels featuring Dirk Pitt, it is co-written with his son who is also called Dirk. Global Warming and Climate Change are becoming more and more of a problem, with the outlook for the future looking bleaker and bleaker for future generations. When a scientist makes a startling discovery as to how greenhouse gases can be broken down into harmless particles and perhaps even the atmosphere can be improved over time, it seems as though a possible solution to global warming is around the corner. However, when her lab is destroyed and Dirk Pitt narrowly avoids being caught in the explosion, it appears that someone has a vested interest in making sure that the world continues to rely on fossil fuels for energy. Dirk, along with his NUMA colleagues including the ever faithful Al Giordino investigate who could be behind this attack against a back drop of America and Canada on the brink of war and a desperate search for a long lost boat in the Northwest Arctic passage believed to contain large amounts of the mineral required to break down greenhouse gases. In some ways this book was one of the most ingenious Clive Cussler books I've read, but in other ways it was one of the most disappointing. The plot was very clever with lots of unexpected twists and turns, however the eventual 'bad guy' was a very 2d character which I found disappointing as the baddies in Cussler's book usually are just as intruiging as the good guys but this novel was certainly disappointing in the respect. I also felt in someways that the plot whilst being clever wasn't really one of the better plots in a Clive Cussler novel, it was ok, but not as good as his other novels, it just didn't quite have the substance of his previous novels. The actual writing of the novel was well up to Cussler's usual standards and made for an enjoyable and engrossing read. I think that Clive Cussler must assume that people who read his books will read all of his books and therefore because he's been writing a years there is no real need to introduce or develop the characters all that much because his readers are already familiar with them. The problem is that if you read the books out of order or if you are picking up one of Cussler's newest books you may find that you really don't know much more about the characters at the end of the book than you did at the beginning. To me at least if Cussler doesn't want to spend time in the story introducing his characters to his readers then it would be very helpful to have a list of characters and a little bit of information about them to help introduct them to new readers or jog the memory for some! Overall: Well this isn't the best Clive Cussler novel I've read at all and I was a little disappointed by it. As a novel it is ok, but I have come to expect so much more from him so its only 3 stars from me.

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      31.10.2009 15:50
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      Cussler is wallowing in his own literary juices

      Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler is a classic Clive Cussler novel in that it pulls you in with the prospect of adventure and excitement but ultimately disappoints and rather fizzles out at the end. Arctic Drift is a Dirk Pitt novel, it uses the famous Franklin expedition in the 1850's looking for the North West passage as a tool to look at the problems of the oceans in that north east part of Canada. The book starts with the ill-fated expedition, for those who don't know Sir John Franklin was a british sailor who along with three ships sent to try and find a passage between greenland and the pacific and therefore showing a way for shipping to chop months of their travel times to japan and china before the Panama canal was opened in 1920. Franklins fleet of ships was lost and it took many years before they were confirmed dead, its still not known where John Franklin is buried (I had to use wikipedia to check that, please read my review to find out about my love of that website). So we then move onto the modern day and a ships captain sails into a deadly white cloud in the the north west passage and the crew are killed instantly. We are then introduced to Dirk, his wife, his son also called Dirk (rather confusingly) and daughter Summer. Dirk jr, rescue the ship and find the dead crew, they soon meet the captains brother who persuades them that the deaths aren't accidental and it must be down to the new CO2 plant being built nearby. The plant is owned by a crooked businessman and all the components of the novel are in place. This is a pretty standard piece of work, all the people in it are if there on Dirks side incredibly good looking, if not they are dark and unpleasant. You can tell instantly which side of the fence a character sites by there description, if they are pretty, handsome and intelligent they will be on Dirks side, if they are short, ugly and corrupt then they won't be. The story has a corrupt canadian government bolted in, a desperate American adminisration looking to improve their basic resources and a story about a very hot young scientist with a new method for scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere (can you guess which sides she's on?). There is also a ludicrously one dimensional assassin who comes straight out of the Dan Brown field of writing. The rest of the novel then lectures us on the husbandry of the seas, the need to stop global warming and how corruption in high office can never be a good thing. The book as I said starts off well but soon slides and actually only the historical detective work really grabs the reader attention, after that its just a bit too much like a really bad Bond film. The fights and scrapes are bit too improbable and the constant reinforcing of look at how cool and good looking we are gets on the readers nerves after a while. Clive Cusslers have been getting steadily worse and this one is co-authored by Dirk his son, I'm afraid the combination isn't a good one.

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