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Righty ho, back with the program now people, no more of those technology reviews back to reviews which relate to the ocean!
In this book as with many others the characters embark on a journey to try and find the legendary city of Atlantis. In Davidf Gibbins story, we are introduced to firstly Solon the LawMaker, then after the prologue we are taken to the modern era.
Here we meet our main characters Jack Howard and Costas Kazantzakis. The pair are aboard the Seaquest on a marine archaeology project as part of their duties for the International Marine University where Jack is a historian and Costas head of the technology dept.
From a series of random and seeming unlinked discoveries both on land and at sea they find themselves on the trail of a great historical mystery, and ultimately on a dangerous quest to get to the end before the Kazakh warlord Aslan can. Of course along the way there are numerous dangers and unexpected obstacles but more of these can be found in the book itself.
While I was reading this I couldnt help but draw comparisons with Clive Cusslers, Atlantis Found, there are two main leads one of whom is a technical buff, the men seem to be one caucasian and the other darker skinned (in Cusslers books Al Giordino is latino, while Costas seems to have Greek ancestry), both refer regularly to favourite drinks, in this it is gin and tonic in Cusslers work it is tequila. These things seem also to define the characters in Atlantis as British, though I dont remember this ever being mentioned as a specific, while in Atlantis Found this feels more overtly American since is a more typically American trait to drink Tequila.
The descriptions of the underwater scenes and use of technology feels for the most part fairly realistic even if the coincidences that help the plot fit together pretty huge. The scientific knowledge feels reasonably accurate allowing for a few occasions when it may not be strictly accurate.
The way this is written is fast paced and easy to follow, there are maybe one or two places where I needed to re-read things to ensure that I followed plot properly but I put that more down to tiredness when I was reading than anything else. The length of the book is a very respectable 451 pages in length, in addtion to this there is a 14 page 'Authors Note' which explains some of the genuine archeaological discoverys which inspired the book, thus giving it slightly more grounding in reality and apologising for the slight rearrangements of historical events needed to make the plot work.
Overall I feel that this does give an insight in to both the history and politics of the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions without being overly political nor pushing the information upon you, it does the same with some of the technical details as well, somehow there is always a character around who needs it explaining in laymans terms which allows the reader to also recieve an explaination without breaking the flow of narrative, which can make some books feel slightly disjointed. I think the fact that the author has been an underwater archaeologist most if not all of his career helps the book as it does show that the techniques are likely to be used in real life.
For a first novel it is safe to stick to the world you know and in this David Gibbins succeeds in making it a better than usual debut novel, one which I thoroughly enjoyed and have re-read recently before reading his second novel (Crusaders Gold).
The book as previously mentioned is 450 pages long and the cover price is £6.99, I bought it for £3.73 from Tesco when it was first published two years ago.
Archaeologist Jack Howard is a brave but cautious man. When he embarked on a new search for buried treasure in the Mediterranean, he knew it was a long shot. When he uncovered a golden disc that spoke of a lost civilization more advanced than any in the ancient world, he started to get excited. But when Jack Howard and his intrepid crew finally got close to uncovering the secrets the sea had held for thousands of years, nothing could have prepared them for what they would find...