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An excellent, gripping thriller that I was totally unable to put down.
Corsair is a story form the Oregon series. This story follows Juan Cabrillo and his attempt to get back the US Secretary of State - Fiona Katemora - whose plane went missing over the Libyan desert.
The story starts in Somalia, with Cabrillo and his crew attempting to take down one of the "big dogs", so to speak, of crime in Somalia.
After receiving a message from the US that the Secretary of State has gone missing to a peace conference which could see the end of tension between many countries, Juan guides his ship - The Oregon - through the Suez Canal and to Libya to investigate the supposed plane crash.
The book itself is thrilling, and follows the stories of many separate groups, who each meld into the story , and I found this rather difficult to actually put down - staying awake until 3 am until I'd finished it.
I wouldn't read it in work, but if you have a free day, I'd say go for it.
Corsair is written by bestselling author Clive Cussler and is the sixth book in his 'Oregon Files' series.
**The Oregon Files**
For those who have never read ony books in this series before, the Oregon is a ship, from the outside it looks like a rusty battered old ship, fit only for the scrapyard. However appearances can be deceptive and this is certainly the case with the Oregon, inside it is a luxury state of the art ship full of the most up to date technology available. The Oregon is captained by former CIA agent Juan Cabrillo and crewed by some of the best members of elite fighting forces from all over the world.
The Oregon is effectively a mercenary ship, the crew is paid to carry out missions by both private indivduals and governments, but they aren't just in it for the money, working on board the Oregon gives the crew the opportunity to carry out missions which they would not have been allowed to working for their respective governments, but feel that morally they want to.
When the plane carrying the US Secretary of State to a peace conference in Libya disappears over the desert, the head of the CIA asks Juan and his team to try and locate the crash site and discover what has happened.
At the same time a group of archaeologists secretly working for the US government trying to locate ancient legendary writings by arespected Muslim cleric which are rumoured to talk of how Christianity and Islam can and should co-exist, are kidnapped when they see the plane crash and go to see of they can help.
Juan & his team must risk death as they race against time as they fight to save the peace process and rescue the Secretary of State.
The Oregon Files, is my favourite series that Clive Cusslers writes and I was really looking forward to reading the lastest book in the series. Unlike previous novels, this book is based mainly on land as Cussler usually sets his novels on water.
The novel was incredibly fast-paced and exciting, the plotline was really interesting and because it was only written earlier this year the plotline is very relevant and offers an interesting insight into the politics of the Middle East.
My only complaint is something I have felt with other Clive Cussler novels - Cussler doesn't introduce the characters in the books, not even with a character list, so it takes you quite a while to work out who is who, especially as some of the characters have similar names.
I was really looking forward to reading this book and I certainly was not disappointed! It was a really enjoyable and fastpaced read which I would definitely recommend.
Having read and enjoyed Cussler's latest in the Kurt Austin series, a character I'd encountered previously, I looked forward to meeting one of his recurring characters I hadn't come across before. Juan Cabrillo is captain of a ship called the Oregon and ''Corsair'' is the sixth in the series known as ''The Oregon Files''
Although Cabrillo is a ship's captain, the story was a lot more land based than much of Cussler's work. Heading for a peace conference in Libya, the American Secretary of State's plane crashes in the desert. Given the terrorist traditions of the area, her government suspect foul play and send Cabrillo to check if she may have survived. He arrives at the scene of the wreckage to discover that it has all been staged and the apparent accident may have been nothing of the kind. He suspects that the Secretary of State has been kidnapped to disrupt the peace process.
Other events seem to back up Cabrillo's suspicions, when an unrelated group of American archaeologists are reported missing. There is also a sudden flurry of activity at a couple of points in the desert nearby which had been abandoned for many years until recently. The discovery of a Russian made helicopter that even the Libyan government claim to know nothing about make Cabrillo certain that terrorists are using the area for their base of operations, almost certainly in an attempt to stop the peace conference from going ahead.
As ever, Cussler has a great eye for the pacing of a story. A slow introduction sets the scene and then, once the action starts, the pace is high all the way through until the end. Cussler splits groups of characters into many locations and jumps between them frequently, which also gives the impression that events are moving on swiftly. With so many characters, however, this can get a little confusing, there was one point where he returned to a relatively minor character after a long break, and it took me a few moments to recall who she was and what her part in the story was. Whilst this was a minor distraction, it did only occur the once and it proved to be just a brief interruption rather than a serious issue for my continued enjoyment of the story.
Cussler enjoys his gadgetry as well, which helps make this story a lot of fun. The Oregon itself is built largely on deception, with a weather beaten exterior hiding the secrets of a modern interior hiding all sorts of gadgets and weapons. This gives the book a slight James Bond feel and means there are plenty of surprises for both the reader and anyone who cares cross Cabrillo. It does make the book a little less believable, but in the genre that tends to happen a lot and it certainly does nothing to diminish the enjoyment.
The main fault with the book is Cussler's common shortcoming, which is in the character building. With this being the sixth book featuring many of the same characters, Cussler doesn't feel the need to introduce or describe them in any real detail. Whilst this may be less of an issue for someone who has followed the series, it does reduce the enjoyment for someone like me who is coming in fresh, but who does like to build a picture of the people I'm reading about. The relationships between characters are already well set and they come across as quite likeable in their dealings with each other, I couldn't build a picture of them and so didn't feel so close to them.
Where Cussler's descriptive work does come into play, however, is with the machinery. Cussler describes the ship and many of the gadgets and weapons it contains a lot better. This was helpful for getting a feel of the mechanical characters, but as more of a people person, I'd have preferred to have had the balance tipped more towards the humans. That's not to say that the mechanics aren't impressive and, in fairness, the ship and the P. I. G. are as integral to the plot, if not more so, than many of the other characters.
These minor personal concerns aside, however, ''Corsair'' was still a very good read. I was particularly delighted to note that the romantic sub-plot that often exists in novels like this to take the edge off the constant action and fill up a few pages was absent here. Part of the beauty of the story is that it was so gripping that this point didn't occur to me until after I'd finished the book, as it was so high paced that I didn't really have time to register its absence.
The focus on mechanical description more than people may have meant I didn't get as involved in the story as I might have liked, but I still found ''Corsair'' to be very readable. It helped that there was more land action than is usual for Cussler's work, which I personally prefer. It's a well written and wonderfully paced story and whilst it may not be a gripping read, it's certainly a decent one, although it's not worth paying too much more than the 99 pence copies can be found for on eBay.
This is a slightly amended version of a review previously published under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk