Medusa is one of the most recent Clive Cussler novels to have been published - it was published in July 2009. It is from the 'NUMA Files' series of books and features the second of Cussler's two NUMA heroes - Kurt Austin.
When a lethal virus is discovered in rural China, the authorities throughout the world know that they must act fast to stop the virus spreading throughout the world and killing huge swathes of the population.
The top secret undersea research station which is trying to create a vaccine & antidote using a rare jellyfish known as the Blue Medusa, quite literally vanishes from its location, leaving the authorities both baffled and horrified at the implications of being held to ransom over the vaccine.
After Kurt Austin narrowly escapes death himself, he is asked to investigate the missing laboratory and soon discovers some worrying connections to a mysterious Chinese Triad. Of course, Austin will leave no stone unturned as he tries to save the world, even finding time for flirtation along the way.
I really enjoy reading Clive Cussler books, especially some of the most recent ones because they really link with current events such as various flu pandemics etc. I also find that Cussler provides interesting insights into other cultures and races, in this novel we are given an insight into Chinese beaurocracy, how the country is governed and what happens when you speak out against 'the state.'
In Kurt Austin, Cussler has created another engaging and likeable character who is really enjoyable to read about. I also like that Kurt's sidekick - Joe Zavala plays more than just a nominal role as sidekick to the main character. He is heavily involved in the plot in his own right and is an enjoyable addition to the novel.
The plot itself was clearly well thought out and quite ingenious, I found it really interesting to read and was certainly reminded about the amazing things nature has provided - in this case a lifesaving antidote and vaccine from a jellyfish.
I thought that the end of the book worked very well, although there was a very slight disappointment which I won't say in case I spoil it for those who want to read the book. It wasn't a big deal, I was just slightly surprised that's all.
I do always feel that Clive Cussler likes to add a bit of romance into his books, perhaps to appeal to a wider audience, but to be honest his writing is good enough that he really doesn't need to do this! There's nothing really wrong with them I just don't think there needs to be a romantic interest in every book!
Overall, this was a well written, interesting and enjoyable book with great characters and I'd certainly recommend it!