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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rough around the edges, but a great read

Becoming a Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt fan, I researched to discover all the titles in the series and in which order I should read them. Though Mediterranean Caper was the first published, and the first one I could find to read, it was not the first Cussler wrote. Though Pacific Vortex was not published until years after Mediteranean Caper, it is supposed to be Dirk Pitt's introduction. Yes, I'm the type of person who wants to read a series in order, so I hunted down the first of the series. Even Cussler himself admits in the foreward to Pacific Vortex that it is still rough around the edges and he wasn't sure if he even wanted to publish it. I read several reviews that said Pacific Vortex was not as good as subsequent Clive Cussler books. Keeping that in mind, I dove in.

Everyone has heard of the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. The Pacific seems to have a mystery of its own--the Pacific Vortex. It has been swallowing ships for years, yet was counted as an unsolved mystery of the sea until a communications canister appears off a beach in Hawaii where Dirk Pitt is relaxing. A former Major in the Air Force, now with NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency), Pitt seems to be an expert of transportation of air and sea--planes, helicopters, boats, submarines--which makes him the perfect go-to guy for the assignment of finding the Starbuck. The Starbuck was an experimental nuclear sub on a test run when it went missing in the Pacific Vortex. With nuclear technology on board, Pitt is asked to help find and recover the sub before someone else does and uses the technology against the United States.

I'll admit that there were a couple scenes in the beginning of the book that were a little cheesy, but I pressed on and I'm glad I did. Though a little rough to start the rest of the book was great. The imagery is fantastic. Another adventurous thrill-ride. In fact, it reminded me of things I loved in my childhood--deep sea explorations, discovering sunken ships, a twisting and turning mystery. Just when you think you know what's going to happen next, Cussler adds another twist that keeps you reading.

I really enjoyed Pacific Vortex and look forward to reading the rest of Dirk Pitt's adventures.

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