Customer Reviews


328 Reviews
5 star:
 (147)
4 star:
 (70)
3 star:
 (33)
2 star:
 (23)
1 star:
 (55)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirk is back...run, duck, hide and gasp each page brings a new twist.
I found this to be a fantastic book that drew me in from the turn of the first page...I think my wrist got as sore as my eyes as I quickly attempted to digest the entire story at one sitting....You will find that to be an impossible task. At over 500 pages for the twenty first book in this series, I also thought it was a great price, real "bang" for your buck. This is...
Published on November 12, 2010 by M. Saxe

versus
335 of 369 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe I kept reading...
I'm as guilty as anyone in keeping the Dirk Pitt series alive (I haven't read much of Mr. Cussler's other series), because I keep coming back, like a battered wife or an abused Black Lab loyally slinking back to its master. Maybe it's because I don't know any better. Or maybe it's because I'm hooked ("Clive, I can't quit you!"). But most likely it's because Sahara,...
Published on December 3, 2010 by Maddies Mom and Dad


‹ Previous | 1 233 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

335 of 369 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe I kept reading..., December 3, 2010
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
I'm as guilty as anyone in keeping the Dirk Pitt series alive (I haven't read much of Mr. Cussler's other series), because I keep coming back, like a battered wife or an abused Black Lab loyally slinking back to its master. Maybe it's because I don't know any better. Or maybe it's because I'm hooked ("Clive, I can't quit you!"). But most likely it's because Sahara, Dragon, Cyclops, and even Raise the Titanic! were books that made a junior-high me love to read. And now that I write books of my own for a living, I guess I owe a debt to those writers like Mr. Cussler who made me want to do what they did. While adoring athletes my whole life never got me into the big leagues, my love and loyalty for writers as far ranging as Cussler and Camus and Margaret Wise Brown DID get me somewhere...So that's probably why I read this book.

All of that being said, Crescent Dawn is just awful. I mean, it is one of the worst books I've ever read. And that is the only reason I'm taking the time to write my first-ever book review here on Amazon. The book's plot, or the setup at least, isn't any worse or different than others have ever been. It takes an ancient occurrence, crosses it with something that could've happened a century ago, and then lets the mess those two eras started play out in the very near future of Dirk Pitt and his ever-growing gang. I actually looked forward to learning something about the Ottoman Empire, a subject I need to beef up on. And I thought that by tying such a divergent historical happenstance in with our world's current state of religious zealotry and terrorism, this book might be less far-fetched than most Cussler novels (let me set the record straight -- I have never minded anything far-fetched that he comes up with...if you want to strand a mummified Lincoln in the desert, go for it...if you want to send us to the moon, I'm game...if you want to introduce Dirk's children in order to keep the franchise fresh, no problems). But none of that mattered. The dreadful writing just didn't allow a promising premise to be realized.

The introduction of another Dirk has been a problem with Cussler's recent novels. You see, I've not been too keen on many of them since Shock Wave (that one, with its tragedy and its allusions to "Moon River" just killed me, though...one of Cussler's best). So, despite complaints here and there, I kept on reading.

But when Cussler's son Dirk started showing up as co-author, I noticed a sharp decline in the quality of the writing. And this poor writing reaches a new low with Crescent Dawn.

The lazy use of adverbs is worse than ever -- they're loosely tossed liberally around and the book dramatically suffers from this tragically tragic tragedy.

Word choices are equally lazy and uninspired.

Descriptions are forced and generic and, like someone said in another review on here, sound like something ripped from an eighth grader's composition notebook.

This is some of the worst writing I've EVER read, and I used to teach writing and now edit writing, so believe me, I've read some really crappy stuff. But this is right up there with the crappiest mine eyes have yet seen. This review is already WAY too long as it is, but if needed I can dig through the book and find specific examples.

I don't know if the problem is that Mr. Cussler just doesn't care anymore (he should care, as he has many fans who love him, myself included), or if his writing skills have devolved this badly (like an aging ballplayer who hangs on for one season too many and embarrasses himself by stumbling and fumbling and breaking down for all to see). I hope neither is the case.

I suspect it has to do with his son doing most of the writing. I think Dirk comes to the publishing world from some unrelated field (I believe I read it was stockbroking or banking or maybe some other loot-related career...piracy on the high seas, perhaps?), so I'm sure he doesn't have a strong foundation in the creative arts or in general composition. These could be remedied by taking an intro to writing course at his local community college, one of the many online schools that I've heard have popped up in recent years, or even asking someone he knows (or myself...Dirk, give me a ring!) to show him some writing fundamentals and give him some good, solid constructive criticism before he sends his manuscripts off to be loosed out into the world.

Because writing takes practice. And it's hard work. He has a proven formula to guide his books and a strong cast of characters already provided for him. And Dirk has the millenia past of our history-rich earth to give him plots and settings and twists and turns. He just needs to learn to write. I'd just hate to see a favorite series of mine continue to get worse because of poor and lazy composition, something that could easily be remedied.

So, Mr. Cussler, I'll keep coming back to your books when they're released every year or two. And I'll read them. And I'll hope beyond hope that the next one will return to the way it used to be. And I'll hope even more that you DO care about the quality of such a beloved literary gem and that it's not just about the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cussler and son drowned by prior success, December 11, 2010
By 
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
This book is what happens after a successful author spends years cashing in on a successful formula, runs out of ideas and (possibly abetted by the publisher) cannot even be bothered to do a decent job of editing.

As an example of bad editing, consider that one character is in her twenties but has a mother aged 94.

Other reviews will tell you plenty of things that are wrong with this book. I'll just add one more. With two main characters called Dirk, it would help to have something like a nickname to distinguish between references to the two characters.

Frankly, if the senior Cussler wants to continue the franchise with his son successfully established as an author, he needs to tell his publisher to back off and he needs to slow down. He should spend a year or two working on the next book with his son and teaching him the craft properly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirk is back...run, duck, hide and gasp each page brings a new twist., November 12, 2010
By 
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Paperback)
I found this to be a fantastic book that drew me in from the turn of the first page...I think my wrist got as sore as my eyes as I quickly attempted to digest the entire story at one sitting....You will find that to be an impossible task. At over 500 pages for the twenty first book in this series, I also thought it was a great price, real "bang" for your buck. This is what Cussler constantly does though. The words, chapters and books (no matter the subject or "stars" in the lead roles), never got boring and each letter draws the mind deeper and deeper into the depths of a well written and fully developed character and plot. I can't wait to get my hands on his next book...Whether it's in the Oregon Files, Isaac Bell (which are both incredible series)....you and I, the reader are in for a treat!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


77 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new dawn for Dirk Pitt?, November 18, 2010
By 
Marcus A. Lewis (South El Monte, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
Dirk Pitt returns after a two-year hiatus, "Arctic Drift" (11/08). Several years ago another favorite author of mine Craig Thomas wrote a novel titled "All the Grey Cats." In it he brought together many of his older characters. Clive Cussler does that in "Crescent Dawn." It just feels comfortable to have Dirk, Rudi and Al back again. Publishers Weekly called it "bloated" but when you look at the four Dirk Cussler novels, they're all about 550 pages in length. The Cusslers pull out all the old cliches, but they still work for me. You will enjoy this one too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Endlessly boring, April 26, 2011
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
Whatever happened to the old Cussler brilliance and style? His greatness came from his ability to build on the first chapter pulling together all the parts with a simplicity of writing that made the reader hang on every word. This is a painful, 500+ page, endless book. It is too complicated with too much description, boring detailed, unnecessary conversations, too many characters (some with names the reader can't pronounce) and long drawn out overly detailed trite action that adds nothing to the story. Once I was half way through, I forced myself to finish the last 100 pages to get it over with. How foolish to have two main characters with the same first name! The ending was ridiculous - finding an ancient wood ship with a deck intact enough to walk on, etc is pretty farfetched. It was as if the writer didn't want the book to end so he kept writing and writing.......... Buried within this mess is a pretty good (and classic Clive plot) but it was completely spoiled by the clutter of words.
This seems to be the case with the last few years of Cussler's books - ever since he took on co-writers who must get paid by the word! Clive, if you have to use a co-writer to develop your idea - pick one with a similar writing style to your earlier books. Just because a someone can fill a page with adverbs and adjectives without making grammatical errors doesn't mean he writes a good book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Cussler franchise strikes out on this one., November 23, 2010
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
This is the 21st Dirk Pitt NUMA adventure - and it stinks.

I have no idea if Clive Cussler even writes a word himself. He invented a formula that served him well: non-stop adventure, lots of interesting historical facts, endless plot twists based on the possible and impossible. Cussler, in his own books, can bridge vast gaps just by the power of his storytelling. Over the years, though, he has added "co-authors" by the dozen. It is unknown if these co-authors are actually collaborators or little better than ghostwriters. The quality of these "joint' efforts has varied tremendously, from the mush of a Craig Dirgo to the high adventure of Justin Scott in the Issac Bell railroad detective.

I used to love picking up a new Cussler thriller because it guaranteed a few hours of undemanding, imaginative adventure.

Not any more.

Now you don't know what you're going to get.

With "Crescent Dawn", you get a turkey. 548 pages that ultimately aren't worth the time it takes to read.

The plot is pure Cussler formula: a Roman galley attacked by pirates in 327 A.D. Fast-forward to 1916 and the sinking of a British warship. Whiz to today as Dirk Pitt, underwater explorer and adventurer extraordinaire and founder of NUMA, a global underwater exploration operation, happens upon the wreck of an Ottoman ship in off the coast of Turkey.

Good start. Quickly, in Cussler sty, in Cussler style, famous revered mosques are being blown up and the Tokapi museum in Istanbul is robbed.

Unfortunately, Pitt is here, there and everywhere. Credibility begins to shred. Clive Cussler in his prime would carry the reader over the increasingly glaring gaps and discrepancies. His son, Dirk, who presumably wrote all or most of this, cannot.

By page 200, the plot has become comical, the stuff of a really bad low-budget movie, with a brother and sister who intend to resurrect the Ottoman Empire.

By page 300, we have Summer Pitt and Dirk Pitt, Jr., the discovered late in life children of the elder Dirk, playing significant roles in unraveling the various mysteries including one that threatens to shake Christianity to its foundations.

Frankly I should have closed the book and set it aside at that point.

But I wanted to see how bad it would get.

Very bad.

In some places, the writing style resembles an eighth-grade compositions. Trying to compensate for lack of knowledge and an apparent unwillingness to engage in research, we have a shooter firing "protracted rounds". A round is a single bullet: it cannot be "protracted". The author intended a word like "burst", a rapid series of shots. Utterly unbelievable situations follow one upon another. In a high speed chase along winding roads, gunmen are able to hit small distant targets - but not the ones they want.

I will continue to at least sample future Clive Cussler novels, but if they are as bad as this one, I'll stop reading them quickly.

Jerry
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?, December 5, 2010
By 
Konrad Kern (OFallon, MO United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
See story lines above.
Have to agree with most of the reviewers that thought this novel was
formulaic. As Clive Cussler fans know, most of his novels are put together like this one, but previous ones seemed much better. There was a couple times I wanted to just put the book down and move on, but I owe Mr. Cussler the courtesy of finishing it, because, well, I love the heck out of almost everything with his name on it. The way this one was written just didn't seem Cussler-ish. I won't stop reading his books and just hope this was just a little bump in the road.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same formula; reasonably successful, May 3, 2011
By 
IT Consultant (Wilmington, DE, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
Disclaimer: I used to buy a lot more books in Kindle editions when they were $9.99, but, especially for novels such as these, I cannot see howe the price of $14.99 for electronic distribution can be justified... I now wait until they appear at the local library and read them - for free.

Having just read it, I can safely say that I am glad that I saved the money. It follows the same pattern as all the previous books, brings in the same characters, just moves it to a different location. It is a tried and true recipe and a good read, but at the cost they are charging for the Kindle edition I am not bothering with any further ones (until they land up at the local library!!!).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad To Have Dirk Back, December 9, 2010
By 
Fred Rayworth (Las Vegas, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
I've been missing Dirk Pitt for a while now. I've instead been reading Mr. Cussler's other book series and though I enjoy them to, this is the series that keeps me coming back.

I can relate to Crescent Dawn because it takes place in Turkey. Funny how this is the second thriller in a row I've read that takes place in Turkey. I lived there for five years and could see what Dirk and crew were experiencing probably more than most other readers.

What I love about this book is that Dirk Cussler isn't trying to reinvent the wheel. He is keeping mostly true to Clive's original stories (along with Clive's direction). By Mr. Cussler sticking to his guns, he has kept me as a loyal fan. It's like AC/DC making the same album over and over again. Don't fix something that isn't broke!

I know some readers get bored easily and that is fine. I, for one, don't like it when things veer too far away from what attracted me in the first place. I don't mind that Dirk, Al and gang have aged and been promoted, but they are still doing what they do best and I don't ever want to see that change. The two kids are a nice addition, and luckily in this one, the story doesn't lean too much on them and lets Dirk Pitt Sr. and his cronies do their thing.

The things I really liked about this story (besides the location) were the short chapters. It was all very easy to digest and things didn't get bogged down in long tedious narrative. Despite being 500 pages, it was a book I could have sat down and read in one marathon session (if circumstances had been different). As it was, I got to read a lot of it during commercials, and didn't find myself losing my place in the middle of a long chapter.

Sure, the authors tend to get a bit corny with the descriptions, but that is kind of like their trademark (as is the cameo by Clive Cussler). They also (I think mostly Dirk) tends to use a lot of "ly" words which are superfluous and passive. However, those are minor quirks and part of the charm.

Overall, this was a great ride. I am not the least bit disappointed and can't wait for the next one to come out. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No praise for the participle phrase, May 15, 2011
This review is from: Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) (Hardcover)
This is an example of a good story gone bad, with dreadful writing, and shame on the publisher for allowing it to happen. Participle phrases have their use, but every other sentence starts with one. I skimmed the ending, because I really didn't care how it ended. Don't know if it's son Dirk's writing that is so bad, or if Cussler has lost his touch, but I suspect both elements are what spoiled this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 233 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure)
Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure) by Clive Cussler (Hardcover - November 16, 2010)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.