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Serpent: A Novel from the NUMA files [Kindle Edition]

Clive Cussler , Paul Kemprecos
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $8.54
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

The author of sixteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers unleashes a hero for the next millennium in an electrifying new series of unrelenting action and edge-of-your-seat thrills. Clive Cussler introduces us to Kurt Austin, the courageous leader of the NUMA exploration team.

When Kurt Austin, the leader of a courageous National Underwater & Marine Agency exploration team, rescues beautiful marine archaeologist Nina Kirov off the coast of Morocco, he becomes the next target of Texas industrialist Don Halcon. A madman bent on carving a new nation out of the southwestern United States and Mexico, Halcon’s scheme hinges on Nina’s recent discovery involving Christopher Columbus, and a priceless pre-Columbian antiquity buried in the battered remains of the sunken Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria. Only Kurt Austin and his crack NUMA team stand between Halcon and the Andrea Doria’s silent steel hull—and if their deadly mission fails, Halcon will ride to power on a wave of death and destruction.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After more than a quarter century of chronicling the aquatic adventures of action hero Dirt Pitt, Cussler (Flood Tide; Shock Wave) has finally decided to cast his line in somewhat different waters. Co-written by veteran mystery author Paul Kemprecos (Bluefin Blues; The Mayflower Murder), this novel still features the sturdy men and women of the National Underwater Marine Agency, plenty of hair-raising derring-do and a convivial cast of characters engaged in an outlandishly hatched thrill ride. The stars of this show are NUMA divers Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala, two young bucks without the seasoning and panache of Pitt but worthy successors, nonetheless. They are trying to find out why top archeologists are being killed, some of them butchered, at dig sites. The archeologists have apparently stumbled across artifacts proving, contrary to established historical thought, that Christopher Columbus wasn't the first Old World explorer to set foot in the New World. The killings can be traced to a mysterious organization in Texas called Time Quest, whose stated mission is to provide volunteers for digs. Its real intention, however, is much darker: to prevent anyone from learning that Spain was not the first on the scene in the New World and that the culture it claimed to discover had, in fact, been imported from other corners of the globe. Ultimately, Time Quest's leader, the evil Francisco Halcon, wants to foment revolution in the Western U.S. and reclaim it as Latin-American territory. The showdown between Halcon and NUMA's forces plays out in typical Cussler furyAfirst on the decks of the sunken passenger liner Andrea Doria in the waters off Nantucket and again in an underwater Mayan crypt in Guatemala. It's all great fun, if not a little top-heavy at times from flabby subplots and excessive detail on arcane historical facts and the machinery of deep-sea exploration. As for Pitt, his fans will be relieved to know that he and longtime sidekick Al Giordino make a brief appearance to wish Austin and Zavala luck, then depart for a mission in Antarctica, no doubt to return with tales of peril and glory. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It won't surprise those who remember Cussler's Raise the Titanic! (1976) that he now uses the 1956 sinking of the Andrea Doria as the springboard for another thriller involving the National Underwater and Maritime Agency. According to Cussler, the Andrea Doria sinking was deliberate, but that secret begins unraveling two generations later, when archaeologist Nina Kirov, fleeing a "terrorist" attack on her dig, is rescued by a NUMA vessel. Aboard are Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala, NUMA field operatives equally deft with underwater hardware and the ladies. The pair's first job is standing off the "terrorists" pursuing Kirov. Plots--not to mention counterplots--rapidly thicken as NUMA squares off against Halcon, who is clearly a descendant of Fu Manchu despite his Latino characterization. Halcon seeks an immense treasure, brought by fleeing Carthaginians to the Mayan empire, to finance an independent Latino nation in the U.S. Southwest. Before Halcon is defeated, Cussler dispenses, with new collaborator Kemprecos' aid, the fast action, larger-than-life characters, less-than-graceful prose, credulity-stretching scenarios, and high-saltwater content that are his trademarks. A superlative subplot relays the adventures of archaeologist Gamay Trout and her companion, the Mayan Dr. Chi, as they try to escape outlaws, Halcon's minions, and the natural hazards of the Yucatan Peninsula. Likely to prove eminently satisfactory to Cussler fans. Roland Green

Product Details

  • File Size: 759 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451627106
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (May 1, 2000)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0U12
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good November 25, 1999
I was (and always am) thrilled to see a new Clive Cussler book on the shelves...but was immediately skeptical because it wasn't in hardback. As many know, certain authors ALWAYS produce new novels in hardback, and lately, authors like Clancy, have lent their name to paperback novels who are written by 'other' people (OP Center), OBVIOUSLY less talented then they--and of course I wondered whether or not this was the case here with 'Serpent'. It didn't take long to recognize the trademark 'Cussler
Style' and as far as I could tell, it was just a novel about Dirk Pitt going by another name. With that said, I found the book VERY entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised that all the 'regular' elements of a fun and exciting Dirk Pitt novel were all there, including a sidekick (almost exactly like Al Giordino). Now this is only a SMALL complaint, since I have been an avid follower of Cussler since I read 'Raise The Titanic' shortly after it was published. I
have been hooked ever since, and since his 'style' has worked so far, it was just fine with me on this one as well. If you are struggling with the decision of buying this book, here's a suggestion: read it, and substitute Dirk Pit for Kurt Austin, do that every time you read it and TRUST me, you WON'T be able to tell the difference. And for all those who have negative comments about this book, they MUST have an attachment to Dirk that cannot be broken, because this is really a fun book. Don't get me wrong, nobody is gonna increase their IQ by reading this--or ANY other Cussler novel for that matter--but just like his past books, he provided me with several hours of escapism and fun, which is really the only reason why I read him to begin with, I have FUN while reading his stuff. Give it a try, and just remember, Kurt is just Dirk in disguise. Enjoy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Cussler February 26, 2000
By A Customer
I liked this book. As a big Cussler fan, I didn't mind a break from Dirk Pitt.I read this after Atlantis (in which I think Cussler indicates Dirk is going to take a break for a while), so I enjoyed the new characters. Dirk does do a brief cameo, but I missed the Clive Cussler appearance from the Pitt novels. I do recommend. Good read start to finish!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Pitt but not bad! February 28, 2000
By A Customer
I have read all of Cussler's books thus far and have enjoyed each and every one. At the beginning of this one, I was a bit wary because his usual characters (Pitt, Rudy, and Al) were not the main stars. However, I feel that the new guys (and gal) have proved themselves well. The historical information is great and was woven into an interesting and plausible story. One can believe that people like Halcon do exist and ARE in power. I always enjoy the tight spots the heros get into and the ingenious ways they escape. Keep it up Clive!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars keep doing what your doing clive January 18, 2000
I have read all of the reviews on "Serpent" and I find that most so called fans can't make up there minds on what is to me an excellent read. So Mr. Austin is not Dirk. but the book has a great solid story line. In my own opion Clive Cussler should keep doing what he has been doing. He has taken yet another sunken ship story and transfered it into a thrilling world. With danger, pretty ladies, cameo apperenceas by Dirk and Al. plus of course, a new hero for the new century. I look forward to a younger, stronger numa hero. after all dirk has his cars to drive in his retirement. But I agree lets do it in hardback next time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cussler Clone January 28, 2000
A very good effort to try to venture off in a slightly different direction for Mr. Cussler. Still every page seemed to have Dirk written all over it. If "Dirk" were not going to return then this would be a good substitute. I enjoyed the book, but not quite up to his most resent release, but still much better than most of today's contemporary writers. I couldn't stop till I finished the book which in my opinion is always a good sign.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After a while, they all become the same.... July 13, 2004
By Evan M.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of the Dirk Pitt books, so I bought this book knowing that I would inevitably compare Kurt Austin with Dirk Pitt. Even with the help of Paul Kemprecos, it was clearly evident that this would be yet another adventure straight from the Cussler formula machine. Every single Dirk Pitt novel is pretty much the same. There's 1) some kind of maritime accident/crime that happened in the past, 2) some kind of fantastic treasure or valuable cargo on it, 3) an evil psychopath that wants to destroy the world, 4) a woman in jeopardy, and 5) Dirk/Kurt to the rescue.
Having said that, I thought this book was entertaining. Even though all of Cussler's books tend to be the same, I still thought it was a rip-roaring adventure. I couldn't really detect what value Kemprecos added, though. It was as if Cussler wrote this book himself.
My only major complaint would be that I'm a little disappointed that since he was starting a new series, that Cussler couldn't even try to make it more unique. The pairing of a tall, thin Anglo Saxon man who collects strange things (cars/pistols) with a short, stocky, strong ethnic (Italian/Latino) partner who smokes cigars.... oh well. People complain that this is a Dirk/Al clone, and rightly so.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have been a Clive Cussler fan for a long time. His books are full of continuous action and contain interesting historical information. Regretably, "Serpent" falls far short of his previous efforts. Serpent's characters are never fully developed and remain, at the best, one dimensional The story is draggy and never really reaches a final conclusion. Do not waste your money on this one. You will be disappointed as I was
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