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Spartan Gold Mass Market Paperback – 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 362 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Fargo Adventures Series

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley books (2010)
  • ASIN: B004DYSX2G
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Fortune favors the bold." That's the oft-quoted motto of Sam and Remi Fargo, the husband and wife protagonists of Clive Cussler's latest co-authored offering. Spartan Gold is the first book in a new series penned by Grant Blackwood. The Fargos are "treasure hunters and adventurers." Sam's background is mechanical engineering and Remi's is in anthropology and history, but both appear to be polymaths. In their line of work, they have ample opportunity to put their numerous skills to good use.

As the novel opens, they're hip deep in the muck of a Maryland swamp. They're looking for buried treasure, but what they find is something altogether unexpected. It's a Nazi-era German mini-sub, very, very far from where one would expect to find such a thing. An attempt to get the scoop on local rumors of such an anomaly is aborted by their source's kidnapping right before their eyes. After the Fargos free their friend from the professional operative interrogating him about a shard of a wine bottle he found in the Pocomoke, the plot really takes off.

It comes as no surprise when the Fargos' crack research team (back at their home base in La Jolla) links the wine bottles to "Napoleon's Lost Cellar," and then links these 12 wine bottles, secreted around the world, to a major hidden treasure. This is because we'd seen the great man make his (unseen) discovery of ancient treasure in the novel's prologue. It is this unknown treasure that Sam and Remi are seeking, but they've got competition in the form of a ruthless, Ukrainian crime boss and his henchmen. Unlike the Fargos, Hadeon Bondaruk knows exactly what they're seeking and he'll stop at nothing to possess it. So begins a cat and mouse chase across the globe. It's an epic scavenger hunt with high stakes.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of Clive Cussler's books. I find them to be consistently entertaining and that usually includes the ones with co-authors. Spartan Gold is a Clive Cussler book written with Grant Blackwood. I assume that means that Mr. Blackwood did most of the writing. The book is a quick read with short chapters, exactly what you would expect from a Clive Cussler book. The story moves along, and I found that I always wanted to see what would happen next. So, on the whole, the book was fun to read.

However, I have some problems with the Cussler industry and the number of books being turned out in recent months. This is the third one I have read in the last few months - Corsair, Medusa, and Spartan Gold. All were written by co-authors. The books are becoming extremely formulaic, and Spartan Gold is no exception. We always have the following:

- Heroes who perform unbelievable feats. Either two heroes with equal billing or one hero with an equally capable sidekick. Spartan Gold unveils Sam and Remi Fargo, a husband and wife team with great skills and an unlimited budget.
- A back office support team that can provide anything needed in an amazingly speedy fashion
- Plots that grow increasingly convoluted and that usually require considerable historical explanation
- An evil bad guy with huge resources and equally huge plans
- A brief appearance by Cussler himself

Having made those points, I have to admit that I enjoyed Spartan Gold. I would not want to have to take a test on my understanding of all the history, and I found some of the feats slightly hard to accept. I look forward to the day when Mr. Cussler writes the next book by himself and possibly includes some twists and turns that we don't find very familiar.
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Format: Hardcover
From start to finish, this book was just plain fun. Wish it would have come out earlier this summer, because it is the perfect beach read. Had a great time following the Fargos around the world as they tried to solve this riddle -- equal parts mystery, adventure, secret history, hidden treasures, and exploration. The rapport between Sam and Remi is natural, the dialogue light where it needed to be light, and serious where it needed to be serious. (On a side note, my wife picked up the book when I finished and she's enjoying it too. Remi Fargo holds her own as a heroine)

Cussler and Blackwood weaved the history behind this story nicely into the action, and the Lost Cellar riddles were a blast to unravel. I never felt like I was getting a history lesson while I was following the plot, which is something I can't say about all of these kinds of thrillers. I read these kinds of books for their "escapist pleasure" quotient, and SPARTAN GOLD gave me just that.

Highly recommended, can't wait for the second installment of the Fargo adventures.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're a Clive Cussler purist, "Spartan Gold" is not a Cussler adventure; neither was "Medusa" the novel that preceded it at the beginning of summer. But if you're looking for fun, escapist fare, I think you will enjoy this book. After I read "Medusa," I felt the Cussler-coauthored machine was ready for a married couple like Gamay and Paul Trout. You'll find them here in "Spartan Gold." I really like the idea of a husband-and-wife team with diverse backgrounds working together in the field, sloshing around hip-deep in mud. Sam and Remi Fargo are that couple. The sequence of events may actually be secondary to the rapport these two people have with one another.

I have nothing new to reveal about the story's plot, you'll have to discover that for yourself. I like these two new characters, and think you will too.
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