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on September 6, 2013
Sam and Remi Fargo find, by accident after an earthquake in So. America, an unknown Mayan Codex that has unknown Mayan sites. The codex is stolen by a self centered socialite who wants to find the sites for her own glorification and spotlight in the public. Sam and Remi race against her and her gun happy minions to find the sites first. The plot is not new, the action is not surprising or suspenseful, the attempts at humor fall flat, and the ending is so predictable. This collaboration of Cussler and Thomas Perry does not work. The writing is more like a first year grad student that a seasoned writer. Cussler books have been going downhill since he started collaborating with other authors (like Patterson's has). This is the last Cussler book I will buy. Don't bother with this one!
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on September 8, 2013
I have been an avid fan of Cussler's works since I first read, "Raise the Titanic" some years ago. Since then I have bought every book he has written, even the children's books, in spite of the fact that he lately has been pairing up with other authors which dims his genius for telling tales. I have read with great enthusiasm the adventures of Dirk Pitt, Juan Cabrillo, Kurt Austin and the Fargos. I have struggled to accept his new characters and series including the Fargos. He seems to have completely dismissed Dirt Pitt and his adventures. Although, I will grant that he did a very good job of aging his characters. However I found "Mayan Secrets" one of the worst stories Cussler has developed. In what, I suppose, was to be an exciting and captivating closure, the book fell flat. Throughout it seemed totally lack luster. Not Cussler's usual panache for excitement. It jumped around to different locales too quickly. In the final encounter to save a Guatamalan town he introduces a new phase of Sam Fargo's life that has never been developed in prior Fargo adventures. I suppose the "phantom" help he receives is from the crew of the Oregon and Juan Cabrillo, but that is left to the reader to discern. Cussler merely states that confidences of prior lives must be kept, even from spouses.
"Mayan Secrets" falls flat and is not an interesting read. For me it was a revelation. It took me five days to finish reading. I usually cannot put down Cussler's novels until I read the last page. I would not recommend this book and will be more careful before buying another of his works even if he is the sole author.
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on October 26, 2013
The first Cussler book I read that was done with a cowriter may have been a "Fargo" book- I'm not sure. 5 in the series now and I find myself wanting original writer Grant Blackwood back, Thomas Perry may do well enough under his own name but as "Cussler" he's a mess.
The first three books might not be up to Clive/Dirk Cussler standard but they were pretty good, #4 "The Tombs" made it obvious that a new writer had moved in- a sloppier one.
This book is even worse, getting 3 stars mostly for the potential the plot holds, it does manage to be OK on an empty afternoon. The story elements are there but there's so much editing that needed to be done. You could often find yourself reading a five paragraph page and finding about three paragraphs worth of filler material (things like what Remi wore, what/where they ate & so on- filler that Clive/Dirk books have very little of).
Others have commented on how the Fargos' get things done- such unlikely stuff ( On page 110 Selma arranged for concealed weapons permits, and handguns, for their trip to Guatemala- quickly! Try getting that done legally in this country let lone Central America). Sam Fargo used to be ex CIA , on page 339/40 we find that he was actually part of some secret Special Ops group (private?), at least one reviewer has speculated that it's Juan Cabrillo's people from the "Oregon Files" series. If it is supposed to be them Perry hasn't been paying attention-Cabrillo's group didn't have Apache helicopter gunships!
So many good story elements, so much sloppiness- I'm on a budget and I'll be waiting awhile on this one, reading the library's copy makes me leery of spending the money on my own copy just now. If the next Fargo is no better I may even quit them entirely.
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on September 14, 2013
This is the worst Cussler book I have read - and I have read them all. It is full of errors and inaccuracies and appears to have been written in a rush. Is Cussler going the way of Stuart Woods and assumes that his readers will be loyal? Too many books like this will cause the loyalty to fail
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on September 7, 2013
I have read many Clive Cussler novels, and I especially like the Fargo stories. This one, however, was very limp and predictable--to the point of being boring. The sentences were similar to those written by fourth-grade students, and there was very little of the breath-holding, page-turning adventure that Cussler does so well. I am guessing that Cussler participated very little in the writing of this book.
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on September 12, 2013
I've read almost every book Cussler has ever written, and this one is the least interesting. I know his style of writing, and I'd be surprised if much of this book was really written by him. It was just ... blah. What a disappointment.
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VINE VOICEon September 18, 2013
Someone once wrote "There's nothing so bad as something that's not so bad." Having said that, "The Mayan Secrets" is not so bad. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the story but the Cussler-Perry hybrid misses the mark when it comes to characterization and plot development. Let me offer a few examples. I have read every installment of the Fargo Adventues, but I still don't know what Sam and Remi Fargo look like. However, I do know that Remi has auburn hair that she likes to wear in a ponytail. At one point in the story, Remi says "I could feel them staring at us." Sam replies "You could feel them staring at you, more likely. You should be used to that." (page 206) From that one tidbit I was led to believe that Remi Fargo is smoking hot, but I felt I needed more. Later in the story I found out that Selma is a middle-age woman (page 234), but that was it. Never mind Selma's two assistants, who might as well be nameless we know so little about them. Then there's the plot line. The first twelve or so chapters all begin with some variation of "Sam and Remi did..." Only then do readers get an idea of what's happening anywhere else in the story. Sam and Remi are married, but they are not in a relationship with each other. For a man that has a wife that looks the way Remi, the best Sam can do is kiss her on the cheek several times during the story. Maybe once in the story they kiss each other on the lips, but not deeply. Cussler-Perry gives us two mummified bodies that would seem to be major plot points, but they simply become red herrings. The second of those remains seemed to be a gunslinger of some type...very curious. In my opinion, a major missed opportunity occurred when Remi speaks Hungarian to her German shepherd. If you didn't read "The Tombs," you would not know why Zoltan understands her. It's a fascinating back story.

I have only one thing to say about Cussler-Perry's word choice. Miss Allersby's high heels made a "pock-pock" sound on the tile floor. Pock-pock? Really?

In conclusion, I will continue to read "Clive Cussler" novels because I am a faithful fan of the grand master of adventure. But the quality of writing has gradually sunk to where we now find it in "The Mayan Secrets." In August 1995 Clive Cussler wrote "...[Dirk] Pitt and I are good pals. We've grown so close that I've never thought of writing an adventure without him." It's something to think about.
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on October 31, 2013
This is the only one of Mr Cussler's books I have panned and I have read them all except for the mediterranean caper. The first fargo adventure was good. This one builds an impossible premise and has the CIA take care of it. What's the fun in that? If you are an avid reader of Clive, you won't be able to help yourself, but I would have rather skipped this one and waited for another.
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on November 16, 2015
Typical Clive Cussler. Many twists and turns but not outlandish. Just enough to make it hard to put down. Some things a little predictable but done in such a way I find myself cheering for the Fargos who are such a great team of man and wife totally devoted to each other and to their adventures. How you could read this series of Cussler books and not think the Fargo team is wonderful would be a mystery to me. I have not enjoyed any books more than this Fargo Series by Clive Cussler. Outstanding, spell biniding, interesting and lots of light hearted moments as well as suspense filled moments with a serious balance that is simply wonderful.

Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a great story with enough twist and turns artfully done. Putting it down is hard to do.
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on October 25, 2013
I'm a big fan of Clive Cussler, but it's hard to imagine that Clive Cussler had anything to do with actually writing this book. It is very poorly written. It's as if someone took the story outline and cobbled all the main events together with a paragraph here and there. Rich couple meet bad guys, rich couple eliminate bad guys, rich couple meet more bad guys, rich couple eliminate more bad guys...you get the picture. Thin and not believable.
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