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3.4 out of 5 stars
Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Adventure)
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
At the end of 'Valhalla Rising' we found out quite by surprise that Dirk Pitt, hero and world-class adventurer has not just one, but TWO children (fraternal twins Dirk Jr. & Summer). This came as quite a shocker, especially for those of us who have known Dirk to be quite the ladies man -- but also a confirmed bachelor. His relationship with Congresswoman Loren Smith has come CLOSE to wedding bells once before, but I personally figured that if it didn't happen THEN, it was probably NOT going to happen at ALL. However, I've learned long ago to NEVER say NEVER.
As usual, 'Trojan Odyssey' begins with an interesting re-telling of Homer's Odyssey, a version that is apparently gaining in popularity. How does it tie-in with events from today? As is always the case, finding out is half the fun. Summer & Dirk Jr. are busy attempting to examine a tide of brown crud that has infested waters in the Carribbean when they stumble upon something extraordinary (well Summmer does, at first). Suddenly things take a nasty turn as the Mother of ALL Hurricanes begins to form and head directly towards Summer & Dirk Jr. and also towards the most unique floating Hotel ever designed. Can they all safely escape before the Hurricane arrives? Maybe, maybe not. Along the way Dirk Sr. and Al make an appearance and suddenly as a direct result, their plans for the next few weeks are set in motion. Are massive tunnels being excavated underneath Central America, and if so, for what purpose? Once Dirk & Al figure it out, an all-out race is on to avert an incredible disaster of amazing proportions.
Along the way, Dirk Sr. and Al discover one of lifes more unfair absolute rules: we cannot remain young forever. Getting shot at and risking your life can only remain fun for so long. Dirk realizes that with the sudden appearance of two grown children his death defying exploits are no longer a challenge, and more of a major hindrance to his ultimate goals. Dirk does a LOT of soul searching, and along the way it wasn't hard to figure out where it would eventually end up. Is 'Trojan Odyssey' the last outing for Dirk Sr. as a souped up version of James Bond? Maybe. I can't answer that for certain, but with a son named Dirk Jr. it can safely be assumed that Dirk Pitt adventures WILL continue.
Along the way I found a few genuine surprises (Admiral Sandecker's New appointment for one) and a few genuine sad moments for us die-hard Dirk Sr. fans. Unlike James Bond who will forever remain youthful, Clive has treated us fans to one simple reality: we ALL grow older, and so did Dirk. He no longer can do all the stunts he used to without serious repercussions. Healing from wounds no longer are as quick as they used to be, and the thought of leaving his two children without a Father begins to seriously force Dirk to re-think his life. I finished 'Trojan Odyssey' with mixed emotions. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Did it make me excited about what was on the horizon for Dirk & Co.? Again, yes. But it also saddened me at the same time. You will just have to read it for yourself to figure out what all of this means, and why.
Clive continues to be the BEST action/adventure author writing today, and no matter WHAT it is, if his name is on it, you can be rest assured that I WILL be reading it. Long Live Clive & Dirk Pitt, both senior & junior.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Like all of Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novel's this one has our heroe's battling some dastardly plot to destroy or take over the world. This one is somewhat different from the others in that the adult son & daughter that Pitt learned he had in the last page or two of Valhalla Rising are now working at NUMA.
The book starts with what has become Cussler's formula of some great event occuring at some point in the past and then moving forward to the present day,in this case Aug-Nov 2006. A super hurricane is about to wipe out some fantastic floating hotel when Dirk Sr. and Al Giordino arrive to save the day,kind of a wasted story element as it is only lightly linked to the rest of the book (D.Sr. & Al don't even appear until chapter 8 by the way).
The rest of the novel switches back and forth between Pitt's children and the older generation, sometimes together but more often not. You'll find the usual mix of a great old car or two, narrow escapes and explosions tempered by Pitt (you'll almost need a score card to keep track of which Dirk you're reading about, Sr. is usually referred to as Pitt, Jr. as Dirk) and Al referring to the years getting to them.
The stories have been going on for almost 25 years now and it seemed to me that at times Cussler was ignoring past story plot lines although many times he'd put something in about a lot of the past adventures. A couple of times there was a problem with the timeline - Valhalla was set in 2003 but Trojan Odyssey, set only 2 years later, is set in 2006. Another time warp occurs when a man is sacrificed by the evil Druid group, the way subsequent events regarding the man's holdings are related far to much time goes by to fit into the general storyline.
In the end all ends well with Pitt marrying longtime love Congresswoman Loren Smith, and it looks like he and Al will have job promotions at Numa. Cussler himself makes his usual appearance in the story but this time only in the last page or so.
Mr. Cussler may be planning to retire, I kind of wonder from the tone of this book. I wonder if someone else will write some Dirk Jr. & Summer Pitt novels, perhaps Paul Kemprecos whose Kurt Austin & Joe Zavala characters are very briefly in this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
I am always excited when I see a new Dirk Pitt novel (not one of those poor "Kurt Austin" collaborations).
However, almost right off the bat I sensed that this was not going to be one of Cusslers better Dirk Pitt adventures.
The action was slow to develop and had none of Cusslers great "feel like you are there" narrations. The action sequences were flat, average and predictable.
Cussler just could not pull me into the action on this book.
Cussler spent way too much time on technical details in this book and the plot was transparent and obvious.
At times, Dirk Pitt seemed to be remarkably "slow to catch on" to events in the story. The good humor "give and take" with AL seemed "forced" and uninspired.
At times, this book seemed to be like the lame "Kurt Austin" books and if I did not know better, I'd say that Cusslers co-writer in those books had a hand in this one as well.
This book was an "Ok" Dirk Pitt novel, but not one of the better ones.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've been an avid follower of the Dirk Pitt Novels since the mid 80's when my folks forced me read Treasure as a teen, for which I am still grateful. When reading his early books start to finish I couldn't put them down. T-O took me over a week to read.
I did enjoy the premise of the book but felt overloaded with technical schematics on every bit of equipment utilized throughout the story. A little background is good but this is an adventure novel not a "how to" manual on a TBM Boring Machine. Pitt's constant inner monologue on how he was getting to old for the lifestyle he leads left me a little down.
The supporting characters were not fleshed out and the twins were boring. After the introduction of the twins in Valhalla Rising, which I found to be the best DP book in a while, I was left excited at the potential of the Jr. Pitt's. However, if they are going to take over the series they need some more personality and verve. Cussler has spoiled us with Dirk, Al, Rudi, Loren, Sandecker etc. The twins are pale shadows in comparison.
The story did not have the edge of your seat suspense prevelant in so many of his other books. Also, figuring out the bad guys was much too easy. I did enjoy the book just not on the level of say Raise the Titanic, Treasure, Inca Gold and his other earlier works.
There were also some really obvious mistakes in this book that leave me wondering if his editor needs an eye exam, as well as distortions in the timeline and incorrect past character reference.
To sum up there are a good number of the DP books in my library that get re-read every couple years. This won't be one of them.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a very disappointing wrap up to Dirk's career. I have never seen the NUMA crew be so incredibly dumbfounded by the clues that are so apparently staring them in the face. How many times can you say "Not Odyssey, again" after the reader has figured it out 50 pages ago. The whole Spectre debacle at the end was obvious from the first introduction of the amazonian women early in the book. The editing on this book was done with an obvious attempt to get the book to market instead of a concerted effort to make the book readable. The time warps are ridiculous. I have recently read the Buddha book and found it somewhat enjoyable. Then Cussler introduces the same supersecret propulsion system (or one very similar) into one of NUMA's vessels. Then a little later we have the fishing smack that has all the earmarks of a smaller Oregon with its fancy decor supposed to fool even the hardiest of fishermen. Then we have the special jetski deigned by NUMA to penetrate covertly into enemy territory. Why would NUMA make this machine. No reason except to have a new toy for Dirk and AL. The kids are ridiculous and serve no purpose in the story line. I hope we do not see them as the new Pitt Al duo.
What a shame to release this book. This was an obvious attempt to make some quick cash and it worked because all of us Pitt fans will read it even after reading these reviews. Shame on you Clive Cussler. GO back and read your own work some time and bring back the glory days of old. And to think I even named my cat Dirk Pitt.
Shame on you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just recently read this book and found it to be not as thoroughly researched and full of errors, more than usual. While the plot is OK and enjoyable enough, I still think Inca Gold or even Atlantis Found as better books.

A number of errors that I can remember in particular include:

(1) The ship that Jason sailed on was the 'Argo' not the 'Argonaut'; the Argonauts were the Greek heroes that sailed with Jason!

(2) Fuel Cell technology that uses Nitrogen and then produces water as its output waste??? I mean at least do a little research on fuel cell. The reason why Hydrogen produces water in the first place is because the hydrogen ion produced bonds with oxygen to produce water while generating electricity. How can you produce H2O WITHOUT the H???

(3) How could Summer be the "Daughter-In-Law" of Loren Smith Pitt?? Shouldn't she be the Step-daughter??

(4) Pumps in the tunnel... why would you need pumps in the tunnel when the water pressure at that depth is enough to induce water flow? He probably meant a turbine which can produce electricity when connected to a generator.

Some additional comments: Why does he kept referring to China as "Red China"? Nobody refers to China as that any longer - even in 2003 when this book was published.

He never did place a connection between what Odyssey was doing and Hurricane Lizzie! I suspect he meant to include that in the book, i.e. that the freakish super hurricane was brought about by climactic changes that occurred because of the experimentation or whatever by Odyssey.

And what is the deal with that "low cost" fuel cell thingymagingy that can produced with 8 parts?? 8 parts?? Are you hallucinating? Even the most rudimentary wind-up toy requires more than 8 parts, let alone an ultra-sophisticated piece of technology. Why didn't he just leave well enough alone.

Clive puts too much useless details in this book that made it even less plausible than it already is. I would have been willing to gladly suspend disbelief given the genre of the book, but this calls for beyond even that! It's ok to inject Sci-fi elements into a book of this kind, but please at least do some research and put some semblance of plausibility scientific or otherwise into your stories. Clearly Clive is very well versed in automobiles, marine science, sailing, piloting choppers - but for those that he is not, I wish he'd stop cutting corners just to get a book out in print. Mr. Cussler please do your research or fire your editor!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me start by saying that this is the only Dirk Pitt/Clive Cussler novel I've read so far. I have no opinion on any other DP books. This, however, was dreadful.

This book's only redeeming point is the seemingly interesting theory about the Trojan Oddyssey having taken place in the Atlantic Ocean instead of the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, this theory has preciously little to do with the rest of the book, and seems to be there mainly as a selling point for a mostly unrelated (and very poor) story.

The actual story is best compared to a bad James Bond movie (one from the seventies would do nicely), complete with super-villains, world-threatening schemes and secret bases. The problem here is that all of this is completely silly from start to finish (what on earth was up with the hologram pirates?). Everything is far-fetched, implausible, or most likely both. It also has none of the style and very little of the humor which often redeems James Bond.

To make matters even worse, this movie must contain the worst characters in living history. From Dirk Pitt to the super-villain, they're all extremely dull and flat. Yet, no opportunity is wasted by the author to rub in how wonderful, beautiful and talented all these characters (supposedly) are. Together with lots of unnecessarily lengthy descriptions of just about everything, this book is truly full of filler.

The characters are also completely super-human, apparently, since there doesn't seem to be anything that Pitt cum suis can't handle, including flying a helicopter into the hurricane of the century (just after the hurricane nearly took out a much more sturdy plane) and much more. This takes away any form of suspension there could have been.

If this book didn't take itself so seriously, it might have worked. As it is, though, "Trojan Odyssey" is a totally daft, horribly written excuse for a book that does almost nothing with a potentially very entertaining theory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Trojan Odyssey continues the line of Dirk Pitt adventure stories. This one is not that different from the others and many of the plot devices have been used before (the evil cult that Dirk is trying to expose, the death-defying heroics of Dirk and Al, the impossible situations they find themselves in, the causes and reasons for the situation, etc.). Unfortunately, this storyline is rather perfunctory and seems like mostly rehashed material. Unlike some of his previous ones that had me holding my breath in anticipation (Sahara for instance) or staying up way too late to continue turning pages, I could see what was coming almost from the first page.

Another problem was that some of the plot devices were put out there and not really followed up. The story starts with a wonderous concept that gets into severe trouble. The main evil being does not do anything to help, and leaves thousands of people behind at risk. One would think that somewhere along the line, there would be a discussion of why that occurred. Why was the thing constructed, and why was it abandoned as it was. But none of that occurs. The only obvious puropse it serves is to provide a convenient entry point for Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino.

There are also several mistakes in the book that make me think that Clive Cussler is poking fun at this audience. For instance, there is a hurricane that developed off the African coast and moves towards the U.S. The book repeatedly talks of its eastwards movements. Excuse me? Last I looked at a map, that would have it moving WEST!!! This "mistake" is repeated several times so it cannot be a real mistake, and I cannot believe that no proofreaders caught it either!

Towards the end of the book, several things happen that make me believe that Clive Cussler intended this to be the last book in the series. Now, I know that is not true as a sequel has appeared, but the ending was not a typical Dirk Pitt ending ... there was no dropping of a villain down the elevator chute in the World Trade Center, etc.

So, I am overall slightly disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
O.K., so Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels are formulaic. We can even describe the formula: Begin with an ancient event, real or imaginary, such as the sacking of Troy. Fast forward to a few years from now (in this case, 2006). Invent a cataclysm that threatens to destroy human life in large numbers (in this case, a hurricane that threatens a floating resort). Bring in Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino to rescue equally large numbers of people. In the course of the cataclysm, make sure someone discovers clues to the ancient event. Throw in a menacing organization that is somehow connected to all of this. Have Pitt and his NUMA crew defeat the baddies, while also shining the light of truth on that ancient event. Voila! Another book.
It's all here. What makes Trojan Odyssey interesting is the other stuff. Pitt's heretofore unknown twin children, introduced at the end of Valhalla Rising, are now working for NUMA (surprise!). Pitt, Admiral Sandecker, and Al all make decisions that determine the future direction of the series (We knew that Dirk and Al were going to hand things off to young Dirk and Summer--it was just a question of how. The bigger surprise lies in Sandecker's decision). While those decisions are predictable, they are still satisfying. They also meet the first criterion for series novels--they set the stage for the next book.
Trojan Odyssey isn't the best book Cussler ever wrote, but it isn't the worst, either (that dubious honor goes to Dragon, an incredibly racist diatribe against Japanese economic power). It's a bridge book between Valhalla Rising and whatever's next as young Dirk and Summer take the places of their father and Al in Cussler's adventures. Is that enough to make us come back next year? Only if Dirk and Summer are fleshed out (telling us a LOT more about their upbringing would be a start) and Pitt and Sandecker are believable in their new roles.
As has been true with most of Cussler's Pitt books, Trojan Odyssey suffers from poor editing. Verb tense disagreements, dangling participles, and introductory clauses that don't agree with sentence subjects abound. These errors are so elementary that one wonders if a high school junior English student shouldn't do the next editing job. On the other hand, folks like me have turned NUMA into a money machine for Cussler and his publishers, so why should they bother?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from our workplace library thinking that a nice thick book would help me endure the train ride home each evening.

While I could endure the train ride, I could barely endure the book.

This book can be compared to the awful romatic novels that pubescent high school girls might read but in this case for pubescent boys or men who get off on fantasy (not the good sci-fi stuff). Dirk Pitt is an aging McGuyver who could work his way out of anything no matter what the hindrance. Dirk Pitt is a lame Man of La Mancha with his sidekick Giordino, who is obviously a Sancho Panza ripoff.

As soon as I read about Spector, who has never been seen, hides his face..I knew that Spector was someone else - in disguise. It was obvious to me, and I'm not a particularly good crime solver. Maybe Cussler meant to do that?

The women in the book are perfect in appearance, whether evil or not. Each meal that is eaten is a gourmand's dream. Each sip of wine would bring Bacchus back from the grave. Wretched crap.

This must be Cussler's mastabatory fantasy. I hate to be crude, but if the shoe fits....

I guess Cussler appears in each of his books at the end, but it was so stupid and so self promoting, I wanted to gag.

I finished it, but only to prove I have the intestinal fortitude for anything.
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