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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST NUMA Files book in a while..., February 1, 2012
This review is from: Devil's Gate (The Numa Files) (Hardcover)
A new NUMA Files novel NOT written (mostly) by Paul Kemprecos...? At first I was skeptical--but then I had to remind myself how good the first batch of Kurt Austin books were, not to mention the utterly AWESOME Oregon Files series since Jack DuBrul took over...a little remembrance of that and I was all set to embrace 'Devil's Gate' as I did when I first saw 'Serpent' back in '99. I also had to remind myself how much I REALLY enjoyed Graham Browns first two releases ('Black Rain' & 'Black Sun'--go out and GET them if you haven't already). I must admit, as much as I REALLY loved the first group of NUMA Files books, they had kinda lost a bit of OOMPH there with the last two (sorry, Paul!). I would assume that Cussler noticed this as well...why else would he have awarded the series to a relative newcomer then, huh? Course, I could be wrong, but either way, that's kinda how I imagine it going down.

As always, the novel begins with a rather cryptic event in the recent past which will play a prominent role in the story fairly quickly on. Loaded with a great deal of what we have come to expect from an average Cussler novel, this one I must say embraces a bit more of the Spy-type overall storyline than I believe was in all the previous NUMA Files books. I would guess this was due to the addition of Mr. Brown to the ever-growing stable of thriller writers that Cussler employs to do the majority of his writing these days. While Kemprecos had managed to copy Clive's writing 'Style' virtually to a Tee...I dare say that Brown has placed his own kind of 'Style' on this release--and in NO WAY is that a slam...on the contrary, it injects much-needed adrenaline into what was slowly turning into a less than exciting series to read.

Not being a science nerd, I can't speak to the authenticity of the super-weapon employed here in 'Devil's Gate', but if I had to guess, I'd say it was a bit far-fetched, but then again, I've been horribly wrong before, so who knows? The point here is not so much how absolutely REAL the storyline is...but for me, its more important the question of whether I'm having fun along the way. In short, my answer to that is a resounding YES. I enjoyed the banter between Kurt & Joe a bit more than usual here, and again that may be due to Browns inclusion, or it just may be because I was simply growing tired of Kemprecos, the jury's still out to be honest.

Let me also add my .02 regarding the editing: it was sub-par for an author of Cusslers standing. On the flip side, I've noticed editing standards in general falling quite steadily over the past decade to seriously atrocious levels. Its a bit disappointing, actually. When I read a novel from an independant publisher, or something self-published I grant a generous amount of leeway knowing the budget for that sorta thing is almost non-existent, but for something released by Penguin/Putnam?? It's an embarassment. I understand there are budget cuts all across the board, but does that mean you have to produce a novel that looks like a cursory run-through with Microsoft Word spell-check is all it gets? Gee I hope not. Whoever is in charge needs to have a serious chat with the person who got the nod as editor for this one.

'Nuff said.

In short, I am a forever-fan of Cussler. It was a novel of his which opened me up to a world of reading back in the 70's, and for that I will always be in his debt. The more I read from Graham Brown, the bigger a fan I become, too. With the addition of 'Devil's Gate' that makes me seriously look forward to what's coming next. Kudos to both Clive and Graham for producing yet another home run for those of us looking for something to grant us a few hours of pure escapism.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 9, 2012 10:24:37 AM PST
I totally agree with your editing comment, as my copy is missing chapters 39-39.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2012 9:29:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2012 9:31:20 AM PST
Jeff Edwards says:
You're missing an entire chapter?? Gosh, at least mine wasn't missing an entire chapter. I could at least figure out what was meant with the errors, but I wasn't missing anything--at least not to my knowledge. I'd take the book back and find a copy where the chapter wasn't missing--you're owed at least THAT much I'd think.
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