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Atlantis Found: A Dirk Pitt Adventure (Dirk Pitt Adventures) Hardcover – December 6, 1999
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Dirk Pitt, indestructible hero of 14 previous Clive Cussler novels and special-projects director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (which is something like the CIA of the ocean depths), makes James Bond look like a tuxedoed, martini-swilling poseur. Pitt has raised the Titanic, escaped massive volcanic eruptions, ducked nuclear explosions, foiled criminal plans for world domination, saved everyone on earth from germ warfare, and mastered the ins and outs of various electronic gizmos and futuristic vehicles while evading every imaginable form of almost certain death. (Of course, he's also wildly successful with brilliant, beautiful women, but in an admirably circumspect, sensitive-guy way.) It stands to reason Pitt's the right man to handle a crisis of millennial proportions.
When mysterious black obsidian skulls and other artifacts of an exceedingly ancient culture begin to turn up in odd places, Pitt jumps in with both feet. It soon becomes dangerously apparent that a powerful, amoral group of fanatics calling itself the Fourth Empire wants the strange discoveries to remain underground. Pitt teams up with a beautiful red-haired expert in ancient languages to decipher the meaning of the artifacts. They were made 10 millennia ago in a then-temperate Antarctica by a seafaring civilization advanced enough to predict its own destruction by a comet impact. Now the Fourth Empire (whose literal and figurative progenitor comes as no surprise) is predicting a similar disaster in only a matter of months, and preparing to take control of the earth.
Cussler's known for hands-on research--his hobbies are the backbone of Pitt's adventures: flying, climbing, diving, racing. The scientific and historical riffs that fill in the background of Atlantis Found are the weakest parts of the book--they're Pitt-less, and they give every discovery in the book away early. But what the heck--Cussler's not the king of suspense, he's the emperor of nonstop action. Atlantis Found bounces along on a good-humored techno-joyride, and for Cussler's legion of fans, that will be more than enough. --Barrie Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
Dirk Pitt, Cussler's larger-than-life hero, butts heads with an army of elite killers seeking to destroy the world in another wickedly engrossing yet predictably scripted tale of bravery against all odds. As the story begins, artifacts from a previously undiscovered civilization, ancient but highly advanced, are popping up all over the globe. Pitt himself is on site in a Colorado mine when archeologists come across strange carvings and mysterious inscriptions. But then an explosion traps the party below ground, and a band of black-suited terrorists arrive at the scene with guns blazing. Though Pitt saves the day, the incident points toward a wider network of evil schemes. Working for the National Underwater & Marine Agency, Pitt finally identifies the terrorists as members of the Fourth Empire, an organization headed by the diabolical Wolf family, a secret clan of genetically engineered people who worship the Nazi Third Reich. But it's only after Pitt and his able sidekick, Al Giordino, battle old German U-boats, dodge surface-to-air missiles and narrowly escape death on a remote island off Australia that they find out what the Fourth Empire is up to. The neo-Nazis aim to prevent the world from discovering the artifacts of this previously unknown seafaring culture because they tell of a catastrophic event that wiped out civilization 9000 years ago and reveal when the next cataclysm will hit. The Wolfs plan to accelerate the date through their own scheme to destroy Earth, meanwhile sheltering themselves and their thousands of followers on enormous, disaster-proof ships. Pitt knows his assignment: save the world--a tall order, but one he's filled many times before. Cussler's 15th Pitt adventure (after Flood Tide) is a rampaging story of history, technology and heroism, written with Cussler's typical make-no-apologies enthusiasm. For muscle-flexing, flag-waving, belief-suspending fare, he has no equal. 750,000 first printing; $750,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; simultaneous audio; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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In one incident, two unarmed men, one trained and one not, go up against six highly trained heavily armed men who also have air cover. They do just fine despite the setting having no cover at all. That's completely down to earth compared with the final 30% of the book which flies completely off the planet as far as believability.
Flights of fantasy when it comes to thriller books are all in good fun but at some point, if they lose all credibility, they take the reader out of the experience. I found this one to be such a book. The one element I found interesting and running counter to other authors' opinions is a virtual endorsement of GMO people. I give the author high marks for forging his own path here.
Like many people , I have an interest in this sea tragedy and what I recall about this book sparked my imagination. I also remember liking the protagonist, Dirk Pitt. He seemed likeable and able. So when I came across Atlantis Found, I was pleased because Mr. Cussler chose another interest of mine...Atlantis. I also selected the book because Dirk Pitt was the protagonist again. I have been a student of metaphysics for many years and the references to this ancient society, its apparent destruction, the crystal skulls were right up my alley. The Nazi theme in most literature is tedious to me, but Mr. Cussler made it plausible. I endorse this book for its effective use of imagination, its unrelenting action sequences and the amusing interaction of its main characters. I am glad to have rediscovered mr. Cussler.
This one was just ok. There were many tedious descriptions that were truly unnecessary - they didn't contribute to the plot or the story or were commonly known already. When it would have benefitted the story for MORE descriptions, there were none (i.e. better descriptions of the mummy's they found). It felt to me that Mr. Cussler had to produce x number of pages and was just filling space.
I plowed away to the end of the book. I gave it three stars only because I like the characters. The read was not an easy one as most Pitt novels were.
Valhalla Rising was a splendid page turner and a delight to read. As always, Cussler never disappoints. You will love it!!!