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The Kingdom (A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure) Hardcover – June 6, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 352 customer reviews
Book 3 of 6 in the Fargo Adventures Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 "Clive Cussler has no equal." — Publishers Weekly

 “A new Clive Cussler novel is like a visit from your best friend." — Tom Clancy

 “Action-packed…an enjoyable thrill ride of a summer read." — Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Clive Cussler is the author of many New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Spy and Lost Empire. He lives in Arizona.
Grant Blackwood caught the fiction-writing bug at the age of eighteen while reading Clive Cussler’s The Mediterranean Caper , and spent the next four years working in different styles of fiction before settling on novel-length work.

Mr. Blackwood is a U.S. Navy veteran, having spent three years active duty aboard the guided missile frigate USS Ford as an Operations Specialist and a Pilot Rescue Swimmer.

Two months after leaving the Navy in July 1987, Mr. Blackwood started the first draft of his first novel, which as he puts it, “wasn’t good enough to be published, but good enough to earn a spot in my sock drawer. It took me several more years of rewriting before I realized the publishers and agents who’d been saying ‘no’ were saying no for a good reason.”

Twelve years to the day after leaving the Navy, Mr. Blackwood received an offer from Penguin-Putnam/Berkley to buy his second novel, The End of Enemies, which hit the stands May 8th.

Mr. Blackwood is 36 years old and lives in Minnesota, where he is working on this next novel, the second in the Briggs Tanner series of thrillers, which is due out in Spring/Summer of 2002.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (June 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157424
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (352 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Kingdom, the third novel in the Fargo series by Grant Blackwood, under the name of Clive Cussler, is a non-thriller full of coincidences, superficial writing, tedious plotting, grammatical errors, and numerous inconsistencies. It is the latest output from the Cussler factory of quick-and-dirty novels apparently designed to do little more than make money on the Cussler name. Unfortunately, Mr. Cussler has lost his writing edge; he is no longer the craftsman who penned the early Dirk Pitt novels. Now, he rubber stamps his name on a long list of poorly written novels from his stable of so-called adventure novelists.

Among the several problems I have with The Kingdom is that I have no idea what the Fargos look like; so, I cannot care about them. Nowhere in the book is there any description of either Remi or Sam Fargo, the hero and heroine. The closest I found was a reference to Sam being a few feet taller than Remi. I have no idea how old they are, their height or weight, their hair color, their body shapes, or any unique physical qualities, except that Sam had some judo training. Save for a few lame, wise-cracking jokes, they are mirror images, with no individuality. Yet, Blackwood/Cussler describe in detail their various meals, their assistant Selma (superficially), their drinks, and some of their past adventures.

Sam and Remi irritatingly do a tedious amount of name dropping: their specific meals, their weapons, their iPad, their clothing, and drinks. Such obvious product placement occurs more and more in the works of other writers: For example, in The Apostle, Brad Thor constantly mentions Red Bull. I wonder how much Mr. Cussler is making from such product placements, which detract from the storyline, such as it is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I know that this book is mainly the work of Grant Blackwood and that is fine with me. Unlike some other reviewers I think it is good that well known author's are taking on the job of mentoring younger authors. I am growing to enjoy Blackwood's work.

I did have a feeling that this book was similar to a recent book done by Cussler and another protege. But that didn't end up being the case.

Blackwood is back with the Fargo's, Sam and Remi. They are hired (actually they are willing to do the work for free) by a billionaire named King who wants them to find a friend of their's, Alton, who has gone missing while working for King to try and locate his father. The strange thing is that King's father has been missing for almost 40 years. So, why look for him now?

The Fargo's accept the task because they want to find their friend Alton. But upon arriving at Katmandu they are greeted by King's son and daughter, who are a bit different, and end up being the evil children of an controlling father. Oh, not to mention that there is a young Asian woman who is King's assistant that appears to be more than just an assistant, maybe a mistress, maybe the kids mother, maybe a ruthless killer.

The reading is fast paced, as usual with a Cussler work. The story a bit implausible, but that makes it more fun. Lots of action, lots of twists and turns just like you expect from any of his work.

Sam and Remi will need all of their education, all of their ingenuity and help from Selma and the team back home to pull this adventure off and not only find Alton but discover what King is truly after. Because we all know that King has not given them any of the details they truly need to find Alton nor finish the task at hand.

Does, King's father still exist?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was obvious almost from the first page that this book was not written by Clive Cussler. It appears that the only thing Cussler had to do with it was to have his name put on it as co-author. With Cussler now having his books ghost written, that makes three, along with W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy who no longer write their own books. It wouldn't be so bad if Blackwood could write, but he can't. Its for sure he ain't no Cussler or Clancy just like Butterworth, IV, ain't no Griffin. It's a damned shame that these three are no longer writing as I have read and enjoyed them for many years. I know that we all have to quit working at some point in our lives, but we should do that, quit, not try to fool people into believing that we are still working. Guess that I'll just have to find some new authors to read.
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Format: Hardcover
"And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh," -- Jeremiah 45:5 (NKJV)

As someone who has coauthored a number of nonfiction books, I'm always interested in identifying which coauthor did what. I usually have no idea if I'm right or not, but The Kingdom looks like a book that Clive Cussler might have written an outline for. I couldn't see any conclusive evidence that he looked at the book again.

One reason I say "might" about the plot is that the book as less connection to the sea and water than are usually found in his plots. Another reason I say so is because the historical thread isn't as pertinent to the plot or the reader as most of Mr. Cussler's intriguing fictional conjectures are.

As a result, there's a one in three chance that Mr. Cussler never saw this book at all. He may have simply signed the contract and sent over the list of paid-for product placements to include.

I find it hard to imagine a book could have any less character development in it and still have characters than this one does to. You could insert "Character 1," "Character 2," etc. for names and the characters wouldn't be any less real.

I like plot twists and turns as much as the next person, but such swift switches need to be based in plausible circumstances. If I'm thinking "they just wanted to throw in another plot twist here" rather than being impressed by the story's development, there's something seriously wrong with the writing.

By the end of the book, I felt silly for having spent the time to have read the book. I kept optimistically thinking it had to get better . . . but actually it got worse.

Skip this one.
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