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A perfect storm
on May 29, 2012
Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala return in this second installment from the NUMA Files by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. Their first collaboration was "Devil's Gate" in November last year. In this reviewer's opinion "The Storm" is a far better work for a number of reasons. First, the length of the novel is about sixty-four pages shorter than its predecessor. Fat has been trimmed from the plot, leaving a much leaner story line. Second, the proofreading errors that plagued "Devil's Gate" are gone here. Perhaps it was something as simple as a change of editors. And finally, the actual writing is much better this time. It's a lot crisper.
"The Storm" begins with a very short Prologue set in 1943 in the Indian Ocean. A "fast freighter" is under attack by the Japanese. Its top secret cargo seems to be of great interest to them. Chapter 1 takes us to 1967 in northern Yemen. A family is slaughtered and a pact to take revenge is set. Fast forward to June 2012 when a NUMA research vessel is overrun by some type of particle mass that swarms the ship, leading to the deaths of its three-person crew.
These three seemingly disparate events bring the NUMA Special Projects team (Austin, Zavala, and the Trouts) to the Maldives to investigate. Now that Dirk Pitt is Director of NUMA and rarely in the field, Kurt Austin has become the workhorse and he does a fine job of it.
First-time Cussler readers will not be disappointed, and long-time fans of the series should be pleasingly surprised with the new turn of writing events. I think everyone will enjoy this storm.
And finally a trivia footnote: One of the members of the evil consortium is Sheik Abin da-Alhrama. Readers may recognize the play on letters between Alhrama and Alhambra. Clive Cussler is a proud graduate of Alhambra High School.