Brief character summary: Alex Hawke is a brilliant, handsome, and overprivileged sociopath, given to bursts of violent physical assault and harboring poorly-concealed contempt for anyone who fails to give adequate obeisance. His fascination with swords and his deeper bond with male rather than female characters suggests a phallic fixation derived from intense, pre-pubescent emotional trauma. His tendency toward explosive violence (and quick, heated resentment) hints at an inability to express or process hostile emotions. His love of gadgets (which he explicitly describes as his "toys") likewise points to a psychological growth stagnant since childhood.
Aside from the generally juvenile style of writing, Bell suffers from a hopelessly cinematic structure and pacing, and he relies heavily on feeble caricature and trite plot devices that make a soap opera look like high art. The narrative voice is pointlessly inconsistent, and the text itself frequently lapses into cliche.
I haven't read Cussler, but his endorsement of this awful book makes it clear that his own literary tastes are questionable.
If you enjoy vapid, one-dimensional characters who engage in naive good-vs-evil crusades, then you might like "Hawke." If, however, you require your characters to be more than flat stereotypes, then stay away!
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