My introduction to Clive Cussler was through the film, "Sahara." I really enjoyed that film and being a lover of the works of another adventure writer, Steve Alten, I decided to give Cussler's books a try. A friend of mine loaned me this book as well as two others written by Cussler.
I really enjoyed "Raise the Titanic!" It's got plenty of adventure, espionage, sabotage, and even a little romance in it. Cussler goes into great, but not too boring, detail of how his hero, Dirk Pitt, and the gang from NUMA manage to lift the Titanic from its watery grave in order to solve a mystery dating back to 1912, when the Titanic made its fateful voyage. The U.S. Government is interested in a mineral, byzanium, that may be aboard the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean. They hope to find the byzanium and use it to complete a nuclear defense weapon's construction under the codename, Sicilian Project.
Of course, adventure just wouldn't be adventure without bad guys. For this particular book, Cussler uses the tried and true U.S.S.R. as the enemy. Primary bad guy, Prevlov, is the perfect foil to the slick, almost carefree, Dirk Pitt.
Overall, this book carries itself quite well from beginning to end. The only place that Cussler stumbles is with the sweet talk. The "romance" that occurs between Pitt and the heroine of this book, Dana Seagram, comes across as forced, awkward, and entirely pointless to the story. To be honest, had Cussler completely left the sex out of this book, it would probably be five-star worthy. Unfortunately, Cussler writes sex scenes and romantic interludes like a fourteen-year-old--all climax, no build-up.
Don't let this one hang-up of mine keep you from reading this book. It really is a great, fast-paced read and is perfect for people who only have a few minutes at a time to read a book. Not much thinking is necessary to tear this pocketbook up.
Recommended to fans of fast-paced thrillers, military fiction, and authors like Steve Alten.
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