Clive Cussler is an American novelists who mostly writes books about NUMA – National Under Water and Marine Agency ( for years I thought NUMA was the author’s imaginary agency, but NUMA actually exists. The agency specializes in searching for underwater wrecks , and Cussler is the agency’s chairman).
Here is what I think about Cussler’s book– if you read one of them it is like you would read all of them.
The main characters Dirk Pitt in the “Dirk Pitt Adventures” and Kurt Austin in the “NUMA files” are just bulletproof- kind of the American James Bond. They get themselves in very dangerous situations but always escape with just some small bumps and burses. His books are full of “amazing coincidences” , “just misses” , “incredible lucks” and “gifts from God” , with flying bullets , falling buildings or raging fires just missing our heroes. His villains are always rich, cruel individual’s who intend on getting richer or destroying the world. Dirk or Austin are always taking on the tasks of stopping them, sometimes with very little help, but they always succeed! In addition, in my opinion Cussler sometimes gets very technical- what I mean is that he can write about a helicopter, boat, gun or any other piece of machinery for few pages and honestly this little boring and sometimes. I would find myself skipping the pages.
If this sounds like a lot of complaints or negative criticism – guess what!? I read 31 books by Cussler, and keep coming back to his novels all the time!! Here is the explanation: You have to take his books for what they are: easy, adventure novels, somewhat predictable (with all the commotion, fights, complicated plots you can bet on one thing – Dirk and Austin will be just fine). You will enjoy his writing. I know not everyone would like this type of reading, and that is perfectly fine, but if you want to read about the adventure of two great guys who are saving the word pick up one of the Clive Cussler’s books and have fun with it.
One funny note about the author, in all his books Cussler always inserts himself as a one of the books minor characters- this is kind of cool, because you never know who he is going to be and sometimes this can be a funny surprise.
Some other ( not a NUMA) books I have read are the Isaac Bell series. I actually enjoyed them very much.
Isaac Bell is an early twentieth century detective who chases thieves and killers by using his great skills and instincts as well as the newest available gadgets. Truly a fun books to read.
“The Ghost Ship”– one of the better books from the Numa files series. Even though Cussler did not deviated too far from his “mass production script” , this book shows some “cracks in the Kurt Austin’s amour” , it has good humor , fast action, and the author does not bore us with technical facts. Of course as always I have some issues with the plot such as: People disabling torpedoes with hand guns while under water and by the end of the book the villain confesses to Austin for no reason , revealing his plot that he planned and guarded all his life. In summary – nothing new and unexpected from Cussler in “The Ghost Ship” ,but if you a Cussler’s fan you will not be disappointed.
“Havana Storm” by Clive Cussler- I have read most of the books in The Dirk Pitt Adventure and The Numa Files, but have not looked at one for about a year before I reach out for “Havana Strom” . Right from the beginning I felt like this book was very similar to all his other books. Pitt and the NUMA crew is investigating a mercury pollution in the ocean and at the same the time trying to figure out the mystery of the Aztecs lost treasure. This book is full of “just misses” and “miracles” where every bullet flies an inch from a Pitt’s head but never misses a “bad guy”, where an underwater submarine is pulled out from the ocean with just a second to spear before Summer would run out of oxygen. As always the author goes into way to many technical details about some piece of equipment, but this is typical Cussler writing , he can really bore you with the description of a AK 47 gun or under water sonar. Sometimes after reading few “heavy” books it is not a bad idea to read one of Cussler’s “tails” if you can deal with the simplicity and predictability.