Review: Raise the Titanic!

Series: Dirk Pitt: #4

Raise the Titanic! is one of the Dirk Pitt books that I remember reading years and years ago. It’s a fascinating story, mixing secret government espionage with the underwater salvage details that are one of the reasons I really do enjoy this series on the greatest salvage mission you could expect: The Titanic.

It’s fascinating to realize that this book was published 10 years before the remains of the Titanic were discovered–and yet it’s set in 1987, 2 years after. As such, you realize now that there are a few details that aren’t entirely correct (such as the ship breaking in half). Also we’re near the fall of the USSR, but they’re quite the villains to be reckoned with hereabouts. Still, from the point of view it was written, it all seems reasonable enough. Otherwise, just treat it as a parallel universe and you’re good to go. And both the salvage mission plus the harrowing account of Russian agents and a hurricane once the Titanic is raised makes it a solid action book.

Sexism wise, it’s at least better than any of the previous books, although there are still issues all over the place. But for once, we actually have a relatively strong woman character in Dana Seagram–for about 80% of the time she’s on screen. It’s weird and awkward and cartoony in completely the other direction. And there’s a definite ‘woman are strong; and then everyone clapped’ moment that’s rather eye-roll inducing, but it at least appears that Cussler is trying. There’s hope yet. Now let’s see if he can get more than one woman character at the same time.