Dragon

[Dirk Pitt] had always believed that insurmountable odds were surmountable.

These books are so ridiculous.

In 1945, a nuclear bomb is lost on it’s way to Japan (apparently there were two sent in this world). In 1993, a Japanese cargo ship is found adrift with obvious–to the reader–signs of radiation poisoning. You’d think the two things are related, but … we’ll you’ll just to read and find out.

And along the way? Japanese criminals/businessmen hoping to take over the world economically, by way of a nuclear threat. Robots. Lots and lots of robots, driving cars, defending evil lairs, and beatable only by… a magnet in a sock or a length of hose and some silk? Like I said. Ridiculous.

A few other things that made me smile throughout the story:

- The opening scenes with the lost B-29 bomber and the nuclear explosion aboard the container ship were an excellent start to the ship, along with the rescue of the few survivors.

- At one point one of the female characters is literally described as a ‘Bond girl but smarter’. Cussler may still have some issues with female characters, but he’s getting better and he’s definitely acknowledging it.

- For at least the second time, someone had a background check on Pitt and commented that it ‘reads like an adventure story’.

- Dirk Pitt gets a chance to race one of his classic automobiles. His opponent for the race? Clive Cussler. So far as author insertion (and having read a bit about Cussler’s history outside of writing), it makes sense.

- An exchange between two characters: Smith: ‘Dirk Pitt can do anything!’ Pitt: ‘I wish people would stop staying that.’

- A scene towards the end where they drop a giant undersea crawler out of an airplane. Just cool.

- Once again, this book bumped into one of the problems with writing about real world events and setting yourself a few years in the future. There are comments about ‘West Germany’. When this book was published in 1990, the Berlin Wall had fallen only months before and re-unification had not yet been completed. But by 1993 when the books take place, both events had most certainly have occurred. Then again, it’s quite clearly an alternate history at this point, so take it as it goes.

Overall, a fun read. The opening is strong and the island invasion and Pitt’s ‘final’ mission were also action packed reads. The middle was somewhat muddled, but still fine. Overall, worth the listen. Onward!

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