One of the things Clive Cussler does really well is take some bit of knowledge or lore and turn it up to eleven and see where that takes the world. Raise the Titanic! A treaty that sold Canada to the US. Lincoln kidnapped and shipped to Africa.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be that accurate to what actually happened, but almost all of the stories make a good ‘well it would be cool if it was true’. Atlantis Found is exactly that sort of book. You have a lost advanced civilization well before the earliest known examples that eventually became the story of Atlantis with a reasonable enough reason why we haven’t found any examples of them in modern day (until now!). The science isn’t perfect, but it’s close enough to make a good story. Add in some neo-Nazis and a doomsday plot? And you have classic Dirk Pitt.
Overall, among my favorite Dirk Pitt stories thus far. Well worth the listen.
Random quote of the book:
Curious, Pat asked, “What else did the admiral have to say?”
“He said, among other things,” Eagan spoke slowly, “that if Mr. Pitt claimed the South won the Civil War, I was to believe him.”
He’s not even wrong.
It’s also interesting how these books are set slightly in the future. Cussler has to guess. We saw this in Raise the Titanic (the Titanic actually split in half, which would have made their job much more difficult). This time around:
The social event of the year was a celebration in honor of Prince Charles’s elevation to the throne, finally abdicated by his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
More than 15 years after Atlantis Found was published and she’s still kicking and on the throne…
And of course, Cussler shows up. It’s ridiculous, but I’ve come to look forward to it. How early can you guess who Cussler is this time.
“You and I aren’t seeing the same thing,” said Cussler. “You see a pile of junk. I see a magnificent machine that will one day be admired by millions of people at the Smithsonian.” His blue-green eyes gleamed as he spoke. “What you don’t realize is that you took a mechanical failure and turned it into an astonishing success. Before, the Snow Cruiser’s only distinction was that it was a fiasco and didn’t come close to achieving what it was designed to do. And that was to carry a crew in comfort five thousand miles over the ice of the Antarctic. It floundered almost immediately after coming off the boat in 1930 and lay buried for seventy years. You two not only proved her a triumph of early-twentieth-century engineering by driving her sixty miles across the ice shelf in the middle of a blizzard, but you used her brute size and power to prevent a worldwide cataclysm. Now, thanks to you, she’s a priceless and treasured piece of history.”
Pitt gazed at the huge mutilated vehicle as if it were a wounded animal. “But for her, none of us would be standing here.”
“Someday, I hope you’ll tell me the entire story.”
Giordino looked at the old man oddly. “Somehow, I think you already know it.”
The odd man being Cussler of course. Good fun.