Well that’s one heck of an opening. A ship on fire! Trying to fit thousands on a ship normally crewed by dozens! Mysterious baddies! Action on the high seas! One of the things I like most about these series.
Get through all that and… rescue in a submarine! More adventure! And a rescue by Clive Cussler! He gives them a bit more direct help than sometimes, but it works. Plus you get a line like this:
After the glasses were filled with Porfirio tequila-Misty preferred a margarita-Pitt told [Cussler] what he had in mind, but only as much as he thought was advisable under the circumstances. After all, he thought as he looked around the elegant yacht, no one in his right mind would risk destroying such a beautiful vessel in a desperate scheme.
Plotwise, it’s a Dirk Pitt novel. Full of adventure and BIG DAMN HEROES. Science is mostly close enough to be believable (quantum teleportation almost surely doesn’t work like that). Enjoyable enough tales.
One thing I really like seeing through these stories is the relationship between Dirk Pitt and Loren Smith.
They enjoyed the casual dinner, trading sarcasms and little jabs between them. It was a regular routine between two people of equal wit and intellect. Pitt and Loren contradicted the old maxim that opposites attract. They were as similar in their likes and dislikes as two people could be.
It’s a bit frustrating that they never end up more ‘permanently’ together, but it does fit.
Finally… holy crap that cliffhanger ending. Turns out Dirk Pitt has kids?! With SUMMER?! We haven't seen her for decades/15 books.
I had been wondering how in the world Cussler would keep these series going. Pitt is getting older. There’s only so long his body can realistically take the abuse he gets heaped upon him every book. And we’ve already established that in this universe, time keeps flowing and actions have consequences. This is… actually a pretty decent way to do it.
If only his kid hadn't been named Dirk Pitt too. It makes sense in universe, but that’s going to get confusing.