Review: Serpent

Series: NUMA Files: #1

“Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea,” Nina murmured, cocking her head in thought. “There’s a quote from Hesiod, the Greek poet: ‘A trusty and gentle god who thinks just and kindly thoughts and never lies.”

It’s been a while since I’ve read any Clive Cussler. Turns out there are even a few new Dirk Pitt books I’ll have to catch up on. But even then, I still haven’t actually read any of his second related series: The NUMA Files.

And as they say: the second best time to start is now!

As is pretty much the formula now, we open on a shipwreck (in progress). Something world changing sent to the bottom of the ocean. Then we spend the rest of the book in a series of high paced adventures around the globe (and under the seas) to figure out what was sent to the bottom of the ocean.

The adventure is interesting enough, even if (like oft is the case) the real science behind it doesn’t really make much sense. In this case, it’s a mysterious 5th voyage of Columbus, a murderous Secret Brotherhood, and pre-Columbian contact between the old and new worlds. Don’t think about it too much and you’ll be fine. :D

“Unfortunately we have to remember we’re scientists, not writers of popular semifictional archaeological claptrap.”

(Yes. They actually say that in the book.)

Characterwise, instead of Dirk Pitt and Rudy Gunn, we have Kurt Austin and friends. We see Pitt, Gunn, and a number of other staples, but they’re not the protagonists any more. But really… they’re about the same. I’m honestly not sure why we’re not just reading more Dirk Pitt books. Perhaps they’ll diverge more later?

The women are about as bad as they often are in Cussler books (especially earlier ones). They may have as many kickass skills and advanced degrees as any of the men–but they’re still described physically first.

They’re super formulaic, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad!

I’m looking forward to listening through a bunch of these now.