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Crusader Gold by David Gibbins
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Crusader Gold (original 2006; edition 2007)

by David Gibbins

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376828,533 (3.19)10
Member:tendring
Title:Crusader Gold
Authors:David Gibbins
Info:Dell (2007), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Adventure

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Crusader Gold by David Gibbins (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
read it in dutch: "Menora" ( )
  StefanNijenhuis | Aug 7, 2011 |
I'll grant that the author did his historical research - Harold Hardrada (in this fictional account) surpassing Lief Ericsson as the most amazing Viking of all time. From a historian's point of view, a lot of the details of this book were fascinating.

But I agree with another reviewer who found the timing of the coincidences in the book a little too pat, especially as we have one small team of archeologists stumbling across one major find after another in quick succession.

BUT -- the author commited the unpardonable sin (and he isn't the first in the mass paperback world to do so) of playing god, or of having one of his characters do so, by discovering an artifact that might have had a profound impact on the world's understanding of itself ... deciding the world wasn't "ready" for it ... and tossing it back into the brink from which it emerged.

The fictional artifact the main character tossed back into the sea wasn't his to dispose of ... and that even a fictional character would do such a thing suggests that the author would do the same thing, or saw nothing wrong with doing so, under the same circumstances. According to his biography, the author is an underwater archeologist! Nothing like having a reader end a novel by wanting to throttle the author - or at least prevent him from ever being allowed anywhere near any genuine historical artifacts.
  chiara2 | Nov 9, 2008 |
I thought Crusader Gold's premise had promise. Unfortunately, while I found the main characters interesting and attention-worthy, and the history was complex and fascinating, the rest of the book felt like tissue paper trying vainly to hold these jewels into some semblance of a whole skein.

The pacing was entirely off. Most of the book is loaded down with complex historical exposition disguised as dialogue. When excitement does happen, it feels sudden, jarring, and out-of-place. In particular, Crusader Gold see-sawed back and forth between over-explaining and repeating information and skipping over things as though the author suddenly realized he needed to speed things up; unfortunately he often skipped just the wrong information, leaving things confused.

There are two distinct "feels" in this book that don't jibe with one another. The over-explaining of historical and technical portions of the book gives the feel of an ultra-real adventure novel in which the author wants you to know that everything he writes is absolutely possible. However, everything having to do with the bad guys (the Nazis) in this book is one-dimensional and overblown---something you might be able to get away with in a brain-candy thrill-ride, but not in a 'realistic' adventure. In addition, the main characters find their way through the plot courtesy of just enough improbable coincidence and happenstance that such ultra-realism is similarly stretched to the breaking point. Crusader Gold really needs to be one or the other: quick brain-candy thrill ride with just enough information to make it somewhat real, or ultra-realistic info-fest with all aspects given equal attention. Speaking of Nazis, the bad guys are so utterly one-dimensional that they might as well be rabid dogs.

As if all of that weren't enough, the ending is quite anticlimactic. I won't give away the details, but suffice it to say that just when you're sure you still have some interesting mileage left because the characters haven't yet found their objective, it's all cut short and solved through a little dialogue.

Full review at ErrantDreams ( )
  errantdreams | Dec 14, 2007 |
This being Gibbins second novel, it was a marked improvement from Atlantis. The story is a bit implausible at times, with a lot of coincidences, and yet that's how a lot of history has been discovered. Gibbins knows his material, and is really passionate about it, though he is a bit effusive at times - like many of us who are given free reign to write about that which we love. I can't wait until February for the next book with Jack Howard. ( )
2 vote pandorabox82 | Oct 25, 2007 |
Gibbins tries to blend a whole lot of historical facts to form a cohesive storyline and almost succeeds... He presumes his readers would've read Atlantis before they start this one... ( )
  xavierroy | Jun 18, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440243939, Mass Market Paperback)

From the fall of the Roman Empire to the last days of Nazi power, marine archaeologist Jack Howard and his team of adventurers are hot on the trail of history’s most elusive and desired treasure: the lost golden menorah of Jerusalem. And what they discover could change the world forever….

Deep beneath the windswept waters near Istanbul, Jack and his crack team of experts have uncovered a surprising clue to the location of the fabled treasure plundered during the Crusades. Meanwhile, in a dusty cathedral library, someone unearths a long-forgotten medieval map. Together the two discoveries will solve an ancient mystery—and spark a race to stop a present-day conspiracy of staggering proportions.

From diving into the core of an arctic iceberg to the last stand of a Viking warship to an extraordinary revelation deep in the jungles of Central America, Jack is headed straight into a globe-spanning clash of civilizations, into an astounding underground labyrinth steeped in blood and horrors—and to a confrontation with a killer on a shattering crusade of his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:52 -0400)

Marine archaeologist Jack Howard launches a dangerous search for one of history's most priceless treasures, the long-lost golden menorah of Jerusalem, following a trail that takes him from the waters off the coast of Istanbul to the core of an arctic iceberg.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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