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Havana Storm by Clive Cussler
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I read this in two days, because that is how much I enjoy Dirk Pitt Adventures! I don't know what it is about Dirk Pitt, but I just dig him. He is like Indiana Jones of the Sea. I loved all the anthropological sequences with Summer and Dirk Jr, in Mexico. I studied the Aztecs in college and appreciate the effort for research. It was a fun mix of fact and fiction! I love how he weaves together real life history with creative fiction, like his explanation for the sinking of the Maine. If someone had told me this theory, I would have laughed, but the way the way Clive and his son Dirk weave the story, it makes total sense. That is talent right there! Cannot wait for the next Dirk Pitt Novel! ( )
  HeidiAngell | Jul 29, 2017 |
I had a nearly complete collection of Clive Cussler and had planned to run through each series in publication order, starting with Dirk Pitt, in 2015 (I like to pick one author each year and concentrate my casual reading split on as many works as possible), but I lost the collection in a fire. I saw Cussler's latest Pitt novel on First to Read, threw my name in the hat and got a chance to read the galleys of Havana Storm before publication. Although it's been at least ten years since I read any Dirk Pitt (I picked up the books and the other series as they were published to add to the shelf, but hadn't read them), one of the problems I accepted in advance by deciding to read this now is the potential for spoilers. Minus the minor few along the way, page 305 held a surprise. Oh well...

Cussler is one of those anomalies that I wouldn't normally read, but do. Too many things I dislike scream "Don't read this!!!" His cliche ridden pulp is annoying on several levels. I don't read that many adventure novels, and I really don't like to read books that annoy me on nearly every page, and yet...I still read his stuff. I don't know the degree of contributions on all of his later years collaborations, but they all follow the formulas he's developed over his productive history and It seems he's got final editorial control.

As to the Pitt formula, I get it ... some kind of historical connection; some kind of world disaster; Pitt being in the exact right place at the exact right time to not only get sucked into the intertwined threads of the disaster and the historical finds, but rescue someone; the vintage cars (I like those); nearly every engagement being life-threatening yet somehow Cussler's characters seemingly impossibly manage to escape from. It's a good formula for Cussler that works and this book stays true to it. Still, I always found the trademark name-dropping product placement campy (has to be a Doxa dive watch, and Cutty Sark scotch??? ...please...)

By far, the most annoying style point of Cussler for me is how he has his characters say out loud things that a normal person might only think. His characters blurt out facts that would be intuitively obvious to another character, or worse, facts to another character that is introduced as an expert who would consider such facts trivial and never think to state term out loud. It's weird...almost as if his characters are kids who feel the need to show how much they know. Out loud. And yet, I still read these.

So, Havana Storm... As noted above, the book sticks to the standard Pitt recipe: ancient artifact, world threatened, Pitt saves the day and the artifact. It is high on camp, Cussler is still a touch sexist, and certainly cliche, but the pace is quick and the read not difficult, so it goes fast.

Ignore the annoyances and it's great pulp, a fun adventure and a solid add to the series.

( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Typical Cussler, but something missing i just can't finger. Could be the FOUR different sunken ships integral to the plot, could be the last line being given to a non major character, could be the incredibly helpful billionaire mine owner who would have been much more interesting as a villain than as a yes-man for anything Pitt states - no matter how ridiculous - without question or hesitation. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
For those who are long time readers of Clive Cussler, most will find this a passable story. It's one of the better stories that Clive and son, Dirk, have collaborated on. It's no "Raise the Titanic", "Iceberg", or "Mediterranean Caper", but it's better than the more recent, "Black Wind" or "Arctic Drift".

The story connects Aztec treasure with the Cubans, so there is both creativity and factual events are connected. All the familiar characters are present (Pitt, Al, Sandecker, Gunn, Yeager, Permutter, Summer and Dirk), so fans of the series will feel right at home with the story.

Those new to the series (23 books as of this email) should start at the front of the pack to better understand the characters and their relationships. For those who have read them all though, like me, "Havana Storm" will be an fairly enjoyable experience. ( )
  coachtim30 | Dec 11, 2016 |
From Amazon:

While investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea that may ultimately threaten the United States, Pitt unwittingly becomes involved in something even more dangerous—a post-Castro power struggle for the control of Cuba. Meanwhile, Pitt’s children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, are on an investigation of their own, chasing an Aztec stone that may reveal the whereabouts of a vast historical Aztec treasure. The problem is, that stone was believed to have been destroyed on the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which brings them both to Cuba as well—and squarely into harm’s way. The three of them have been in desperate situations before . . . but perhaps never quite as dire as the one they face now.

My Thoughts:

]b]Havana Storm brings back the old Dirk Pitt. Everything about this book pays homage to the original Pitt stories--action, adventure, science, and one man against incredible odds. A treasure of historical facts that keeps you thoroughly engaged as you visit again with many of your old friends from previous adventures. Clive Cussler has produced 23 Dirk Pitt books and they don't get old and the writing remains fresh after all this time. Those that follow the Oregon File series will note a mention perhaps about the next installment? ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
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Clive Cusslerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cussler, Dirkmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399172920, Hardcover)

Dirk Pitt returns, in the thrilling new novel from the grand master of adventure and #1 New York Times–bestselling author.
 
While investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea that may ultimately threaten the United States, Pitt unwittingly becomes involved in something even more dangerous—a post-Castro power struggle for the control of Cuba. Meanwhile, Pitt’s children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, are on an investigation of their own, chasing an Aztec stone that may reveal the whereabouts of a vast historical Aztec treasure. The problem is, that stone was believed to have been destroyed on the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which brings them both to Cuba as well—and squarely into harm’s way. The three of them have been in desperate situations before . . . but perhaps never quite as dire as the one facing them now.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:40 -0400)

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