Title: The Storm
Author: Clive Cussler
Cussler, Clive (2012) and Graham Brown. The Storm. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Date Posted: July 30, 2013
This is a so-so book, which I read mostly on a flight from New York to San Angelo (by way of DFW). I liked the notion of introducing nanobots. It reminded me of Prey by Michael Crichton, also based on nano-robotics. To me, however, Cussler’s writing just isn’t up to his earlier books, and I’d like to know how much Graham Brown contributed to the book. To me the action sequences don’t sync and the writing seemed flat. Cussler, of course, has been writing action-adventure stories about as long as anyone. To date, he’s written more than 50 books with many featuring protagonist Dirk Pitt. Eventually he had to allow them to age, moving Admiral Sandecker up to Vice President, Dirk Pitt to head of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), and building stories around other members of his original cast.
This book features Kurt Austin and his second banana Joe Zavala. Dirk Pitt plays only a secondary role in the novel. Austin and Zavala work for NUMA, and are familiar actors to readers of Cussler’s books. They are called in to investigate a fire-damaged boat floating in the Indian Ocean operated by three NUMA researchers who were conducting research on the changing water temperature. Austin and Zavala can’t find any reason for the ship’s damage or the missing researchers until they take a water sample of sludge. Looking at it under a super microscope, they discover nano-robotic particles, so small hundreds would fit on the head of a pin. The particles are manmade and can be manipulated to eat anything in their path.
The nano particles are the basis of a scheme to control the weather. The goal of the bad guys is to blanket the oceans with nano particles to change the ocean currents influencing the world’s weather. Imagine what controlling the weather would be worth!
The story is packed with action from beginning to end. As always Austin and Zavala are super human in their ability to survive everything thrown at them, but my gracious, some of the escapes are just short of miracles. Cussler does his best to make them believable, but, yeah, if I walk fast enough, I suppose I could walk on water, and I might even be able to escape a torrent of water rushing through a collapsing dam, even though I’m in the water and in the midst of the current.
As I said, the book is an easy read, fun and it held my attention. I was seated next to a man and a woman who found the flight to be the place to carry on an animated conversation that was at near screaming level (I suppose so they could hear each other). In spite of that, I was able to concentrate on the book (with one hand over my ear.) I wanted to know—as unbelievable as it was—what would happen next.
As with other Cussler books, there’s a bit of romance thrown in, too.
All in all, it’s escapist fun and a satisfying way to pass the time.