Title: Dark Watch
Author: Clive Cussler
Cussler, Clive (2005) with Jack DuBrul. Dark Watch. New York: Berkley Books
PS3553.U75 D37 2005
- Cabrillo, Juan (Fictitious character)–Fiction.
- Mercenary troops–Fiction.
- Ship captains–Fiction.
- Slave trade–Fiction.
Date Posted: December 8, 2014
Clive Cussler can spin a great tale. He can. But he doesn’t always succeed. To me his books become more and more produced by a machine than a writer.
I wanted to enjoy Golden Buddha when it first came out, but as another reviewer noted, with Juan Cabrillo and the endless cast of secondary characters that popped up on virtually every single page, I found myself less concerned with where the plot was going, and more on racking my memory for who this person was, and had they been introduced before, or are they brand new? I think any time a novel feels the need to place a directory at the beginning of the book to remind you of who is in the book, and it still doesn’t help, I think you have an idea of where everything is going to end up.
Nevertheless, Cussler is a fun read, and I enjoyed the first two Oregon Files novels more than I initially thought I would, but I must admit they were well below the usual entertainment I have come to expect from the typical Dirk Pitt novels or the NUMA Files stories. On the opposite side, I never heard of DuBrul but it seems he is becoming Cussler’s heir when and if he ever stopped writing full-time. Apparently, Cussler has semi-retired now that his son has taken over the Dirk Pitt series, and Paul Kemprecos does the bulk of the NUMA novels.
I’m glad to see Cussler making a move away from Craig Dirgo as a co-author and adding Du Brul to his stable of incredibly successful tales.
Is Dark Watch the best Oregon Files book to date? Perhaps. From the very first page Du Brul’s influence over this series is evident. As another reviewer noted, “if you want absolute reality, go read Clancy…however, if you are looking to spend several hours in the world of espionage cloaked in a world of tremendous adventure and quite literally dripping with action and quite a bit of humor, this book definitely fills the bill quite nicely.”
The introduction of a cast of thousands has been done away with. Certainly they all still exist, but the need to make every single one a major player in the storyline no longer dilutes the tale. Kudos to Du Brul for making this drastic and absolutely necessary change. It is no longer a Russian novel. One can now concentrate on the here and now and better follow everything going on. Once again, if you are looking for a novel which stretches your intellect or helps you come away feeling better about life in general, you may as well look elsewhere, but I enjoy a fun book now and again, especially one that is written with a great deal of talent.
Dark Watch is most assuredly one of those tales. If you have tried and gave up on the Oregon Files based on the previous two, I think you owe it to yourself to see how Cussler has in fact redeemed himself—or perhaps, see how Jack Du Brul has done it for him. Grand adventure well done.
Begun Reading: September 23, 2014
Date Finished: December 8, 2014