Book Review: Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

Posted January 20, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Book Review: Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Odessa Sea by Dirk Cussler
Genres: Action, Thriller
Published by Random House on November 15, 2016
Pages: 742
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Havana Storm

Twenty-fourth in the Dirk Pitt action thriller series and revolving around Dirk, the director of NUMA, an oceanographic research organization.

My Take

There’s plenty of action what with all the diving the Pitts and Giordano do looking for shipwrecks (of all kinds), the hijackings, the terrorist acts that make use of the seas, chase scenes that are mostly on the water with the occasional step onto shore (or boat!). And it’s certainly thrilling with all the planned bombings of cities throughout the world. But it’s lacking the tension.

It’s also too easy that Dirk and Al keep showing up, johnny-on-the-spot, with good triumphing over evil…although evil can live to play again. Ah, well, that’s just how the world works. There will always be good and evil with men who don’t care who they kill. I would have been more sympathetic with Martin’s aims if he’d been more selective.

The Cusslers try for suspense by withholding Martin’s obsession with his “familiar metallic object” and his sadness. There’s the red herring about Summer’s safe. While Cussler makes his signature appearance during the chase scene on the Thames. Oh well.

I’m going with third-person omniscient as the point-of-view in Odessa Sea, partly due to the distance the Cusslers have introduced into the story, and partly because we do get occasional thoughts and feelings from more than one character.

I did enjoy being taken back in time as the Constellation fired off her cannons. As for the “rising up out of the seas astride that bomb”? L-O-L.

I suspect the Cusslers were in a hurry or weren’t too concerned with Ana making any sense. For the position she holds, I’d’ve expected her to be smarter in her approaches to the bad guys.

And such a trick that gets played on them, *more laughter*.

The Story

A desperate attempt in 1917 to preserve the wealth and power of the Romanov Empire. A Cold War bomber lost with a deadly cargo. Mysterious deaths on the Black Sea linked to modern-day smugglers of nuclear materials.

At the center of it all is Dirk Pitt and his team from NUMA. As the danger escalates, there’s only one man who can avert catastrophe. From London to Washington, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, the action never stops, as Pitt races to prevent the next global war.

The Characters

July 2017
Dirk Pitt is the director of NUMA. Al Giordino is Dirk’s partner in action and excellent with engineering and mechanicals. Loren, a congresswoman from Colorado, is Dirk’s wife.

The National Underwater and Marine Agency,
…a.k.a., NUMA, has a good reputation all around the world and cooperates with archeologists, scientists, law enforcement, and governments. Hiram Yaeger is the pony-tailed hippie in charge of IT; he designed and programmed Max, his holographic computer interface. Rudi Gunn is the deputy director.

Summer and Dirk, Jr., Pitt are twins and Dirk, Sr.’s children and just as fascinated with marine engineering and oceanography as their father. They’re surveying glaciers off the coast of Norway aboard the Odin, a NUMA research ship. Jack Dahlgren is an underwater technology specialist. Captain Littleton is in command. Bill Stenseth is the captain of the Macedonia, a NUMA research vessel on the Black Sea. Chavez is the third officer. The Iberia is commandeered by Dirk and Summer in Greece. Dr. Georgi Dimitov, the Bulgarian Minister of Culture archeologist, hopes to find the Fethiye, one of the sultan’s personal vessels lost in 1770.

Admiral James Sandecker had started up NUMA, but is now vice-president of the U.S. Jimenez is director of Homeland Security. Wayne Valero is the captain of the USS Constellation, a pre-Civil War sloop. The rest of the crew includes Vinson, Gwinn, Campbell, and Yates. Brian Kennedy is an oysterman with the Lorrraine, a skipjack.

Law enforcement and military
Ana Belova is an impetuous special investigator with Europol, a law enforcement agency for the European Union. Lieutenant Petar Palin is her partner from the Bulgarian Organized Crime Directorate, a Bulgarian lawman with a taste for sweets. Lieutenant Dukova is with the police in the port city of Burgas. The various U.S. Navy vessels that help out include the Aegis-class destroyer Truxton with Cmdr Deborah Kenfield, the XO, and the USS Newport News, a Los Angeles-class attack sub.

St. Julien Perlmutter is a renowned historian (and gourmand) who specializes in maritime history. He’s also a friend of the Pitts. He likes Le Gavroche when he’s in London. “James“, a.k.a., Ravi, is his chauffeur. Dr. Charles Trehorne is a professor of nautical archeology at Oxford. Rosella is his wife. Bainbridge is a London banker at the Bank of England. Edith works at the National Archives in the Foreign Service Records section. Dr. Steven Miller is a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon. The Sir Francis Drake is a tourist boat on the Thames. Terrence is a passenger aboard and a photographer.

Major Cecil Hawker, Royal Gibraltar Regiment, is an expert on wartime fortifications on the Rock. The Anglo-Egyptian Bank has been in business since 1864. Finlay is the bank manager. Miss Oswald is the head teller. Alexander Vokokov is with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Crimean Star is captained by a drunk and was chartered by Nemco Holdings with ties to the Russian Mafia.

The Besso (soon to be the Nevena) is a salvage vessel captained by Valentin Mankedo, a longtime enthusiast for diving for scrap and treasure in the Black Sea. He owns Thracia Salvage Company. Anton and Mikel work for him. Irmak runs a produce company. Ilya Vasko, Mankedo’s partner, charters a tugboat, the Lauren Belle.

General Zakharin with the Russian Air Force has been getting richer. Colonel Arseny Markovich is in Kiev, commander of the 24th Territorial Battalion, a pro-government paramilitary force in Ukraine. President Vashenko of Russia shows up for a demonstration. Maxim Federov is the GRU’s foreign intelligence field director.

Viktor Mansfield” is not his real name, and he’s a James Bond-type field agent for the Russians whose cover is as a wealthy Austrian playboy with possibly royal blood. An ex-Navy commando trained in underwater demolitions, he doesn’t care who he kills. The Tavda is a research vessel and her GRU Spetsnaz special forces include Sergei. Martina and Ivan are agents who team up with Mansfield.

Captain Vladimir Popov commands the Krivak-class missile frigate Ladny and is eager to attack. The Novorossiysk is their competition in the war games.

Martin Hendriks, a Dutch industrialist, sold his aviation company. Gerard is the assistant that Cussler teases us with. Rose is his housekeeper in Bermuda.

Josef is one of the team that ran the Turkish border crossing.

1917, Black Sea
Captain Vadim Rostov commands the Russian destroyer Kerch. The Gnevny had to turn back. Admiral Kolchak is commander of the Imperial Navy in Russia.

Sir Leigh Hunt was a British Special Envoy to Russia and Tsar Nicholas II. He boarded the Canterbury to return to London. Count Benckendorff was the Russian ambassador to England. Lloyd George was the prime minister. Captain L. Marsh commanded the HMS Sentinel.

The Petrograd Treaty was signed February 20, 1917.

1955, Black Sea
Captain Dimitri Sarkhov is the pilot of the Tupolev Tu-4; Ivan Medev is the copilot. Vasily is the bombardier; Fodorsky is the navigator. Sergeant Alexander Krayevski was with the 57th Bomber Division.

The Cover and Title

The cover is destructive with that Russian bomber crashing into the ocean, one engine on fire, lightning sparking in the dark blue-green skies. One author’s name is large in white with an orange outline while his son’s name is all in white below it. The title is the reverse at the bottom: in orange with a white outline. The series information is below the title. And in white.

The title is where most of the action takes place, on the Odessa Sea.

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4 responses to “Book Review: Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

  1. oh yay!!! I have been really curious about this one. I fell in love with Dirk Pitt and Al years ago with the beginning of the series but haven’t read the latest few releases. I do like a story that has plenty of action though.

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