Book Review: Shadow Tyrants by Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison

Posted December 14, 2018 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Shadow Tyrants by Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison

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.

Shadow Tyrants by Clive Cussler, Boyd Morrison
Genres: Action Thriller
on September 11, 2018
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

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Also by this author: The Mayan Secrets, Ghost Ship, The Eye of Heaven, Piranha, The Pharaoh's Secret, The Emperor's Revenge, Pirate, Odessa Sea, Havana Storm, Nighthawk, The Romanov Ransom, Typhoon Fury, The Rising Sea, The Gray Ghost, Sea of Greed, The Oracle, Final Option, Journey of the Pharaohs, Dragon, Marauder

Thirteenth in The Oregon Files action thriller series revolving around the crew of the Oregon.

My Take

Power corrupts and corrupts absolutely, as evidenced by the Nine Unknown whose ancestors had been gifted. It’s sad, and I suppose, inevitable, that people with power begin to think they know best.

The corruption only becomes more obvious after the Nine meet at the Library, as Carlton grins in appreciation. Once he’s escaped.

Using global third-person subjective point-of-view, we’re in the perfect place to get into the heads and emotions of a wide range of people.

Cussler/Morrison are trickier with their villains in this one. One in particular seemed like a decent guy, and I started off rooting for him. Another one, I understood why he was thinking the way he was, but then his later actions definitely cast him as the villain.

And altogether, what were they thinking? Supposedly they’re intelligent men, and they actually think they can control this? Shades of Terminator!??

And in the long run, they’re still selfish idiots who aren’t really considering mankind but their own greed.

There’s plenty of conflict for crew and ship, and Shadow Tyrants is action-packed with the Oregon playing a smaller role.

The Story

An entire group of experts, kidnapped, forced to infiltrate their own databases, to build the world’s first computer that could learn.

Too many centuries of knowledge and power have corrupted the Unknown who think to take all.

It’s up to Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon to stop them before the world descends into chaos.

The Characters

The Oregon is…
…the most fascinating, state-of-the-art ship, a traveling secret ops vessel that works only in America’s interests with too many secret gadgets to mention. I do love that about a ship… Juan Cabrillo, a former CIA operative, is both captain of the ship and Chairman of the Corporation. Max Hanley is the chief engineer — he designed the Oregon — and is president of the Corporation as well as Juan’s best friend and right-hand man. Marion MacDougal “MacD” Lawless had been an Army Ranger and is an experienced hunter and tracker. Eric Stone is the helmsman, a former Navy officer and certified genius who had served in technology development and is now their computer nerd. He and Murph are the sci-fi fans on the crew. Eddie Seng had been a CIA operative as well, and now he’s the director of shore operations. Mark Murphy has several PhDs and is appropriately the ship’s weapons officer since he was a civilian weapons designer before he joined. Dr Julia Huxley is the chief medical officer who has Max on a diet. Kevin Nixon is in charge of the Magic Shop where any kind of disguise, gadget, or uniform can be had. Linda Ross is a Navy veteran and now the Corporation’s vice-president, and she rivals Juan and Eric as the best ship driver. Hali-Kasim is the communications officer who can pull magic out of thin air. The Gundogs are what Max has nicknamed the shore operations team and includes Franklin Lincoln who loves his Harley and is the best sniper in the crew. Raven Malloy, a former MP and dogged investigator who speaks Arabic and Farsi, is the newest member of the team. George “Gomez” Adams is the helicopter and drone pilot. A new toy for Gomez is the HOB. Chuck “Tiny” Gunderson is the ship’s fixed-wing pilot on call. Maurice is the ship’s chief steward. Hey, when ya gots a steward and a chef, even an old ratty tin can like the Oregon dresses up for meals with white linens and real silver.

The Nomad is a deep-water dive submarine. Gator is its smaller sibling.

NUMA is…
…the National Underwater and Marine Agency currently headed up by Dirk Pitt, Sr.

Langston Overholt IV had been Juan’s boss in the CIA and had encouraged Juan to build the Oregon. He’s also the funnel for all the CIA operations that go to Juan.

Schreiver Air Force Base in Colorado Springs finds…
Colonel Barbara Goodman with the department in charge of the Global Positioning System. Theseus is a special GPS feature that can confuse other guidance systems.

Diego Garcia is…
…an island with a US military base. Major Jay Petkunas is a pilot; Captain Hank Larsson is his copilot. Sergeant Joseph Brandt, a communications operator, knows Morse code.

The Nine Unknown are…

…the descendants of the chosen all those centuries ago. Still secret, still adding to those Scrolls of Knowledge, aiming toward the betterment of man. The Library where the Scrolls had once resided is in India.

They plan Colossus, a bio-computer that will write its own code. Dr Chen Min is the chief scientist who has done groundbreaking work in artificial intelligence.

Xavier Carlton has a massive media corporation, Unlimited News International, and is the richest; he inherited the Scroll of propaganda. Natalie Taylor is his personal, lethal, assistant and bodyguard, former British Army Intelligence. Adam Carlton is his ne’er-do-well son. Andreas Ladas and Georgios move cars for Carlton.

Lionel Gupta had inherited the Scroll for alchemy and now heads OreDyne Systems, one of the largest engineering companies in the world. Bondarev is ex-Spetsnaz, a bodyguard who betrays him.

The Arabian Sea
Romir Mallik is an Indian billionaire who inherited the Scroll of Cosmogony and is heavy into the space industry and technology…and the Torkans’ brother-in-law. Yasmin had been his beloved wife, always advocating for children’s health in Third World nations.

Asad Torkan is a saboteur trained by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. Rasul Torkan is his identical twin brother and excels as an assassin. Both men are now in the private sector.

His flight director is Kapoor, a former Indian Air Force officer. Eshan Chandra had worked in his labs, helping to develop the Vajra system.

Indian Army
General Arnav Ghosh is head of the weapons procurement program.

Kiara Jain is a rising Bollywood star. “Cole Randle” will replace her current boy toy, Gautam Puri. Prisha Naidu is Kiara’s frenemy; Samar is her husband.

Sydney, Australia
Jason Wakefield had inherited the Scroll for communication and had built Vedor Telecom, a global phone and networking empire.

Naples, Italy
Moretti Navi is a shipbuilding yard owned by Daniel Saidon who had inherited the Scroll of gravity, and his family built Saidon Heavy Industries.

Melissa Valentine, who inherited the Scroll on the mysteries of light, is the CEO of an internet search firm.

Hans Schultz inherited the Scroll of sociology and is a banker.

Pedro Neves inherited the Scroll on diseases; he now owns the biggest biotech companies in the world.

Boris Volanski inherited the Scroll of physiology, which was the basis for the development of martial arts and now heads a military contracting firm.

Captain Keith Tao commands a cargo ship, the Triton Star, trapped into helping the Goreno whose captain is Eduardo Barbanegra. Franklin is his chief engineer.

Aboard an Airbus 380
Lyla Dhawan pilots planes as a hobby while her career is as the chief technology officer of Singular Solutions, which sells pattern recognition software. David is also a tech guy.

Jhootha Island is…
…a.k.a., Killington Island, is home to a native tribe completely cut off from the modern world and protected by the Indian Navy. The warden is Fyodor Yudin.

The Kingdom of Kalinga, Indian Subcontinent, 267 BC
Emperor Ashoka the Terrible rules the Mauryan Empire and has taken Kalinga. Vit is his younger brother and most trusted advisor. General Kathar is his best military man.

There are nine sacred Scrolls of Knowledge holding the collected intelligence of the best minds in his kingdom, all in the control of the Librarian. Ashoka’s Hell is the prison where his enemies suffer.

Novichok is a Russian version of VX nerve gas.

The Cover and Title

The cover is bright with its blue and green sea angled to emphasize the plane crashing onto the waters, a bright yellow explosion of light around it merges into a deep royal sky above it. An info blurb at the top is in white with the author’s name in a bright yellow outlined in white below it, taking up a third of the top. Tiny, in a deep blue, is the co-author just to the left next to the plane’s tail. The title is in white outlined in orange, and takes up the bottom third with both large sets framing that plane in between. At the very bottom is the series information in white.

The title refers to the absolute power the Nine will have, the Shadow Tyrants, who can manipulate anything through Colossus.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Shadow Tyrants by Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison

  1. It is SO not you. Well, unless it’s me too and no one else. Like you, I loved the Cussler books, but I think he has someone else writing them, and he simply puts his name at the top. And they’re just not up to his level. I gotta wonder if he cares.

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