Book Review: The Oracle by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell

Posted September 30, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: The Oracle by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell

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.

The Oracle by Clive Cussler, Robin Burcell
Genres: Action Thriller
on June 11, 2019
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
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, Shadow Tyrants, Sea of Greed, Final Option, Journey of the Pharaohs, Dragon, Marauder

Eleventh in the Sam and Remi Fargo action-adventure thriller series and revolving around a wealthy couple based in La Jolla, California, who hunt for treasure around the world.

My Take

I should think Cussler has enough money that he could stop publishing at these Sam and Remi Fargo books. They’ve been lousy since The Tombs, 4. And I reckon that oughta be a sign for me. Stubborn as I am, it looks like the Fargos are just not going to get better.

So, anyway, The Oracle uses a third person global subjective point-of-view, which means that we’re hearing from a lot of characters. Too bad, so many of them are so lame. As lame as Burcell’s ignoring standard archeological practices and turning the Fargos into overconfident gunslingers who are not paying attention to the many signs around them. I had thought the Fargos were so much smarter and aware when they first started out in this series.

Considering the importance of finding the missing money, it amazes me how much Remi puts off looking into it. What’s with the Fargos’ obliviousness to Amal’s seizures and their unquestioning acceptance of Hank’s lameness and criticism. Why did the Fargos so easily accept that Warren was the bad guy?

Considering how excited archeologists get when they find a pottery shard, I’ve gotta wonder what was with Renee’s reaction to the treasure they do find? With all the precautions most digs take with paper, why aren’t the Fargos taking more care? Why does the dig have two site managers?

Burcell was awkward in setting up the mystery of why Makao is targeting the Fargos. The incident in Jalingo was pretty serious, so why is it that Sam figures it may not be? What is the name of that third Kalu brother?

As for how gung-ho the Fargos are to the threats to themselves and the school…oh. Boy. I hope Nasha’s uncle makes up his mind about whether he stays or goes. Why was it so critical for Sam and Remi to show up after the school’s vehicle is hijacked? What was the deal with the nails?

It is sweet how this school may change Pete and Wendy’s lives. And, of course, I enjoyed that bit of back history relating how Sam and Remi met.

On another positive note, Burcell was good at trailing plenty of red herrings in The Oracle. Too bad they were weeks-old. Weeks and weeks…

The Story

The school is a dream shared by Wendy and Pete, one made possible by their employers’ foundation. It’s too bad the school is running into trouble. And it’s a problem that only leads to more.

As for the embezzlement Sam has discovered? Hmmm…

The Characters

Sam and Remi “Rem-rem” Fargo established the Fargo Foundation. Sam had worked with DARPA and has CIA cross-training; Remi had a master’s that focused on ancient trade routes. Selma Wondrash is their Hungarian-born head researcher…and it’s not the only hat she wears! Professor Lazlo Kemp is another researcher with a specialty in cryptography. He and Selma have a thing. Zoltán is the Fargos’ German shepherd.

Agent Rubin Haywood had been Sam’s partner in close-combat weapons training.

A dig in Bulla Regia, Tunisia, is…
…funded by the Fargo Foundation. Dr Renee “Nay-nay” LaBelle, an archeologist, is one of Remi’s oldest friends from when they’d been roommates at Boston College. Hank is their new site manager while Warren Smith is also a site manager. Grad students working the site include the Spanish José, the Egyptian Osmond, and the seizure-prone Amal whose family has owned the site of the dig for generations.

Yesmine is Amal’s mother, and her family are direct descendants of the original caster of the curse.

Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria, is…
…where the self-sustaining girls’ school is being built with Fargo Foundation money. The Fargos’ assistants, Wendy Corden and Pete Jeffcoat, are overseeing the construction. Yaro and Monifa, a husband-and-wife, are caretakers. The students, so far, include Zara, Tambara, Jol, and Maryam — the Four Musketeers. Nasha would like to be a fifth musketeer. Her uncle, Mr Atiku, brought her to Jalingo to keep her safe.

Okoro Eze is a tea farmer who leased the land to the school. He’s grateful that his daughter, Zara, can attend a school nearby. Gembu is a nearby village.

Jalingo, Taraba State, Nigeria, is…
…six hours from the school. Boko Haram is a terrorist militant group. The Area Boys, a gang of pickpockets and thieves, are led by Makao “Scarface” Oni, who is wanted in Lagos. His boys include Dayo, Jimi, Pili, Den, Deric, Uhrie, and Joe.

The Kalu brothers, who supposedly run Kalu and Sons Furniture Repair, are Kambili, ??, and Bako who have their own gang whose members include Nash Atiku with that big secret; Chuk, who is from the same village as Nash; and, Len.

Cussler shows up to help Amal. Brian Torres is with the US embassy. Sean and Rebecca Longstreet are in the market for antiques. Monsieur Karim is the manager for a gallery where Leila is Karim’s assistant.

Tarek is Makao’s boss and employs Hamida and Ben Ayed, a sniper.

Maiha is…
…where Nasha’s uncle lives.

A.D. 533, Bulla Regia, North Africa
Gelimer is king of the Vandals. Tzazon is his brother and his second-in-command. I think Euric is Gelimer’s third-in-command. Ammatas is the man who murdered King Hilderic, Gelimer’s cousin. Genseric had stolen the scroll 100 years ago.

Belisarius led the Byzantine army.

Early sixth century B.C.
Parmenides was a philosopher and poet, one of whose works, “On Nature“, has only survived as fragments.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a rescue scene from when Remi and the kids are on the run. It’s mountainous territory with a beautiful blue sky where the sun shines on the storm-caused threat of that raging river and the force of the waterfall. The helicopter has landed on a rocky point to rescue the children as Sam rappels down to rescue Remi. An info blurb in black is at the very top with the “selling” author’s name in white with a red outline at the top. Much smaller below that and to the right is the actual author in white. Just above the mist of the plunging waters is the title in red outlined in white. The series information is in black below that.

The title refers to the prophecy cast by The Oracle.

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2 responses to “Book Review: The Oracle by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell

  1. i agree with you about the quality of cussler’s books lately. seems some of my favorite go to authors have changed in some way. is it because someone else is writing the book and their name is attached? I do wonder….

    • That’s what I’m thinking, Sherry. It’s one thing for a well-known author to give a “struggling” author a boost by having them write their stories, but this is ridiculous. She’s the same one who wrote that ghastly The Romanov Ransom. Ugh!

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