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Crescent Dawn: 04/20/13

cover art

Crescent Dawn by Clive and Dirk Cussler is the twenty-first Dirk Pitt novel. Dirk, his son and daughter, and of course the NUMA crew are brought on board to both thwart an international terrorist plot by Turkish anarchists and to recover an extraordinary cargo from a Roman ship.

I've read half of series, roughly every other one, so I've seen how Dirk and friends have evolved and aged as characters. I've also gotten used to formula of these plots. The typical Dirk Pitt adventure goes like this:

  • lengthy flashback showing the treasure being lost (and these prologues seem to be getting longer with each novel)
  • chapters from the villains' points of view to show that they are EVIL GENIUSES
  • Some oceanography stuff with the NUMA crew
  • Dirk and company accidentally run into the bad guys
  • an authorial insert to the rescue
  • Dirk and company plan their attack
  • Villains get what's coming to them
  • Oh hey... let's find that treasure
  • Epilog

When I read these books, I've found it's best to skip the prolog because I like to be surprised both by what and where the treasure is. I also tend to skip the villains' scenes because they tend to be too long and don't really contribute to the adventure / treasure hunting aspects of the novel. In the case of Crescent Dawn, skipping these scenes cut out about one and a half discs of the nine disc set.

Crescent Dawn is set in Istanbul, Jerusalem, and in parts of England, as well as different sites in the Mediterranean sea. This was also the first book I've read where Dirk Jr. and his twin sister, Summer, have such major roles. Basically it gives the plot the opportunity to have Dirk and his helpers in three places at once. I'm not sure, yet, how brother and sister are different except for their names and genders. Frankly, though, I didn't care because I was more focused on the mystery / adventure parts.

Long story, short, Crescent Dawn is what it is. It's very much a typical late in the series Dirk Pitt mystery. If you're a fan of the series, you'll probably like it. If you're not but like adventure-mysteries, you'll find it a decent beach read. Although Dirk Pitt does age over time, the individual books can be read out of order as the mysteries themselves are self-contained.

Recommended by The Turn of the Page

Four stars

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