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Book Review: Corsair by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul

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Corsair was my first Clive Cussler/Jack Du Brul Oregon Files novel, and I don’t know why I haven’t started reading the series sooner. I was fascinated by the idea of an ultra-secret mini-fighting ship on steroids concept, but I didn’t know if it would be too much like a comic book. But with some willing suspension of disbelief on my part (if an author pulls out all the stops, I can be really generous), I sailed through this one.

As usual with any Cussler novel, this one begins with something happening in the past that relates to what’s going on in the present. In Corsair, it’s a battle with the Barbary Pirates. In fact, it’s the battle with those pirates that ultimately showcased the United States Navy and gave “to the shores of Tripoli” to the United States Marine Corps. I was intrigued enough with the two-hundred year old battle to wish there had been more, and perhaps even a novel at some point.

Instead, the novel switches to full-bore excitement as Juan Cabrillo and the men of the good fighting ship hidden within a freighter, Oregon, manage to pull out a frightening little bit of dirty business that is chockfull of action. Since this was my first voyage aboard Oregon, I was fascinated by all the armament and tech hidden inside the ship. It’s a crafty bit of business and can probably be pulled off with all the construction know-how available these days.

At one point Cabrillo compares sitting at the bridge of his ship to being like sitting at the bridge of the USS Enterprise from the Star Trek shows. And, honestly, it does seem that way. I also thought about the old television show, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and the Flying Sub. But I digress. Still, if all these pleasant childhood memories are evoked, it’s not a bad thing.

As soon as Cabrillo and crew wrap up their current assignment, they get tasked to track down the airplane the Secretary of State, Fiona Katamora, was on which crashed in Libya prior to her arrival to the Middle East peace talks. Add to that, a beautiful archeologist who’s been assigned to track town a missing document from a Barbary Pirate ship that may not have gone entirely MIA, and you’ve got a Clive Cussler ticking clock that eats of the pages in long strides.

I had a blast with this novel and have already picked up The Silent Sea, the next book in the series, and am ready to set sail again. Readers who want real-life situations in their entertainment should check those expectations at the door. Corsair delivers pulpy goodness: over-the-top characters, escapes, shoot-outs, last-minute-saves, and a train chase that has to be read about to believe. This novel is for entertainment purposes only and is written by skilled authors. Great fun.

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