Dirk Pitt, indestructible hero of 14 previous Clive Cussler novels and special-projects director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (which is something like the CIA of the ocean depths), makes James Bond look like a tuxedoed, martini-swilling poseur. Pitt has raised the Titanic, escaped massive volcanic eruptions, ducked nuclear explosions, foiled criminal plans for world domination, saved everyone on earth from germ warfare, and mastered the ins and outs of various electronic gizmos and futuristic vehicles while evading every imaginable form of almost certain death. (Of course, he's also wildly successful with brilliant, beautiful women, but in an admirably circumspect, sensitive-guy way.) It stands to reason Pitt's the right man to handle a crisis of millennial proportions.
When mysterious black obsidian skulls and other artifacts of an exceedingly ancient culture begin to turn up in odd places, Pitt jumps in with both feet. It soon becomes dangerously apparent that a powerful, amoral group of fanatics calling itself the Fourth Empire wants the strange discoveries to remain underground. Pitt teams up with a beautiful red-haired expert in ancient languages to decipher the meaning of the artifacts. They were made 10 millennia ago in a then-temperate Antarctica by a seafaring civilization advanced enough to predict its own destruction by a comet impact. Now the Fourth Empire (whose literal and figurative progenitor comes as no surprise) is predicting a similar disaster in only a matter of months, and preparing to take control of the earth.
Cussler's known for hands-on research--his hobbies are the backbone of Pitt's adventures: flying, climbing, diving, racing. The scientific and historical riffs that fill in the background of Atlantis Found are the weakest parts of the book--they're Pitt-less, and they give every discovery in the book away early. But what the heck--Cussler's not the king of suspense, he's the emperor of nonstop action. Atlantis Found bounces along on a good-humored techno-joyride, and for Cussler's legion of fans, that will be more than enough. --Barrie Trinkle [via]