‘Black Wind’, C. Cussler

I generally find that mentioning the better parts about books is the way forward. Unfortunately, while I really do enjoy Clive Cussler, ‘Black Wind’ wasn’t really for me — and by that I mean that it was weak. Sure, Mr Cussler’s works are generally predictable but they are also usually a lot of fun. I am not certain I would use those terms about ‘Black Wind’. Something gave way here.

I read this one just slightly after ‘Arctic Drift’ and I have to say that there is a very marked difference between the two books. I haven’t yet commented on the other one, but I probably will at some point in the not too distant future. Until that time, I would say that if one is interested in the adventures of Dirk Pitt, it would be probably best to try something other than this book.

I am not quite certain why I found the book this weak, but the plot — a crazed Korean magnate who wants to destroy the American power base while uniting the Koreas under a singular leadership with the occasional use of WMDs — suffered a bit under the pretense that it wanted to be more. Sure, it was just as ridiculous as the average Dirk Pitt novel and I did not mind that — but it could be that this time round the villain was a bit too dark and evil. A bit too unbelievable perhaps…

I am not certain that was the actual problem, but if I had to guess the main setback I think I would go with that option. As an aside, Goodreads shows that ‘Black Wind’ does have one of the lower ratings (though still quite high at 3.77) of Mr Cussler’s books so maybe it is not just me who found this one the weaker link.

I will however point out that the naval knowledge gained by reading this is superb — the Imperial Japanese I-400 submarines are a very important character, and I was quite surprised to learn about their aerial capabilities. Something that people don’t really expect from submarines, I guess…

Overall, I would say that reading this book will be a good addition to the Mr Cussler Reading List, but there is no reason to expect it to be the best of the author you’ll read.

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