NUMA crew leaders Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala must beat the clock to stop the world’s most dazzling new technological advance from becoming mankind’s last in this action-packed thriller from the #1 New York Times-bestselling grand master of adventure.
When the most advanced aircraft ever designed vanishes over the South Pacific, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are drawn into a deadly contest to locate the fallen machine. Russia and China covet the radical technology, but the United States worries about a darker problem. They know what others don’t–that the X-37 is carrying a dangerous secret, a payload of exotic matter, extracted from the upper reaches of the atmosphere and stored at a temperature near absolute zero. As long as it remains frozen, the cargo is inert, but if it thaws, it will unleash a catastrophe of nearly unthinkable proportions.
From the Galapagos Islands to the jungles of South America to an icy mountain lake many believe to be the birthplace of the Inca, the entire NUMA team will risk everything in an effort to avert disaster…but they may be caught in a race that no one can win.
Nighthawk by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. Book 14 in the NUMA Files series. Audiobook published by Penguin Audio, May 2017. Run time is 11 hours and 5 mins.
I’ll admit it. When this book first came out, and I read the plot blurb, I was kinda like…. Meh. It just didn’t seem as exciting of a premise as the NUMA series usually is. I was happy to be proven wrong! Nighthawk ended up being pretty entertaining, with the action having a great fast paced flow to it the whole time.
There are a lot of characters involved this time around, but it’s not too hard to keep track of everyone. I was kinda worried about that at first, because I really struggle with a large cast. The authors did a nice job handling the Chinese and Russian operatives. A “Hey, no hard feelings, we are all just doing our job” sort of feel between everyone. It was a tense, fun race between the 3 big countries, and you had no idea who was going to get to the Nighthawk first. It was a nice little twist to who the villain really was.
My only really big complaint with the plot is…. where the hell are Paul and Gamay Trout? We see them very little in this book, and it was mostly to be a distraction. That sucked! I would love to see more of them. Joe also had a very small part in this story. Kurt is decent, but it’s the whole team that makes the series so much fun. I know Kurt is the main star and all, but I wish we got to see the others at least a little bit more then how they were used in Nighthawk.
I am not a huge fan of Scott Brick as a narrator. Never have been high on him. His men have only a slight distinction between one another, all the women sound pretty much the same, and accents are few and far between. This is the first NUMA File book I’ve “read” with audio. Aside from my normal complaints (see above) about Brick as a narrator, he just doesn’t really seem to deliver an action adventure type performance here. Everyone seemed very slow and calm all the time. No urgency at all. His slower cadence just doesn’t seem to match up with the faster paced action going on.
All in all, this was a pretty fun NUMA book. I was entertained throughout and it felt like it moved pretty fast. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.