Review: The Rising Sea by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

An alarming rise in the world’s sea levels–much larger than could be accounted for by glacier melt–sends Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, and the rest of the NUMA scientific team rocketing around the globe in search of answers. What they find at the bottom of the East China Sea, however, is even worse than they imagined: a diabolical plan to upset the Pacific balance of power–and in the process displace as many as a billion people.

A rare alloy unlike anything else on earth, a pair of 500-year-old Japanese talismans, an assassin so violent even the Yakuza has disowned him, an audacious technological breakthrough that will become a very personal nightmare for Kurt Austin – from the shark-filled waters of Asia to the high-tech streets of Tokyo to a forbidden secret island, the NUMA team must risk everything to head off the coming catastrophe.

The Rising Sea by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. NUMA Files book 15. Audiobook narrated by Scott Brick. Published by Penguin Audiobooks, March 2018. Run time was 11 hours and 5 mins.

I’m a big fan of this series. It’s had a few misses here or there, but really, what series doesn’t when it gets up to 15 books, you know? It was starting to lose a little steam until thriller author Graham Brown stepped in to co-author the series. He really helped freshening up some of the staleness that was creeping in, and helped give it a more modern thinking feel. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a big fan of Graham’s solo work. >.>

I enjoyed The Rising Sea more then I thought I would. It had a lot of things I really enjoy in it. We have Japan, abandoned island, AI technology, geology, a mysterious hidden alloy in an underwater mine, assassins, ninjas, gangsters, and more! All out crazy schemes, and lots of action coming at you from every angle. It was a ton of fun.

Also, I was really glad to see that the whole main cast of the NUMA team got in on the action in this book. I get it that Kurt and Joe are the main focus, but it always makes me frustrated when Paul and Gamay are sitting around, twiddling their thumbs the whole book, or worse, hardly make an appearance! I was very cool to see them actually used in this book! Especially after the last book, Nighthawk, barely even had them in it.

One more nice thing- Joe got the girl!! Kurt is normally the one who gets all the girls. He is the hawt leader of the team after all. But after soooo many books of him normally getting the girl, it was a very nice change to see that he had no romantic interest this time around. YAY! for Joe getting a chance to have the romance for once. It was adorable watching him make puppy dog eyes at her and both of them geeking out over rebuilding classic cars.

At first, I kinda thought the main bad guy’s plan was kind of too ridiculous, even for an action story. I don’t want to explain because I don’t want to give too much spoiler for it. The bad guy’s plans are ALWAYS kinda ridiculous anyways in these books, but I don’t know. Something about this one was just kinda like “Really? That’s seriously your whole plan?”. I guess my problem with it is that it seemed a little too much with not a lot of pay off, maybe? I don’t know. Whatever the case is, the more I “read”, the more it grew on me. I mean, I think the dude was just… seriously bananas. More so then the normal villains. Normally they are more tainted by revenge OCD, not necessarily totally loony toony. This bad guy did have some revenge on his mind as well, but it also feels like he might have been a little bit more crazy then past NUMA villains? *Shrug* I don’t know. Can’t really put my finger on it. But anyways, yeah, the plot grew on me and I was pretty onboard with everything as the book progressed.

The Rising Sea was another entertaining book in the series. For the most part, you can really count on the NUMA books to be pretty consistent each outing. Not OMFG BEST BOOK EVER!!! but not MEH or below either. A solid action story. It runs for 11 hours on audio, a little over 400 pages in book form, but the story moves along quickly. Never felt slow or repetitive. It was pretty much over before I knew it.

I’m not a huge fan of the narrator, Scott Brick. I’ve listened to him on other audiobooks, and he just doesn’t really do anything for me. He was alright on this one. It felt like he did a better job on The Rising Sea then he did on Nighthawk. Or maybe I was just getting use to him on the NUMA books? Anyways, I wasn’t blown away by his performance, but I didn’t have any serious complaints about it either. He was just kinda there.

This was an entertaining book to add to the NUMA series. If you are a long time fan, you know what you are getting and should enjoy it. If you are new to the series, you’ll probably like it too. You don’t need to read the whole series to just pick this one up and go. I think it would be a great book to take on vacation. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s quick, but you don’t have to really dig deep for any great meaning other then straight up good guys vs. straight up evil bad guys, you know? Your typical fun action story.


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