Inca Gold Review
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It’s difficult to know where to begin in explaining this book. It’s so long and involved that it seems to be at least three novels instead of one. It begins in Peru. Two American archaeologist dive into an ancient sacrificial pool and are almost lost—until Dirk Pitt (Special Projects Director for the U.S. National Underwater and Marine Agency, a.k.a. NUMA) and his best friend and willing sidekick Al Giordino come to the rescue. But before everyone’s safe and sound on dry ground, Giordino and the rest of the team are captured, and Pitt finds himself trying to fight a band of hired soldiers and ruthless treasure thieves to rescue them. After escaping, Pitt hears a story about an ancient treasure that was never found, and he decides to uncover it once and for all. But he’s got to act fast, or the same organization of treasure thieves who fought him in Peru will beat him to the treasure.

Inca Gold could have been a great read. Dirk Pitt is an indestructible Indiana Jones kind of character, and the main story of Inca Gold is a very Indiana Jones kind of story. And I like Indiana Jones. But this was no Indiana Jones.

There’s something a bit…snooty about this book. Perhaps it’s the way that Cussler insists on using the metric system (which is always followed, in parentheses, by its English equivalent). And since there are a lot of numbers involved, it just bogs things down a bit. And perhaps I was just a little put off by Cussler’s “cameo” in the book—as a cook who gives Pitt all kinds of helpful information (and, upon leaving the diner, Pitt and his Congresswoman girlfriend, Loren, cleverly discuss what a nice guy he was, and Loren notes how he had an odd name—one that she’s already forgotten). Come on, Clive…isn’t it good enough that your name is in shiny letters on the cover?

My greatest problem with the book, however, was Cussler’s tendency to give too much information. He brings in so many characters and tells so many background stories that it slows the action down and makes the main story itself drag on. Even some of the parts that are supposed to be exciting drag on to the point that they’re not exciting anymore. If the novel had been two or three hundred pages shorter, it would have been more exciting—more Indiana Jones-like—and I probably wouldn’t have had such a difficult time getting through it.

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