Kurt Austin faces mind-control technology and cutting-edge weaponry in the latest novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series created by the “grand master of adventure” Clive Cussler.
On a NUMA training mission in the Caribbean, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala catch a distress call from a nearby freighter. Leaping into action, they locate a damaged vessel and a dead captain clutching a shotgun.
While searching the freighter for clues, Kurt and Joe are ambushed by crew members who seem terrified and disoriented, almost brainwashed. The trawler they were hauling has vanished, taken—the men say—by baffling lights that circled the ship.
Kurt and Joe deduce that the men are suffering from Havana Syndrome, which deepens the mystery and raises the stakes. Soon, they’re confronting Cuban mercenaries who plan to use magnificent modern airships to hijack a nuclear submarine—culminating in a life-or-death showdown in the skies.
Mind control, 21st-century airships, and mysterious glowing orbs form the core of Brown's protracted latest entry in the late Clive Cussler's NUMA Files series (following 2022's Dark Vector). Off the coast of the Bahamas, the freighter Heron is towing an incapacitated trawler when blinding lights begin to circle the craft and the crew appears to lose their minds, attacking the Heron's captain before leaping overboard into the sea. Thirty miles away, NUMA director Kurt Austin and his sidekick, Joe Zavala, are aboard a training vessel when they receive a mayday signal from the floundering Heron. Kurt and Joe speed to the rescue, and before long, discover that the Ostrum Airship Corporation has been infiltrated by revenge-bent Cuban supervillain Martin Colon, who's using one of the company's helium airships in an attempt to cripple America—but this particular model has far-fetched mind control capabilities that go way beyond the hydrogen-fueled zeppelins of yore. What begins as a standard NUMA adventure grows tiresome quickly as Brown introduces too many secondary villains and fails to sufficiently explain their motives or the mechanics of the book's central threat. In the end, this bloated adventure resembles one of Colon's airships: tough to maneuver and sluggish. Series fans will hope the next entry is a return to form.
Continuing Cussler’s legacy
So glad G Brown co-authored many of his books to really grasp the NUMA characters. This one had me worried for a while some of my favorites weren’t going to make it! Storyline is believable and scary, edge of my seat exciting as well. If you are a Cussler fan, don’t miss this one.