Clive Cusslers Serpent Essay, Research Paper
Clive Cussler s SerpentCharacters: Kurt Austin- The leader of a courageous NUMA exploration team and the main character of the book Joe Zavala- Kurt s best friend and side-kick, he is always there to back up Kurt Nina Kirov- A beautiful marine archaeologist rescued by Kurt Austin from the terrorists Don Halcon- The evil Texas industrialist who is trying to create a Spanish uprise in the western US. Serpent stars the heroes, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala, who are members of the NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) exploration team. The story starts off on the deck of the Andrea Doria, an Italian luxury liner and the queen of the Italian fleet. Inside the ships cargo hold is a stone that holds the secret to murders of archaeologists forty-some years in the future. All is quiet on the decks of the Doria until it is rammed by another boat, the Stockholm. After it is rammed, a young waiter onboard the ship Doria, named Angelo Donatelli, is asked by a friend to find a car jack to help pry free his wife, who was trapped on the ship. While down in the cargo hold looking for the car jack, Donatelli sees an armed group of murderers kill a group of guards guarding an armored truck. The same armored truck that contains the stone. The bodies of the guards are shoved into the armored car and the car is shut. The car and the gruesome murders are forgotten about as the ship hits the bottom of the icy sea off Nantucket.Forty-some years later on the Moroccon coast, Dr. Nina Kirov discovers a Mayan artifact dating from the Pre-Columbian era off the coast of Morocco. This artifact gives evidence that there was contact between Central and Southern America and Europe before Columbus. She made sketches of her findings and loaded them into her personal file at a university. She visits the site one more time and comes back to find her archaeological team slaughtered and her camp burned. Nina Kirov is soon discovered by the armed murderers and is chased until she is rescued by Kurt Austin, who happened to be nearby studying marine life.The killings can be traced back to a mysterious organization called Time-Quest.Time-Quest s stated business is to give civilians an opportunity to dig with archaeologists at archaeological digs. Its real intention however, is much darker. It is to prevent anyone from discovering that Spain was not the first country on the new world scene and that culture Spain had claimed to discover had been imported from all over the world. Time Quest s leader, Francisco Halcon, ultimately wants to create a revolution in the Southern U.S. and Central America to reclaim the Western U.S. as Latin America territory.For Halcon to do this, he needs arms and money. He needs to find a treasure of which is an unspeakable value. The treasure is located by using directions inscribed on the stone in the Andrea Doria s cargo hold. The treasure is located somewhere in Central America. If people knew that the inhabitants of Central America were actually of many different races, then when the treasure was found, there would be a worldwide dispute as to who owned it. If this were to happen, Halcon would not be able to obtain the treasure and would not have enough money to outfit his army with arms. It is this reason why Dr. Kirov s expedition and others like it were murdered when they found evidence there was contact between Central America and the rest of the world before Columbus.As Austin and Zavala realize what Halcon is up to and what he is after, they race to the Andrea Doria. Working with NUMA Austin and Zavala set up an attempt to retrieve the stone. Diving deep into the sea off Nantucket, they make their way into the Andrea Doria s cargo hold. They find the car held fast to the wall by cables and break the door open. Inside is not only the stone but an immense amount of treasure. They attach the stone to cables and floatation buoys and float it out of the Doria. But they are not alone. Six armed men came into the hold ready to take the stone at all costs, and a furious underwater battle unfolded. Austin used his intelligence to devise a scheme to eliminate two of the attackers. By using the temptation of the jewels set in plain view outside the car, Austin lured both of the divers into the car’s compartment. Than he cut the cable and sent the car (which was hanging because of the way the ship was lying) tumbling into the darkness of the cargo hold. Zavala took care of the other diver by jamming the pair of cable cutters into the thruster of the divers suit. Using the tumbling divers weapon, Austin shot the one of the three remain divers. The other two divers escaped.Having obtained the directions to the treasure, Austin headed off to a Mayan temple where the treasure was located. The temple was located at an intersect in a river where a dam was placed to flood and drain the entire temple. Austin placed explosives on the dam to blow it up after he confirmed the treasure was inside the temple. This was to flood the temple to prevent Halcon from getting the treasure. When Austin got inside the temple, he was followed suit by Halcon. The battle here was not as dramatic as the battle in the Andrea Doria. Halcon held both Austin and Zavala at gunpoint while Austin tried to stall for time. Austin then blew the dam and escaped during the commotion of the explosion and rushing water. Having buried the treasure and the leader of the Spanish revolution with it, Austin and Zavala saved the Western United States from bloodshed and tyranny from Francisco Halcon.While I am a devoted Cussler reader, I tend to be devoted to the original characters, Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino. I enjoyed the first book of this new series and I did kind of enjoy the cameo shot by Dirk and Al. I thought the plot was excellent and well written with twists and turns leading you all over the place. Since the book was written with a co-author, I did notice a slight difference in the writing. The characters seemed too much like Dirk and Al and I thought the plot was too similar to one of Cussler s earlier works, Treasure. All in all, though, I thought Serpent was a very good book.