Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Series #17)

Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Series #17)

by Clive Cussler


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Long hailed as the grand master of adventure fiction, Clive Cussler has continued to astound with the intricate plotting and astonishing set pieces of his novels. Now, with a surprising twist, he gives us his most audacious work yet.

In the final pages of Valhalla Rising, Dirk Pitt discovered, to his shock, that he had two grown children he had never known-twenty-three-year-old fraternal twins born to a woman he thought had died in an underwater earthquake. Both have inherited his love of the sea: the girl, Summer, is a marine biologist; the boy, himself named Dirk, is a marine engineer. And now they are about to help their father in the adventure of a lifetime.

There is a brown tide infesting the ocean off the shore of Nicaragua. The twins are working in a NUMA(r) underwater enclosure, trying to determine its origin, when two startling things happen: Summer discovers an artifact, something strange and beautiful and ancient; and the worst storm in years boils up out of the...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399150807
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 11/24/2003
Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #17
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.53(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Clive Cussler is the author or coauthor of over fifty previous books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt®, NUMA® Files, Oregon® Files, Isaac Bell, and Sam and Remi Fargo. His nonfiction works include Built for AdventureThe Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, and Built to Thrill:More Classic Automobiles from Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, plus The Sea Hunters and The Sea Hunters II; these describe the true adventures of the real NUMA, which, led by Cussler, searches for lost ships of historic significance. With his crew of volunteers, Cussler has discovered more than sixty ships, including the long-lost Confederate ship Hunley. He lives in Colorado and Arizona.


Phoenix, Arizona

Date of Birth:

July 15, 1931

Place of Birth:

Aurora, Illinois


Pasadena City College; Ph.D., Maritime College, State University of New York, 1997

Read an Excerpt

August 15, 2006

Dr. Heidi Lisherness was about to meet her husband for a night out on the town when she took one last cursory glance at the latest imagery collected by a Super Rapid Scan Operations satellite. A full-figured lady with silver-gray hair pulled back in a bun, Heidi sat at her desk in green shorts and matching top as a measure of comfort against the heat and humidity of Florida in August.

She came within a hair of simply shutting down her computer until the following morning. But there was an indiscernible something about the last image that came into her computer from the satellite over the Atlantic Ocean southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. She sat down and gazed more intently into the screen of her monitor.

To the untrained eye the picture on the screen simply took on the appearance of a few innocent clouds drifting over an azure blue sea. Heidi saw a view more menacing. She compared the image with one taken only two hours earlier. The mass of cumulus clouds had increased in bulk more rapidly than any spawning storm she could remember in her eighteen years monitoring and forecasting tropical hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean with the National Underwater and Marine Agency Hurricane Center. She began enlarging the two images of the infant storm formation.

Her husband, Harley, a jolly-looking man with a walrus mustache, bald head and wearing rimless glasses, stepped into her office with an impatient look on his face. Harley was also a meteorologist. But he worked for the National Weather Service as an analyst on climatological data that was issued as weather advisories for commercial and private aircraft, boats and ships at sea. "What's keeping you?" he said, pointing impatiently at his watch. "I have reservations at the Crab Pot."

Without looking up, she motioned at the two side-by-side images on her computer. "These were taken two hours apart. Tell me what you see."

Harley examined them for a long moment. Then his brow furrowed and he repositioned his glasses before leaning closer for a more in-depth look. Finally, he looked at his wife and nodded. "One hell of a fast buildup."

"Too fast," said Heidi. "If it continues at the same rate, God only knows how huge a storm it will brew."

"You never know," said Harley thoughtfully. "She might come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It's happened."

"True, but most storms take days, sometimes weeks, to build to this strength. This has mushroomed within hours."

"Too early to predict her direction or where she'll peak and do the most damage."

"I have a dire feeling this one will be unpredictable."

Harley smiled. "You will keep me informed as she builds?"

"The National Weather Service will be the first to know," she said, lightly slapping him on the arm.

"Thought of a name for your new friend yet?"

"If she becomes as nasty as I think she might, I'll call her Lizzie, after the ax murderess Lizzie Borden."

"A bit early in the season for a name beginning with L but it sounds fitting." Harley handed his wife her purse. "Time enough tomorrow to see what develops. I'm starved. Let's go eat some crab."

Heidi dutifully followed her husband from her office, switching off the light and closing the door. But the growing apprehension did not diminish as she slid into the seat of their car. Her mind wasn't on food. It dwelled on what she feared was a hurricane in the making that might very well reach horrendous proportions. A hurricane is a hurricane by any other name in the Atlantic Ocean. But not in the Pacific, where it is called a typhoon, nor the Indian, where it is known as a cyclone. A hurricane is the most horrendous force of nature, often exceeding the havoc caused by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, creating destruction over a far larger territory.

Like the birth of a human or animal, a hurricane requires an array of related circumstances. First, the tropical waters off the west coast of Africa are heated, preferably with temperatures exceeding eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Then, bake the water with the sun, causing vast amounts to evaporate into the atmosphere. This moisture rises into cooler air and condenses into masses of cumulus clouds while giving birth to wide-ranging rain and thunderstorms. This combination provides the heat that fuels the growing tempest and transforms it from infancy to puberty.

Now stir in spiraling air that whips around at speeds up to thirty-eight miles an hour, or thirty-three knots. These growing winds cause the surface air pressure to drop. The lower the drop the more intense the wind circulation as it whirls around in an ever-faster momentum until it forms a vortex. Feeding on the ingredients, the system, as it is called by meteorologists, has created an explosive centrifugal force that spins a solid wall of wind and rain around the eye that is amazingly calm. Inside the eye, the sun shines, the sea lies relatively calm and the only sign of the horrendous energy are the surrounding white frenzied walls reaching fifty thousand feet into the sky.

Until now, the system has been called a tropical depression, but once the winds hit 74 miles an hour it becomes a full-fledged hurricane. Then, depending on the wind velocities it puts out, it is given a scale number. Winds between 74 and 95 miles an hour is a Category 1 and considered minimal. Category 2 is moderate with winds up to 110. Category 3 blows from 111 to 130 and is listed as extensive. Winds up to 155 are extreme, as was Hurricane Hugo that eliminated most of the beach houses north of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1989. And finally, the granddaddy of them all, Category 5 with winds 155-plus. The last is labeled catastrophic, as was Hurricane Camille, which struck Louisiana and Mississippi in 1969. Camille left 256 dead in her wake, a drop in the bucket as compared to the 8,000 who perished in the great hurricane of 1900 that laid complete waste to Galveston, Texas. In terms of sheer numbers, the record is held by the 1970 tropical cyclone that stormed ashore in Bangladesh and left nearly half a million dead.

In terms of damage, the great hurricane of 1926 that devastated Southeast Florida and Alabama left a bill totaling $83 billion, allowing for inflation. Amazingly, only two hundred and forty-three died in that catastrophe.

What no one was counting on, including Heidi Lisherness, was that Hurricane Lizzie had a diabolic mind of her own and her coming fury was about to put the previous recorded Atlantic hurricanes to shame. In a short time, after bulking up on muscle, she would begin her murderous journey toward the Caribbean Sea to wreak chaos and havoc on everything she touched.

--from Trojan Odyssey: A Dirk Pitt Novel by Clive Cussler, copyright © 2003 Clive Cussler, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Series #17) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not the usual page turner that I'm used to in the Dirk Pitt series. It was a bit slow, but still a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book and found it to be boring, not as thoroughly researched, and full of errors - more so than usual. While the plot is OK and enjoyable enough, I still think Inca Gold or even Atlantis Found as better books. This read like a tired version of Dirk Pitt novel - it really didn't 'feel' like a Clive Cussler novel was this written by a ghost writer?? A number of errors that I can remember in particular include: (1) The ship that Jason sailed on was the 'Argo' not the 'Argonaut' the Argonauts were the Greek heroes that sailed with Jason! (2) Fuel Cell technology that uses Nitrogen and then produces water as its output waste??? I mean at least do a little research on fuel cell. The reason why Hydrogen produces water in the first place is because the hydrogen ion produced bonds with oxygen to produce water while generating electricity. How can you produce H2O WITHOUT the H??? (3) How could Summer be the 'Daughter-In-Law' of Loren Smith Pitt?? Shouldn't she be the Step-daughter?? (4) Pumps in the tunnel... why would you need pumps in the tunnel when the water pressure at that depth is enough to induce water flow? He probably meant a turbine which can produce electricity when connected to a generator. Some additional comments: Why does he kept referring to China as 'Red China'? Nobody refers to China as that any longer - even in 2003 when this book was published. He never did place a connection between what Odyssey was doing and Hurricane Lizzie! I suspect he meant to include that in the book, i.e. that the freakish super hurricane was brought about by climactic changes that occurred because of the experimentation or whatever by Odyssey. What happened to that gentleman Dirk and Al met at the tavern on their way to the heavily guarded Fort? Clive made it sound like there was something fishy about this character and never followed up on this thread. And what is the deal with that 'low cost' fuel cell thingymagingy that can produced with 8 parts?? 8 parts?? Are you hallucinating? Even the most rudimentary wind-up toy requires more than 8 parts, let alone an ultra-sophisticated piece of technology. Why didn't he just leave well enough alone. Clive puts too much useless details in this book that made it even less plausible than it already is. I would have been willing to gladly suspend disbelief given the genre of the book, but this calls for beyond even that! It's ok to inject Sci-fi elements into a book of this kind, but please at least do some research and put some semblance of plausibility scientific or otherwise into your stories. Clearly Clive is very well versed in automobiles, marine science, sailing, piloting choppers - but for those that he is not, I wish he'd stop cutting corners just to get a book out in print. Mr. Cussler please do your research or fire your editor!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a Clive Cussler fan for years. After purchasing and reading this book though, I believe it is time for Clive to give up trying to write as he once did. This is a book I wish I had never bought, and I agree with the critical comments others have written. Placing Dirk Pitt in the political arena of directing NUMA is something I just can't see; nor can I see a helicopter fly into the worse hurricaine ever and drop into the eye. Somethings just aren't believeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the transition and how the baton is being passed. Hoping Dirk Cussler delivers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! So much action going on at the same time. But as usual, it all flowed together in Cussler form. Another great read!
SanctiSpiritus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why is the author slowly letting the superstars Dirk and Al fade away???? Dirk's children are very, very boring. Please stick with Dirk & Al. I am sure there are many capers and adventures still left for the two heros. Please, let the children become doctors or architects. :)
pwoodford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Four sentences, pulled at random from different chapters, should tell you all you need to know:"Now as their objective stood before them it became obvious that unlike the others towns and cities they had sacked, this one would not fall without a long and lengthy campaign.""'You ain¿t gonna believe this,' he answered in a Georgia accent, 'but the last dropwindsonde profiling system I released recorded horizontal wind speeds of up to two hundred and twenty miles an hour as it fell through the storm toward the sea.'¿"Exotically designed minibuses with luxurious interiors and painted lavender pulled up to the aircraft to accommodate the passengers.""Seemingly adhered to the marble slab, he could not move nor turn his head."Talk about phoning in your work . . . sweet Jesus! Apparently, best-selling author¿ Clive Cussler can insult readers and desecrate the English language with impunity, so long as he keeps making money for his publisher. Thank God I found this book in a hospital waiting room and didn¿t actually pay for it.
MsBeautiful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Adventure/Thriller, Fun to listen to on tape or cd
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Firstly, open your skull and remove your brain. Cussler's adventures on the high seas have slowly ventured in to unrealistic waters over the years and Trojan Odyssey continues the trend. Readers prepared to suspend their disbelief will be propelled through a tale of Dirk Pitt's daring yarn spun out in Nicaragua as he fights the forces of Spectre - the uber-villain created for this novel.Odyssey opens with a magnificent and thrilling action sequence, in which Pitt's children are the placed in to danger. This opener showcases great narrative skills from Cussler and the rest of the story doesn't live up to it, although it never stops trying. The cast is more diverse too, creating a wider opportunity for adventures, although there are some incredible coincidences to be pushed aside. It's standard adventure territory for the most and is somewhat predictable, although it maintains its sense of fun throughout.
MSWallack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Neither Cussler's best nor his worst. This was, however, the first book to feature the new characters introduced at the end of Valhalla Rising. The book also appears to mark a shift in the course of the Dirk Pitt series. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im guessing you wouldn't fit a size 16 either
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read a Clive Cussler novel about 18 years ago. I took it for what it was, a fun and fast-paced action movie in the form of a book. I suspended my belief long enough to enjoy a bit of a daring hero romp, and that was fine. I looked to this book for more of the same and could not have been more disappointed. Whoever edited this book needs reprimanded, or even fired. Some of the setting description repetition was jarring and the misuse of phrases and continuity errors were quite bad as well. The outright misogyny was DEPLORABLE. I could let it slide that the bad guys were all girls and they were all smokin' hot. I forgave him for making Summer (the action hero's daughter) helpless and a damsel. I even let it go when the hard-core soldier guy makes some comment about how his hard-core shootykillers might need counselling after killing civilian women because they were “knockouts”. But the comment about the German Scientist, held captive with her husband, was unforgivable. Call her matronly, grandmotherly or even say she's well-fed (though that's still rude) but for Dirk Pitt, hero extraordinaire, to look at this woman and comment to himself that she'll never fit a size sixteen dress is so incredibly sexist and rude it makes me sick. When I read that bit I wanted to throw the book from me as hard as possible, preferably at Cussler's face. The comment, like most of the drivel that filled this novel, had absolutely NOTHING to do with the story, plot, situation or ANYTHING relevant. This novel is filled with those. While everybody gets introduced and described in detail, from an old car to a helicopter pilot, none of it ever has anything to do with the damn story. Speaking of which, if Dirk Pitt can land in a helicopter after evading machine-gunning bad guys, hear a pilot (living in Nicaragua for years) say two things and identify the accent as Montanan only to have it be from neighbouring Wyoming, then I'll stand in front of Cussler and eat my goddam hat. What a bag of sh*t. Same on you Cussler. This novel had promise, but you made the entire thing a bag of sh*t.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
XD XD XD "I just died." Seth; "Well...yay."
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Ski-Bray More than 1 year ago
The book begins with a new theory of the Trojan War - that it actually involved the Celts. This was the first 31 pages of the book, and I had a hard time getting through this. I wanted to get on with the book, so after more or less skimming through this introduction, I stuck with it and finally did get to the actual story. I hadn’t read any of Cussler’s other books, and the main character, Dirk Pitt, surprised me at how James Bondish he was. He was pretty much a cross between Bond and Jacques Cousteau. He would, without thought to his own safety or the dangers involved and sometimes without even a plan of action, dive into any dangerous situation – but it always seemed to turn out all right. I also found it confusing that his son was also named Dirk, so we have Dirk and Dirk in the same book. As far as the storyline, it seemed to be several loosely connected stories. There was a floating hotel and a hurricane, which seemed to destroy everything in its path - yet Pitt (the elder) seemed to easily fly in and save the day. Cussler convinced me through most of the book that it was researched well, with the exception that it mentioned several times that hurricanes travel east rather than west. The story seemed to have some interesting speculative science in it. For me the book seemed rather long. I actually read another book when I was somewhere in the middle of Trojan Odyssey, then returned to it and finished it, and I’m a one-book-at-a-time person. The author had a cameo appearance at the end of the book, and I wondered if this was a trademark of his other books. Guess I’ll have to read another Cussler book to find out. If you can suspend disbelief, this is an enjoyable book. I hadn’t read any other Cussler books, and this is the 17th book in the series, so perhaps I would have rated it higher if I had a better understanding of the main characters. I flip-flopped between 3 and 4 stars, but went with 4 simply because I hadn’t read the other 16 Dirk Pitt books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago