A Review of Poseidon’s Arrow, by Clive Cussler

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Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt: You Can’t Go Wrong

When there is time between reading Clive Cussler’s wonderful novels, It seems I forget how much I enjoy them. Every book I have read by Mr Cussler, with or without a co-writer, has been an exciting adventure.  Ever since finding Raise the Titanic so many years ago, it has been true.

Poseidon’s Arrow has reaffirmed that.  From the very beginning the reader is drawn in to the complicated story. As he switches seamlessly from scene to scene—and there are many of them–the pages can’t seem to turn fast enough.  Thrills, close calls, heroic actions, clever dialogue, all come together for a fantastic read.

The Dirk Pitt series will always be my favorite, though I enjoy his spin off series too.  Dirk, and his associate and pal, Al Giordino, are smart, clever, and creative. All are necessary traits to enable them to get out of the predicaments they get in.  They aren’t the usual spy/thriller hero.  Perhaps if add engineer, underwater specialists, divers, to the list.  They are knowledgeable and savvy.  They use their wits and experience  to stay alive, never—or rarely—doubting their abilities to do so.  They simply figure out a way to go forward.

The likeable characters make it easy to grow attached, which always leaves me wanting more.  Thankfully Mr. Cussler and associates seem more than willing to satisfy that need. With five ongoing series, plus several non-fiction books published, there is usually a new book coming soon.  The latest, Piranha, was released in May of 2015.  Co-written by Boyd Morrison, it is the tenth in the Oregon Files Series.

Poseidon’s Arrow, Dirk Pitt’s 22nd Adventure

Published in 2012, Poseidon’s Arrow was co-written with Mr Cussler’s son, Dirk.  (I wonder which Dirk came first).  It’s a very thrilling novel that shows how much control any one nation can maintain when it has the market on a needed fuel or supply.

In this case it is rare earth elements.  While the average person may not have any interest in them, their use in magnets, x-ray, and very high technology raises their importance.

The Story

A revolutionary, ultra fast, small submarine has been invented that will give the United States the ability to control the seas for decades to come.  At sea for a final test, its creator and the men aboard his ship are killed horribly.  The model submarine used for the test is missing.

Days later, Dirk Pitt is diving for fresh lobster, his wife sunning in the boat above.  When she signals him of danger he barely has time to drag her off their boat before it is rammed by a huge vessel that makes no attempt to avoid them.

And so the adventure begins.  Dirk, along with his son, daughter, and N.U.M.A search for the cause, and for the missing prototype.  An FBI agent follows the elements, hoping it will lead her to answers.  Their quest takes them across the globe.  Just as they think they are getting close, danger strikes somewhere else.  Rare earth elements go missing.  Ships and their crews go missing.  The plans for the submarine are stolen out of the hands of the FBI.  So is the heavy motor. Then the  FBI agent is missing too.

Someone has a very effective plan to take control of the submarine and the elements.  The frightening question is why.

What N.U.M.A uncovers could proof disastrous to the United States.

Dirk and Al are once again front and center in the race.  The two of them forge into whatever they come across.  Often that puts them at incredible risk, yet that doesn’t stop them for a second.  This time his son and daughter are also at risk.  Not a wise thing when Dirk is around.  When it reaches the climax, will Dirk be able to stop the plan in time?

Rare Earth Elements

Interesting to read about the Rare earth elements.  In the story, China has the largest supply.  Rare earth elements are required for so much today.  Nearly all technology requires rare earth elements.  If China controls that, it can control lasers, ship propulsion, radar, defense technology.

There was actually a point where China did place an export ban on the minerals in 2010, but it was denied.  Since it is becoming more widely used, it does seem to set up the premise of Poseidon’s Arrow.

It’s another example to me of the control a nation can have over other nations.  In the wrong country,  or the wrong hands, how destructive it could be economically and physically.

Excellent Audio Narration by Scott Brick

Scott Brick narrates most, if not all, of  Clive Cussler’s books. It is easy to understand why.  He has a great voice for Dirk.  For all the other characters too, accents included.  Once you have listened  to a few, it is easy to associate the reader with the character.  Mr. Brick never disappoints.

That can be said for Clive Cussler too.  Even with the variety of co-writers, he (or they) never disappoint. While we all have our own favorites, there hasn’t been one novel of his that I haven’t enjoyed immensely. If you are in the mood for an exciting adventure, be sure to read this one!


Mr. Cussler’s newest release, Piranha, was co-written with author Boyd Morrison.  Released in May of 2015, it is part of the Oregon Series, featuring Juan Cabrillo and his team aboard his ship, the Oregon.  I love this series as well.  Juan is excellent, and his ship, while it may look like a derelict, holds many secrets.

Piranha (Oregon Files, The)


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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1 Comment

  1. Surprisingly I’ve never read any of his novels, though the other half must have them all nearly! Just not got around to it yet. So many books, so little time! I shall have to make up for it… :0)

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