A Book Spy Review: ‘The Rising Sea’ by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown


The Rising Sea.jpgFollowing Nighthawk (2017), Kurt Austin and the National Underwater and Marine Agency return for their 15th go-around in the latest thriller from Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. 

Sea levels are rising — everyone knows that. The question is, why? Could it all simply be attributed to global warming and the melting glaciers, or is there another, far more sinister reason behind the rapidly rising water levels? That’s what Kurt Austin sets out to find, though the answer he uncovers is far more shocking than anything he expected. 

Austin and his NUMA team are tasked with studying various glaciers to figure out why they’re melting so quickly. After thoroughly investigating things, Austin is confident that the numbers he’s crunched point to something other than global warming, which leads to him expanding his search. What he discovers is that the Chinese government is funding an operation off the East China Sea to mine for a precious metal called ‘golden adamant’, a material unlike anything else known to mankind. Essentially, the metal has certain indestructible properties, almost like vibranium, the fictional metal made popular in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (most notably in the newly released movie Black Panther). 

Apparently, the process of obtaining the golden adamant causes minerals deep below to release additional water — which is raising the seal level considerably. That, however, is the least of Austin’s problems, as he and the NUMA squad try desperately to stop the Chinese government. Meanwhile, an assassin comes after them, creating a major showdown in the book’s climax. . . which isn’t very probable, but still pretty fun anyhow. 

Clive Cussler’s universe continues to thrive, and the NUMA Files series has been one of his better franchises — though readers still seem to treasure those new Dirk Pitt novels every two years (Celtic Empire is due out later this year), which Cussler co-authors with his son, just a touch more. There’s also a new Fargo book out in May, The Gray Ghost, co-written by Robin Burcell, though Isaac Bell (last seen in The Cutthroat) is notably absent in 2018.

By now, readers basically know what to expect with one of Cussler’s thrillers: plenty of action, scientific research, a couple of twists, and a whole lot of suspense written into a fast-moving, though unlikely, plot. Cussler doesn’t reinvent the wheel with The Rising Sea, but let’s be honest, he didn’t need to. While his latest is similar to other books in the series, his legion of fans will no doubt enjoy following Kurt Austin and company on their latest adventure. 

Book Details

Author: Clive Cussler & Graham Brown
Series: NUMA Files #15
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0735215537
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.5/10



Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck is the editor-in-chief of The Real Book Spy, and one of the thriller genre’s most well-recognized critics. He currently lives in southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children. For more information, make sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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