Odessa Sea – Clive Cussler

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Picking up a book by your favourite author is like sliding into a warm bed in winter or that first sip of beer on a hot Australian summer day, its just fantastic. Speaking of which it is 42 ° C   (or 107 F) to you crazy yanks.

Another solid entry into the Dirk Pitt series (its number 24 by the way) It ha been 2 years since out last adventure with these heroes and after the first few pages it feels like no time has passed at all. With the introduction of his long lost kids a few books back they pretty much are in all the books now and its sticks to the same formula, the kids have one plot and Pitt has another but by the end it turns out they are intertwined. This is normally done well but this time each plot for me just felt forced, like they each could have been their own book since the connection wasn’t that strong at all, each could function without the other.

It was however refreshing to see that the crew on the NUMA vessel’s which normally are treated like red shirts from star trek (ie canon fodder) were actually treated like people for once and not just killed off.

I do like how his books always seem to include some real life event in them kind of ties them down to a specific time frame. For this one we deal with the Russian invasion and take over of the Crimea Peninsula
With his multitude of series running and it is no surprise that sometimes things feel “familiar” but that doesn’t deter you from enjoying the ride. Bring on book #25

Our Man in Tehran – Robert Wright

Our Man in Tehran – Robert Wright

Awhile ago I saw the movie Argo which was a movie based on the same incident as this book. The hostage take over of the US Embassy in Iran. I thought the movie was pretty awesome, and I had never heard of this book. I had just enjoyed the movie and moved on.

I was at a book sale and came across this book. As soon as i saw what it was about and my mind went straight back to the movie. Hollywood always adds some flair to its movies based on a real story sometimes the word “based” must be used extremely loosely. So I thought I wonder how different real life would be compared to the movie. Had I not even seen the movie Argo I probably still would of bought this book anyway though my knowledge on the subject matter would of been far more limited.

This book starts before the take over and tells the story of the lead up starting back before the shah fled Iran and before the Ayatollah took over. The story takes us through what was happening in Iran at the time and builds a picture of a country divided by religion and opinion on American influence. This picture starts to take on the all too familiar direction these days of some country and its people not liking US involvement in its internal affairs. Why they have too meddle everywhere I don’t know and that’s probably a conversation for another time. Once we get up to the take over of the embassy which comes as quite a surprise. I really see the take over for what it was. A blatant terrorist attack. Disregarding basic diplomacy status and voiding the hostages human rights is down right unacceptable regardless of the lame reasons they come up with. Nothing but the actions of the individual them-self should affect their own human rights, for example. A murderer or child molester should by these acts void their human rights and just be throw in a hole to die. But an innocent individual from a country you have an issue with should not cop your hate or fear. its just misplaced and misguided.

Reading the actions and risks Ken took were quite unbelievable, seeing how the extraction took place and realizing there was only a slight variation for the movie was good. I was glad they could tell his story almost as accurately as possible. While this book shows an all too familiar issue of religious groups causing trouble it does have a positive side which left me feeling more positive about modern civilization. That positive side being that we still today in our modern world have people who are willing to risk everything for complete strangers. i believe that truly encapsulates the human spirit. I may not be an American but i still feel compelled to say thank you Kenneth D. Taylor, for showing us all what it means to be human