Book Review: Clive Cussler & Graham Brown’s Zero Hour

Posted June 21, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Clive Cussler & Graham Brown’s Zero Hour

Zero Hour


Clive Cussler, Graham Brown

action & adventure, thriller that was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on May 28, 2013 and has 390 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Crescent Dawn, The Jungle, Kingdom, Devil's Gate, The Storm, The Tombs, Poseidon's Arrow, The Mayan Secrets, Mirage, Ghost Ship, The Eye of Heaven, Piranha, The Emperor's Revenge, Pirate, Odessa Sea, Havana Storm, Nighthawk, The Romanov Ransom, Typhoon Fury

Eleventh in the NUMA Files action thriller series revolving around Kurt Austin and Hayley Anderson.

My Take

Almost the usual Cussler adventure. Yeah, almost, the earlier novels have a greater sense of action, tension, and drama. I don’t know if it’s a lack in the writing or if the writing is leaving me ambivalent about the drama because Kurt Austin always saves the day, so I’m not worried. Sure, it’s fun, and I enjoy reading it, but my heart doesn’t race. The great train hold-up was exciting as I was curious as to how Kurt and Joe would escape the bad guys; the sinking of the Orion had almost no excitement about it, no drama, almost no worry from his friends. Oh, the words were here, but there wasn’t any heart to it. The rescue and turnabout by the Rama, their invasion of Heard Island, and the rescue there were more exciting, but only in comparison to the earlier events.

Not the drama and tension I was expecting anyway. It’s still a great adventure with diving deep in the middle of the Great Australian bugger-all, a train escape, sunken ships, marooned on an island, capture and torture…you know, the usual. What the bad guys did to the Pacific Voyager is pretty amazing.

I loved Bradshaw’s comment about just needing to see the highlights of Austin’s career…! Then there’s the NSA not wanting to share their toys — love to see them getting hacked.

I can see the Japan incident as a reason for Thero believing he’s entitled to a revenge, but Cussler/Brown are rather brief about all the incidents that build up to Thero’s reasons.

Hmmm, is there a future with Hayley Anderson…?

The Story

After Bradshaw brushes him off, Kurt dives in on his own. Literally. It’s a good thing as the bad guys are about to scuttle the station and kill Hayley. Meanwhile, Joe is is busy generating enough power to call in a rescue.

The Characters

Kurt Austin is experienced in underwater salvage and is the Director of Special Projects for the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). He always partners up with Joe Zavala, NUMA’s mechanical engineering specialist.

Paul and Trout Gamay are oceanographers with NUMA, testing the Gemini‘s new and improved ability to scan the seafloor before they’re called into action.

Hayley Anderson is a theoretical physicist at the University of Sydney who has particular experience with this threatening science. She’s terrified of flying.

Cecil Bradshaw is with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Wiggins is one of his men.

Dirk Pitt is the director for NUMA. Hiram Yaeger is NUMA’s resident computer genius, and he’s upgrading his computers again. I miss the hologram who used to interact with him. Bernadette Conry is a ten-year veteran with NUMA and oversees communications. Captain Winslow helms the Orion. James Sandecker is still vice-president of the U.S.; Jim Culver is the pissy head of the NSA. “Commander Matilda Wallaby” prepares a show of force.

Maximilian Thero is a brilliant and whacko nuclear engineer and a self-taught physicist. George is Thero’s more kindly son and the “chief designer of the latest version of Thero’s system. Since events in Japan and his daughter, Tessa‘s, death, he’s gone off the deep end. Janko Minkosovic is Captain of the Guard for Thero. A man with no honor. Sebastian Panos is a Cypriot engineer caught in an underwater nightmare. Patrick Devlin turns to alcohol after the storm sank the Pacific Voyager. Masinga is one of the mineworkers, and he has been underground a very long time.

Anton Gregorovich is a bear of an assassin paid by Dmitry Yevchenko, a.k.a., the Siberian Butcher, a Russian billionaire. He’s irritated with Gregorovich’s lack of follow-through. Gregorovich heads out with a mixed crew aboard the MV Rama. Victor Kirov, a GRU man, answers to someone else.

The Prologue – 1906
Brigadier General Hal Cortland, who is in charge of special procurements, is skeptical about Dr. Daniel Watterson‘s claims.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a blast of complements with the blue waters, sky, and shadows on the Sydney Opera House just as a speedboat and a helicopter explode in a burst of oranges.

The title reflects the countdown to Zero Hour provided by the bad guys.


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