In 15th century, a fierce battle in sea forces Spanish inquisitor’s galleys to abandon the search of one Basque leader and the relics he possess. Years later in 1935 a secret German air ship Nietzsche flies to North Pole and stops on the way to help a lone ship, never to be seen again. In the present, an environmentalist organization is out to make a point against whale killing in Faroe Islands when they cause the sinking of a Danish cruiser. Kurt Austin leader of NUMA’s Special Assignments, intervenes to rescue the trapped men. He stumbles into a conspiracy by a large fishing organization to monopolize their trade by genetic engineering. To prevent them from destroying the entire sea life and confront their mysterious Eskimo leader, Kurt has to first find the connection between Basque relics and the lost German air ship.
I had read two books by Cussler before. One was Arctic Drift and other was a Dirk Pitt novel, the name of which I forgot. It involves Atlantis, that much I recall. I was not mighty impressed by any of them. They were sufficient for the thrills. When I picked up the novel White Death (fourth book in NUMA Files series) coauthored by Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos, my expectation was a forgettable, fast pace read. The book was just that and I don’t mean it in a bad way. It sustains your interest and at the same time doesn’t tie you emotionally with any of the proceedings. It is a formula driven novel that can serve a check sheet for successful escapist novel at the best.
I loved the breakneck pace of the novel. Things happen one after another and Cussler and his partner take the readers effortlessly to the climax without boring them or overbearing them in any point of the narration. The characters are likable, even the minor ones, who appears just ones or twice and mostly die gruesome deaths. The technology part thankfully, is not dealt in a textbook kind of way. In-fact nothing much technical is revealed to the reader. We are made to just assume that the futuristic things told in this novel, genetic engineering of salmons or deep water suits are possible. But that also does not prevent you from enjoying this made- in – an- assembly line thriller.
One issue I really had was the antagonist. He was supposed to be a ruthless, mysterious guy, whose goal is world domination. I felt the character lacked the chilling effect that Super villains should give the reader. If you have spare time and don’t want to bother your brain too much, go for this one. It's a good escapist novel that gives the right amount of thrills.