Book Review: Wrath of Poseidon by Clive Cussler & Robin Burcell

Title: Wrath of Poseidon

Author: Clive Cussler & Robin Burcell

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Publication Date: May 26 2020

Genres: Adventure

Shelves: Female-fronted, Female-authored

Wrath of Poseidon is not at all your typical Clive Cussler story, and while that had me a little unsettled early on, wondering where it was headed and how long it would take to get there, I quite enjoyed the romantic adventure that he and Robin Burcell crafted.

Aside from the almost unnecessary framing device of the first and last few chapters, this is an origin story for Sam and Remi Fargo. We get to see how they first met, how they fell in love, and how two such opposite people came to be tied up in the same kind of danger. In fact, much of their story reads like a romance novel, complete with flirting, first kisses, impulsive trips, and declarations of love. They've always been a fun couple to read about, genuinely affectionate with one another, but getting so wrapped up in that early romance wasn't something I expected.

It takes a while before this finds its way back to a more traditional Cussler novel, full of death and treasure, but it's an interesting story with additional facets revealed as the book goes on. What seems so cut-and-dry, so black-and-white, becomes rather complex as the family hierarchy of crime is revealed and we explore the balance between protecting a family member versus a family legacy. It's a messed up family that Sam and Remi are facing here, and not knowing the whole story results in them being placed in danger more often than usual. As for the treasure hunt that ties this whole novel together, it appears to be a simple one with clear clues and a known history, but there are plenty of red herrings, wrong turns, and betrayals before we get answers. The search takes us underground, with some truly claustrophobic scenes, and underwater, with some breathtaking moments of exploration and discovery.

Long-time fans of the series (this is 12th Fargo adventure, and the 5th co-written by Burcell) will find a lot to enjoy here in terms of characters and background. Getting to meet a younger Sam and a more innocent Remi, watching their first clash of worlds and experiences, and witnessing how their love overcame seemingly incompatible lifestyles has a definite charm to it. I feel like we know them better after this book, and certainly understand how and why they've remained so committed to one another. We also learn how Sam first met Selma, getting to see a more professional side of that research relationship while being reminded she's always been one to surprise the Fargos with her skills.

I'll admit, I wasn't sure about Wrath of Poseidon at first. It felt like a completely different book, and I really wondered if I had the patience to see where it was headed. The characters kept me reading, though, and I'm glad they did because as origin stories go, this was pretty damned solid.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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