Clive Cussler may have said he officially is retired from writing,
but his world lives on. LOST CITY is the fifth of "A Novel From THE
NUMA FILES" and "A Kurt Austin Adventure," and while it is perhaps
not the equal of its predecessors it certainly has enough
worthwhile moments to make it an interesting and ultimately
worthwhile read, particularly for hard-core fans of the
If there is a problem with this book it is with the pacing. LOST
CITY proceeds along a number of parallel tracks that take just a
bit too long to ultimately converge. The tale begins in August
1914, when a mysterious aviator is shot down, apparently by minions
of his own family. The narrative then cuts to the disruption of a
modern-day reality show in which the "Survivor"-type cast and crew
are abruptly decimated by a gang of cannibalistic man-beasts.
Another quick change of locale then occurs, taking the reader to
Greece, where a scientist on the run is abruptly captured and
abducted by the very pursuers he sought to evade. Things come full
circle when a body is found encased in ice in the French Alps
wearing an ancient helmet and bearing documents for which a
mysterious, secretive family is willing to murder. Toss in a
relentlessly growing algae that threatens the world's oceans into
the mix and you have LOST CITY.
Kurt Austin jumps into the middle of all of this, accompanied at
times by an intelligent and fetching young woman named Skye
Labelle. The secret of immortality is the impetus behind everything
here, but telling you that certainly won't ruin LOST CITY for you.
Austin continues to think and act in large proportions; he effects
one scene where he manages to escape --- twice --- from the same
castle in a manner that is worth the price of admission all by
LOST CITY succeeds on a number of levels, being a cautionary tale
concerned with unintended consequences and being careful about what
one wishes for. It is also, interestedly enough, somewhat of a
tribute to one of H.G. Wells's works, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU.
Although LOST CITY may get bogged down in its own complexity in
spots, it is still worth packing on that vacation trip for some
engrossing beach reading.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 7, 2011