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NUMA Files Books In Order

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Publication Order of NUMA Files Books

“The NUMA Files” is a series of novels by Clive Cussler that focuses on Kurt Austin, who leads the team of NUMA’s Special Assignments division, and his partner Joe Zevala. The series is related to Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series and even features some of the Pitt characters in the books, in small roles. The two series take place in the same universe (Dirk becomes director of NUMA in the later Dirk Pitt novels), they just have different main characters. The acronym NUMA, refers to the United States National Underwater and Marine Agency.

The two leads in the series are Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala. Austin, unlike Dirk Pitt (who is known to collect cars), collects dueling pistols. He too likes to sleep around. He takes on assignments that take him all over the world and brings him into contact with people who want to try to take advantage of the world’s resources. Austin must do everything he can to ensure it never happens while he is on active duty.

Joe Zavala, Austin’s sidekick, carries a bigger gun (most of the time, an Ingram MAC-10) than Austin’s Bowen .50. To put himself through college, Zavala fought as a middleweight in boxing. While he does sleep around with women, he draws the line at those women whom are already married. Zavala is also the son of Mexican immigrants, a couple who came to this country when his mother was seven months pregnant with Joe. Joe was born in and would grow up in New Mexico. Zavala can fix any machine or engine and has designed many of NUMA’s subs and is able to pilot every single one of them.

There is also a real life NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) that is a non-profit organization that was founded by Cussler, a man who has discovered over sixty shipwreck sites. Some of which he has detailed in his two non-fiction books “The Sea Hunters: True Adventures with Famous Shipwrecks”, and “The Sea Hunters II: Diving the World’s Seas for Famous Shipwrecks”. The first book spawned a television show that airs on National Geographic. His biggest find is the H. L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine.

“Serpent” is the first book in Clive Cussler’s “NUMA Files” series. The book is about a group of men that call themselves “The Brotherhood” and are related to a group of religious people that dates back to the fifteenth century. The group tries to hide and destroy all evidence of pre-Columbian contact between both the New World and the Old World. Kurt Austin and company rescue a marine archaeologist named Nina Kirov off the coast of Morocco, which quickly lands him in the bad graces of Don Halcon, a Texas industrialist. Halcon would like to make a new nation by combining part of the United States and Mexico. It all hinges on her discovery of a priceless pre-Columbian antiquity buried on a ship called the Andrea Doria.

Fans of the book found it to be entertaining, and it shows off Cussler’s reliable style, that works once again. Readers enjoy that this book provides them with some escapism, and fun while reading the book. Readers enjoyed the way the historical part was woven into the the story and that the story was believable and interesting. Readers found themselves unable to put the book down until they were finished, which they believe is always a good sign.

Some readers did not like that the book does not have that much difference from the Dirk Pitt series of novels; some feel that you could put Pitt in for Austin and Giordino for Zevala and you would not be able to tell any difference. Almost as though Austin and Zevala are simply Pitt and Giordino in disguises. Some believe that Clive was not trying very hard when writing the book, there was little character development, old plot, and the book was boring, uninteresting. They felt as though something was missing.

“Blue Gold” is the second book in Clive Cussler’s “NUMA Files” series. Kurt Austin is looking into the sudden deaths of some rare whales that quickly takes him to the coast of Mexico, where someone tries to kill him. In another part of the world, another NUMA crew finds out about a legend of a white goddess, as well as killer pirates who want to steal secrets worth millions. Austin soon realizes that both teams are working on small part of some much grander scheme; that involves both the goddess and a billionaire’s attempts to rise to power when he tries to take control of all the world’s freshwater reserves. Austin figures out that the goddess legend has scientific roots and could allow a way for people to turn saltwater into freshwater. In an easier manner, of course.

Readers enjoyed the complex but still believable and fantastic story that Cussler was able to tell in this book. Some fans felt they read the book too fast, and were not able to savor the great summer read more thoroughly. Fans enjoyed the way that Giordino, Zevala, Pitt, and Austin teamed up in the book, if only briefly. Fans love the way he provides good reading for the summer and for long car/plane/train rides. Some readers also like that he is able to combine something that we are really going through (shortage of water) into a believable story.

Some readers did not like the way that Cussler seems to be allowing his name to be drug through the mud due to his having co-writers write the novels for him. They feel that the quality of the books suffers when this happens. Readers think that the sentences found in the book are sophomoric and choppy that do not read like someone who is as experienced like Clive Cussler is had written them, and the novel fails to live up to Cussler’s previous standard. Some felt forced to finished, and that Cussler most likely only helped outline the plot.

The series is co-authored by Paul Kemprecos for the first eight installments and Graham Brown for the later ones.

Book Series In Order » Characters » NUMA Files

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