Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pacific Vortex by Clive Cussler

3.5/5 Stars- 4 stars for goodreads roundup
Synopsis per Goodreads
Dirk Pitt's first, most terrific adventure! Dirk Pitt, death-defying adventurer and deep-sea expert, is out to the ultimate test as he plunges into the perilous waters of the Pacific Vortex -- a fog-shrouded sea zone where dozens of ships have vanished without a trace. The latest victim is the awesome superb Starbuck, America's deep-diving nuclear arsenal. Its loss poses an unthinkable threat to national defense. Pitt's job is to find it, salvage it, before the sea explodes. In a furious race against time, Pitt's mission swirls him into a battle with underwater assassins-and traps him in the arms of Summer Moran, the most stunningly exotic and dangerous toward disaster, Clive Cussler plummets his hero onto an ancient sunken island-the astonishing setting for the explosive climax of Pacific Vortex!
I read this book for a Swap-Bot swap that I was a part of.  Here are the rules:
For this swap you need to read one book which has something to do with your favourite subject from school, college or university. It can be either fiction or non-fiction and you can decide how it relates. Here are some examples:
  • If you loved psychology, you could read a psychological thriller
  • If you loved home economics, you could read something like Chocolat, or a cook book, or a travel book which talks a lot about food.
  • If you loved art, you could read a biography of an artist, or a murder mystery where art plays a big role (yes, I was thinking of something like The Da Vinci Code, but it could be anything like that)
  • If your favourite was PE or games or sports or whatever they called it where you are from, you could read a book about a sport or where sport plays a major role.
  • If you loved English, you could go back and read something you had to read at school - Catcher in the Rye? Lord of the Flies?
And if you didn't love anything at school, and your favourite thing to do was hide out with your boyfriend behind the bike sheds, how about a romance novel?
Once you have read your book, write to your partner and explain how this book relates to your subject and tell them why you loved that subject so much. These two things are essential in your letter, but you could also tell them
* what the book was about
* whether you enjoyed it as much as you enjoyed the subject when you studied it.
* how this subject has affected your later life
* whether your love of this subject has affected the kind of thing you read now.

My Thoughts:
My chosen subject would be Marine Biology.  I am from Daytona Beach, Florida, born and raised on the beach my entire life, I have always had a water affinity.  When I was in high school I took every single biology and marine biology course available.  The biology teacher that I had Mrs. Chapman was heavily involved in a lot of biological stuff around Daytona, marine and regular.  At one point in my high school career I was in her class for three classes, Biology 2 honors, Marine Biology honors, and another course that was kinda like a spinoff of the two, where we spent time in the field, we would go to a bay and clean it up and learn about wildlife and things like that.  I wanted to immerse myself in the field of biology, especially marine, but on top of that, I also leaned towards history.  I had the most awful uninterested history teacher ever,  she was on the way out the door to retirement, and actually ended up quitting in the middle of the year, where we had series of substitutes after that, who didn’t care what we did, so we never actually learned any history. 
My goal though, I wanted to be a marine archeologist.  I remember one year in elementary school we watched on live tv as some divers went down to view the Titanic.  It was in the early 80s to mid 1980s I can’t remember, and while the other kids were bored, I was absolutely fascinated.  I wanted to go see the titanic, I knew it at a early age.  So in high school I started leaning towards those courses to help achieve my goals.  In the middle of it all, I discovered a gem, (an unrealistic one, but gem nevertheless) Raise the Titanic! By Clive Cussler.  After I read that, I was hooked on everything Dirk Pitt and Clive Cussler, I read just about every book I could get my hands on including biographical books of Clive’s.  I loved and inhaled every bit of it.  Unfortunately I’m a procrastinator and never got around to applying to colleges, I went to a local 2 year college which was a huge mistake, ended up dropping out, and not applying myself anywhere, and drifted for a long time, and got a job in a courthouse of all things, then went on to the medical field as the equivalent of a nursing assistant after I had my son.  I never did pick up any more Clive books, they were too painful, but I knew as soon as I saw the swap, that I was going to read a Clive book.  It symbolized my entire school career, from that moment as a child watching the exploration of the titanic, to trekking through the muddy swamp of the bay to learn about some plant or the other.  While other kids wrote essays on the lives of authors in English, I wrote about how Stephen Crane (a famous literary author we had to study) I wrote about how Stephen Crane shipwrecked off the coast of Florida.  While some kids were writing poems about love and high school stuff, I wrote a poem that won an award, the subject matter?  A shipwreck.
For this assignment I chose book number 1, Pacific Vortex. I don’t recall ever reading it that I know of, I think I started from Raise the Titanic and went on from there, I stopped reading at Atlantis Found. 
 A naval sub has disappeared and Dirk Pitt is drawn into its mysteries as the navy tries to find the sunken ship, he dismisses the paranormal of the vortex and it’s myth and in typical james bond of the sea fashion, theres near death shootouts and car races and a lame instalove attempt with the bad guys daughter.  The romance was lame, completely unnecessary but I think the author was aiming for a James Bond look, only with scuba gear.  This particular book didn’t have as much to do with salvage and stuff as the other books did, but it was a good starter book. Mostly mystery and suspense in this one though.  Overall didn’t have much to do with the subjects that I study, other than the fact that Dirk Pitt is renowed in his field of salvage and archeology and diving.  Most of his books follow this fashion but always seem to have a bit MORE to it, this one was shorter than the others, and wasn't as awesome.
It was still a painful read and made me sit there for a long time afterwards kicking myself for not being more mature in high school to stop putting off college applications and getting things done.  I wouldn’t trade my son for the world, but the thought of What if? Was definitely in my head, had I actually settled down to send off applications, and take steps to achieve my dream, what would I be doing? 

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