Friday, June 25, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The book starts with a historical prologue in which Julius Venator a Roman along with a group of Roman soldiers and slaves, sail in a fleet of ships ferrying the treasures from the Library of Alexandria before its destruction to a secret location to be buried in underground caverns. After the treasures are buried the people, the Roman soldiers, and slaves are all slaughtered by the natives. While one small ship manages to get away, they never reach land and the secret of the treasure is lost.
The story then shifts to an envoy of the US President having a secret meeting with a would be Aztec dictator Topiltzin. He kills the envoy, and sends his skin and heart back to the President.
The plot then shifts to a Middle Eastern terrorist secretly hijacking a plane carrying Hala Kamil, the new United Nations Secretary-General, the hijacker bails out of the plane after ensuring that the plane crash lands in Greenland, where Dirk Pitt, Al Giordino, and Rudi Gunn are trying to locate a sunken Soviet submarine. Also in the area is Lily Sharp, who discovers an ancient coin. They rescue Hala from the plane wreck. As the plot unfolds, several more attempts are made on Hala’s life, since she is trying to stop would-be dictator Akhmad Yazid from taking over Egypt. Dirk is distracted by the promise of treasure, however. Locating a shipwreck in Greenland, they soon find a tablet detailing a mission to hide the treasure of the library at Alexandria. As Dirk, Al, and the Special Operations Forces rescue Hala Kamil from a hijacked ship in the Straits of Magellan, Hiram Yaeger locates the treasure -- in Texas. The final stretch of the novel involves Dirk trying to hide the treasure from Yazid and his brother, Topiltzin, a would-be Aztec dictator. Eventually, the treasure is discovered and Yazid, Topiltzin and their henchmen are killed.
The historical reference is lovely. And I am very attracted to the author's profuse use of similes to make estimates, measures, and images (especially those of things that the everyday person doesn't normally observe) easier to understand. It is written in the classic method (I don't know what it's called) so there is a stark difference to modern literature. And this is a book that is not exclusively categorized in the modern sense; modern lit is put into one category and it is exclusively that; Treasure, on the other hand, is written with quite a broad categorization. It contains history, technology, politics, current issue tie-ins (at least for that era) and a sprinkling of romance. The protagonist is supported by a host of great supporting characters, each a specialist in their field; thus it doesn't make this book a one-man success, but relies on the cooperation of multiple individuals. Furhtermore, the action is portrayed in such a way that I can't help feeling like I'm right in the fight-scenes itself.
While reading this book, I already wish that it has a movie made. It would be nice. Isn't that what moviemakers are currently into, literature and TV tie-ins?