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Takin' It to the Seas (52 Weeks of Books Challenge Week Seven)

Time for something a little bit different, y'all!

Medusa (NUMA Files #8)
Clive Cussler w/ Paul Kemprecos, 2010, Berkeley Books

Medusa is the eighth book in The Numa Files series, which itself is a spin-off of the Dirk Pitt series, written by Clive Cussler. The series follows the adventures of Kurt Austin, the head of the US National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) Special Assignments team, and his team. This particular story has Austin's team trying to figure out how a top secret underwater laboratory doing biomedical research on a rare type of jellyfish disappears and where it disappears to. Adding to the mayhem are a super-ambitious Chinese criminal organization and a deadly (secret) virus breaking out in rural China with the potential to become a pandemic.

Why I Read It:
My best friend in high school turned me on to the Dirk Pitt series initially. My mom is a major reading enabler when she knows that there's an author her kids are interested in reading and also a fan of Clive Cussler/the Dirk Pitt series. When she found out I was reading them, she made a point of tracking more of the Dirk Pitt series as well as books from other series work by Clive Cussler (like The NUMA Files and The Oregon Files). Mom read Medusa, and passed it off to me when she finished.

After sixty or so books, and most of them belonging or related to one series, it's safe to say there's a pattern to the stories Clive Cussler puts out. Medusa doesn't stray far from that pattern, which made it a fairly easy read for me. One of the things I've enjoyed about The NUMA Files has been that it includes a female scientist in the core team through the series - Dr. Gamay Morgan-Trout. She's incredibly smart, can hold her own in a fight, and has a pretty great sense of humor. In this book in particular, I loved seeing how much of a role she played in actively gathering information about what was going on.

Also, I thought Dr. Song Lee (a doctor the Chinese government sent to help work on the jellyfish research) was awesome, and pretty well fleshed out in comparison to some of the female characters Cussler has introduced in the past. She's really smart, kept a good pace with the Special Assignments team once she caught her breath, and I wouldn't mind seeing her pop up again - which is likely, given that she and team leader Kurt Austin "hit it off" pretty well.

Really, if action-y stories as part of a series with a set novel structure isn't your thing, you might not enjoy Medusa very much. If things related to the ocean and history aren't your thing, you might not enjoy it much. And if reading the books in order is a concern to you - honestly, I've never read any of the books in the Dirk Pitt series or The NUMA Files in order. For the most part, the books are structured so you can skip around and still understand what is going on (not sure if that's intentional or not). I do highly recommend it if you're looking for a light read - which I definitely was.

52 Weeks of Books Challenge? What is that? What book is Cat reviewing next week?


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