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The Dakota Cipher (Ethan Gage #3)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,092 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
William Dietrich is back with another fast-paced new adventure—one that brings together Norse mythology, the American wilderness, and a swashbuckling explorer in an irresistible page-turner.

Ethan Gage, the hero of Napoleon's Pyramids and The Rosetta Key, just wants to enjoy the fruits of victory after helping Napoleon win the Battle of Marengo and end an undeclared naval w
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Harper
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(showing 1-30 of 1,949)
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May 27, 2009 Shiela rated it did not like it
This series needs to stop! Unfortunately, Dietrich uses this story to nicely set up the sequel as the book doesn't end! I was totally uninterested throughout the entire book which is in stark contrast to the first two in the series. The secondary characters (with the exception of Pierre who may reappear in the next book) were totally laughable. The action was tepid and believe it or not, the storyline was even more outrageous than the others. I'm not sure if I should continue on with this unsati ...more
Alan Smith
Apr 18, 2013 Alan Smith rated it really liked it
It's never fair to compare artists' work. Saying that such-and-such a singer is "The new Ella Fitzgerald" or "The British Courtney Love" does neither the established diva nor the newcomer much of a compliment. Therefore I say this with apology but -

For those of us who love George MacDonald Fraser's "Flashman" series, and are lamenting the author's passing, reading William Dietrich's "Ethan Gage" books is a hell of a good way to wean yourself off of old Flashy, may he rest in peace.

This is not
I read this book after reading What is the What. I knew that this book would just be fluff, but I wanted something light after reading something so serious. I got light alright. The plot was so fanciful that I couldn’t believe for even a minute. On the upside, the little Frenchman was a funny character. I’m not going to knock this book too much, because I knew, almost, exactly what I was getting. However, this book wasn’t as fun of an experience as the previous one. The main character spent a hu ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
This 3rd volume in the series shares elements with Flashman, Mitchner's "Centennial" and "Jubal Sackett". The hero, Ethan Gage, departs France for early 18th century America. He is to perform service for Napoleon and and the recently elected President Thomas Jefferson. A sort of diplomat without portfolio. His adventures are influenced by the imagined pre-Columbian journey of the Knights Templar to North America. Sometimes the story, which is well told, seems overwhelmed by Freemasonry gobbledyg ...more
Dec 21, 2015 Meredith rated it did not like it
Not written for woman readers. It is obvious the author has no respect for woman. All of the woman in the book were either shrews or empty headed sex toys.

I picked this up on a whim at a used bookstore, and wish I had left it there. The main character is a sorry excuse of a man. He thinks only with what is between his legs and getting laid seems to be his only goal throughout the book. If I wanted to read a trashy sex book I would have gone to the romance section in the store.

The only saving gr
Rachel Barnes
Oh, Ethan Gage, you are so predictably fun. Whether you’re chasing after the legendary Book of Thoth as you did in Books 1 and 2, or the even more iconic Hammer of Thor as you do in The Dakota Cipher, I can always count on you to keep me laughing.

And that is what Ethan Gage does in this third installment – keep us laughing. The book opens with Gage firmly back on the French side (well, as firmly as Gage can be on anyone’s side) even though he was nearly executed by Napoleon at Jaffa and he elect
Jun 13, 2014 Hannah rated it it was ok
I had the same problem with this book that I had with the others - I just cannot get engaged in the story line. It is most likely because I hate the main character. I'm sure the author intended him to be a plucky ne'er do well who always gets in trouble, but it is just so hard for me to find him believable as a character when he continually gets in to trouble and doesn't learn his lesson! Plus he seems just plain stupid in this book. Especially when he attempts to conquer Aurora and she is speci ...more
Benjamin Thomas
The third book in William Dierich's Ethan Gage historical adventure series will appeal to those who liked the first two and as much as it will annoy those who didn't care for the first two. Of course, if you didn't like the first two books in a series, why would you attempt a third?

Many reviewers compare Ethan Gage to Indiana Jones albeit at an earlier time period. While both characters are rakish adventurers who utilize a knowledge of science and history to further their fortune and glory habit
Paul Pessolano
Feb 18, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the Ethan Gauge Adventure. The first book was "Napoleon's Pyramids" and the second book was "The Rosetta Key".

If one remembers, Ethan should be considered an adventurer in the 1800's. He is from America and a disciple of Benjamin Franklin. Full of wanderlust, Ethan finds himself in France and becoming a member of Napoleon's entourage. He is enlisted as a spy and provides information concerning the English. He falls into the hands of the English and becomes a spy for the
(view spoiler) ...more
Kevin Bresnahan
May 04, 2012 Kevin Bresnahan rated it it was ok
This book is a quagmire. I enjoy historical fiction, particularly American History topics, yet this one was a mixed bag for me. Dietrich establishes this series character, Ethan Gage, who seemingly works for anyone in power, such as Napoleon and Jefferson. Gage is a master electrician, apprenticed by Ben Franklin. He is all this and more, apparently irresistable to the ladies too. He and new friend Magnus are asked to find the Thor hammer, which should provide conclusive evidence that that the N ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Roger rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
Ethan, safely back in Paris, makes the mistake of getting involved with Napoleon's sister (this was not a politically good move). Ethan makes a quick escape to the relative safety of the US along with his new friend Magnus Bloodhammer. Magnus is a deranged Norwegian who thinks the Vikings not only settled in Vineland (Nova Scotia), but traveled deep into the North American continent. Ethan is soon enlisted by Thomas Jefferson to travel into the Louisiana territory to evaluate if it worth pursuin ...more
Mark Stinson
Mar 13, 2012 Mark Stinson rated it it was amazing
This is the 3rd novel in William Dietrich's Ethan Gage series. The books are fairly stand-along in nature, so it is possible to read this 3rd book without reading the first two.

This was very enjoyable to read, as it was a rousing adventure, had plenty of intrigue, and the historical details given by the author to historical figures (Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson, etc.) and historical locations is just brilliant. The details add a reality to the book, that helps with the suspension of disbelief.

Apr 08, 2009 Abby rated it it was ok
Shelves: adventure
A mildly amusing book, it lacks depth. While the pace is fast, not much happens or it happens repeatedly. The insights are few and the pay off didn't impress me. For all the knocks Da Vinci Code received, at least it was gripping.

The main character, Ethan Gage, is shallow and things happen to him by accident. Granted that's the point, but every so often he does something clever (and not by accident) which makes me yearn for more.

The book obviously sets up a larger payoff in the future, but I h
Jul 10, 2012 Kelli rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the Ethan Gage adventure series. Basically, Ethan's an American spy that changes loyalties when ever he needs to save his hide. In this book, his journeys move away from France and Egypt and finally bring him back home to America to help explore the Louisiana Territory for Napoleon and Jefferson. But instead of surveying the land and interviewing the native people living there, Gage gets side-tracked looking for another Templar artifact that may prove that the Norse hav ...more
Nov 19, 2014 Astrid rated it liked it
Shelves: genre-study, series
This was a surprisingly enjoyable adventure yarn, part of a series. It’s around 1800 and Ethan Gage, who has worked for and against the British, and has been in the employ of Napoleon, leaves the country with Norwegian Magnus Bloodhammer. Ethan has been shtupping Napoleon’s (married) sister and Magnus needs him to go to the US to find Thor’s hammer. Adventure ensues, there are Indians and the British, French and Americans, and Lake Huron and Lake Superior canoe travels. Death and mayhem, a big g ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
I've read Napoleon's Pyramids and The Rosetta Key, the first two books in this Ethan Gage series. Both were excellent adventures. I liked this book as well, but not quite as much. It has a Hamlet-like ending with few, besides Gage himself, left alive to tell the tale. Still, his journey from France, to New York, to a Washington D.C. under construction, to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and across the Great Lakes into Minnesota -- all this before the Lewis and Clark expedition -- is fun to follow.
Vicki Kohl
Jul 25, 2015 Vicki Kohl rated it liked it
Interesting adventure novel with a protagonist who gets in and out of trouble and luckily finds himself friends with lots of historical figures from the early 1800s. Dietrich utilities interesting information on evidence that Norsemen were in the continental U.S. before any other Europeans. A fun read.
Dec 23, 2012 Diana rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
Well, this Installment of the Ethan Gage adventures ended better than it began.

I'm not so sure why I care so much about the character, who is Forrest Gump meets Indiana Jones, perhaps the answer is that the historical aspect of this clearly well-researched novel is more than enough for me to suffer through the travails of the idiot hero who only cares about getting laid. Why Astiza fell in love with this loser is a true mystery, especially since she seems so much more evolved as a person, but s
Merrilee Buroker
Jan 01, 2015 Merrilee Buroker rated it liked it
Interesting mix of history and theoretical history, for lack of a better term. The protagonist is funny and entertaining. If you watch The History Channel much, you'll love this book. I'm going to read more from this author.
Well, I just finished this novel. I liked it the least of the first three Ethan Gage novels. It was painfully slow, but picked up nicely about halfway through. I am turned off by what I feel is excessive and unnecessary sex, and also by Ethan's proclivity for stupid predictability. His enemies are certainly correct about that. Finally, without going into details, I have to say that the ending of this book is most unsatisfying. I realize the author planned to and did continue the series, but some ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
This book was excitement and adventure from beginning to end and a darned good example of why William Dietrich is one of my favorite authors. Central character Ethan Gage is lucky, witty, enterprising and humerous all of which makes for a wild, rollicking good read. He gets into and out of tight spots as quickly as any adventurer I've ever read. I like the way the author weaves his stories around historical fact. Yes, some situations are preposterous but it's darned good fun and a read that I ju ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Gordon rated it liked it
The Dakota Cipher is a fast-paced action-packed read. It is more fanciful than Dietrich's other books as it includes a lot of Norse, aboriginal, and Freemason mythology, including a ridiculously large tree linked to some pretty fancy electrical gadgetry including Thor's Hammer.

There is good information about travel in the fur trade days and regarding aboriginal groups of the time. Were I an attractive female character I would not want to be involved with Ethan Gage as he usually makes sexual use
Jodi Deters
Oct 18, 2014 Jodi Deters rated it did not like it
Not accurate. Not moral. Did not finish. Deleted. Did not read the first 2 books, and now I won't.
Apr 24, 2013 KarenLana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
For me, this is the least enjoyable installment of the series to date. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, however, I found myself very frustrated with the fickleness of Gage's wandering affections in this one and how he seems to be so easily led by his...ahem, trousers. The setting, plot and resolution to the treasure hunt were lackluster. Sadly, I'm sure the next book contains the annoying Aurora Somerset as she handily escaped her well-earned demise this time around. Anyway, I'll keep r ...more
Wulfrun Andy
Apr 23, 2015 Wulfrun Andy rated it did not like it
Sadly, for me this is one of those books i just could not get into, so it would be unfair for me to give an opinion either good or bad.

It just wasn't one for me.
Sanda Kateley
Mar 03, 2016 Sanda Kateley rated it did not like it
reminds me of the movie National Treasure.
Mar 18, 2010 Cecilia rated it really liked it
W/o planning to,I read all these books in their proper order. I really enjoyed them. Ethan Gage, the early 19th century American protoge of Ben Franklin, is an engaging savant, gambler, ladies man, etc., who gets into adventures from the Middle East to the then far American West, meeting with notables such as Napoleon (and his sister Pauline), Jefferson, and a host of rascals who all seem to have some association with Templar secrets, much to Gage's amazement. Told in Gage's amusing voice, rolli ...more
Dec 05, 2012 Jack rated it liked it
This third book of the series again puts fictional character, Ethan Gage, in continuous harrowing situations. The book starts at the conclusion of book two and has Ethan traveling fron France to his home country of America as a diplomat and explorer. From Napoleon to the newly elected Jefferson to the exploration of the great new Northwest frontier, Ethan Gage finds adventure among fur traders and indians as he also finds evidence that connects early settlers to the Knights Templers and a versio ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Steve rated it liked it
This is the third book in the Ethan Gage series. The Indiana Jones comparison still holds true in this book. Gage is reluctantly partnered with a Viking (Norwegian) intent on finding Thor's Hammer. Napoleon wants Gage to look at Lousianna (remember the land included in the Purchase not just the state) and Thomas Jefferson wants a report after Gage's travels as well. Another entertaining read with sexual encounters not found in Indiana Jones. Dietrick sets us up for the next book in the series an ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book description 3 14 Oct 21, 2015 09:11AM  
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William Dietrich is a NY Times bestelling author of the Ethan Gage series of eight books which have sold into 28 languages. He is also the author of six other adventure novels, several nonfiction works on the environmental history of the Pacific Northwest, and a contributor to several books.

Bill was a career journalist, sharing a Pulitzer for national reporting at the Seattle Times for coverage of
More about William Dietrich...

Other Books in the Series

Ethan Gage (8 books)
  • Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage, #1)
  • The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage, #2)
  • The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage, #4)
  • The Emerald Storm (Ethan Gage, #5)
  • The Barbed Crown (Ethan Gage, #6)
  • The Three Emperors (Ethan Gage, #7)
  • The Trojan Icon (Ethan Gage, #8)

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