Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vulcan's Forge” as Want to Read:
Vulcan's Forge
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vulcan's Forge (Philip Mercer #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  3,031 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
It begins deep beneath the Pacific Ocean, where a nuclear bomb strikes at the fiery hot heart of the earth. Churning, spewing boiling lava, a volcano rises with unnatural speed from the ocean floor -- the source of a new mineral that promises clean, limitless nuclear power. It continues in hot spots around the globe: Hawaii, where a secessionist movement is about to turn v ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published December 6th 2005 by Onyx Books (first published January 1st 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vulcan's Forge, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vulcan's Forge

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dan Shea
Jun 25, 2009 Dan Shea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I generally liked this book. I do have a few problems with it. The first problem is that the author thought it was necessary to have a 14 year old girl get raped in this book. Had nothing to do with the actual story, was given way too much detail.

The second problem is that the main character is a borderline alcoholic. This guy never misses a chance to get buzzed. Again, doesn't really do anything other than make me start to doubt the guy's ability to do all of the physically challenging stuff h
Sep 21, 2009 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a story much worse than anything Clive Cussler has written and you have Vulcan's Forge. The main character is a geologist, I mean, the best-most-awesome-smartest-best looking-military trained geologist who can do anything/kill anyone/screw anyone with a look from his deep blue gray eyes at a moments notice. The plot is that he must stop an evil Japanese genius from taking over Hawaii in a military coup AND from getting control of a big ass volcano with special properties that the Russian ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vulcan's Forge was the first book in the Phillip Mercer series by Jack Du Brul. It was first published in 1998. I have read the Oregon Files series of novels by Jack Du Brul and Clive Cussler and had been eager to find out what Du Brul's initial solo effort was like. Not only am I eager to read the second book in the series, but I'm actually very excited that there are 5 more books in this series after that.

Vulcan's Forge introduces the lead character, Phillip Mercer, a creative and high energy
Apr 05, 2010 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Jack Du Brul's first book, introducing readers to Philip Mercer, a geologist working as an independent contractor for the USGS, who is brought into the world of intregue with a telegram from a dead friend that saved his life earlier, asking for his assistance to save his daughter. The story unfolds drawing us into his story, introduces us to Harry White & Tiny who will appear in future stories as well. All in all the story draws the reader in and holds your attention, making it very ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Wes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After listening to "Medusa Stone", I decided to go back to the beginning of the series. This story is simply put, more interesting than Medusa and deals with circumstances you can actually relate to. Thankfully, it doesn't linger too long in wrapping up the action after the ah-ha moment of what the mystery is all about. A good, well-paced, fun story with a fairly clean-cut, lone-wolf, slightly-smarter-than-the-braintrust-he-deals-with kind of hero. One of the better "popcorn" reads I've enjoyed.
The hero drinks too much for my comfort, but the story was intertaning enough. The pseudo science could be a bit much, I skimmed over some of it.
I was very undecided on my rating for this novel. The hero, Mercer, is reminded me a bit of the Bond in Flemings novels- kinda of a jackass. He is handsome, commanding, good at almost everything and, for me, really smug. There was just something about him that I just don't like which is a little refreshing.

I'm not sure if I'm going to make the full commitment to reading this series, but there was some good action in this one even if most of the characters seemed like cardboard cutouts. Onto the
Oct 27, 2010 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is possibly the worst book I've ever read. You could make a parlor game out of the unbelievably bad lines. It's not enough he had to make everything a superlative; he had to take a simple sentence, get out a thesaurus, and make it ridiculously stupid.

This book also made me hate adverbs.

Upside, it made me actually laugh out loud several times.
Patrick Gibson
Sorry everyone, Dubrul's good research can't save his heavy-handed writing and shallow, cliche characters. I found it hard to care what happened to anyone, even our ridiculous hero. Must the protagonist hit on the ladies the very moment he saves them from the bad guys? I'll stay with the terrorists, thanks! Dubrul needs to fire his editor, who allowed too many mistakes, such as run-on sentences, unbelievably bad dialogue, and awkward punctuations. Since this is his first I will give him another ...more
I read The Medusa Stone first and loved it. This, the first in the Mercer series seemed a little bit heavy with hard facts and didn't flow as smoothly as Medusa. The info was key to the story and brilliantly conceived but didn't fit well for me. The parts with Mercer were amazing. Du Brul has created a character that I love and I will definitely read every book in this series. All in all 3 stars for the story and 5 stars for Mercer (I'm throwing Harry in too). Mercer kicks ass! Looking forward t ...more
Dee Haddrill
I was disappointed with this one as I've known Jack DuBrul as an author through his work with Clive Cussler on the Oregon series, which is my favourite of all Cussler's series. This one was really hard to get through. The lead character (Philip Mercer) was a geologist but he's not just any geologist, he's "Super" Geologist!! Seriously, is there nothing this guy can't do??? At least there was eventually a small comment made that he had undergone some training with elite forces (and I stress the ' ...more
Aug 14, 2012 Kammie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was in my office's 'library' shelf. I was intrigued, as I am a geologist and thought it might be 'Indiana Jones'-esque. While reading I could tell it's written for a male audience, just like the Tempe Brennan books seem written for a largely female audience. Not a bad thing necessarily, but certain elements like the detailed description of 'man toys' such as boats, guns, etc, plus the account of rape don't bring much to the story. Plenty of action and plot twists, not much depth or ins ...more
Glen Stripling
Jul 13, 2012 Glen Stripling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pleased to find Jack B. Du Brul's main character in his action thriller is a geologist, as I am one too. I was intrigued that his novel could have a bit of sci-fi, which would be a genre mix that would appeal to me. But I was astonished that VULCAN'S FORGE would have so many features of realism. Du Brul's writing keeps you on your toes with a spiderweb of various plots that all get resolved in their own time.

The story opens in the summer of 1954 with Captain Linc, commanding the "Grandam
Jun 30, 2014 Normalene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book that was published in 1998, it holds up surprisingly well. The science is still good and the story was fun. Some of the political stuff was outdated and the end where the guy gets the girl was a little abrupt. But I liked it and as the intro to the series, it wasn't bad. I'll read a few more and decide if I'm going through the entire eight-book series. DuBrul has also co-written the Oregon Files books with Clive Cussler and those have all been bestsellers. I like his writing style and ...more
Sarah Larson
I don't mind my heroes unrealistic - they're heroes, after all. But this book definitely has some issues. First, the sheer number of typos and grammatical errors was really annoying. This was published back in 1998 - were they not employing editors back then? Some of the characters were just wooden and some of the scenes pointless. But I like the introduction of Philip Mercer and will continue to follow his exploits.
Aug 17, 2013 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I honestly cannot go more than three stars on this book, and that may be stretching it just a little. Say about two and three quarters and I would feel better. Just rounding off to get three stars. Not a bad story really, just seems a tad far fetched. Oh, and wait till you meet the characters. No problems telling the good guys from the bad. The good guys are all real hunks with the chiseled chins and wind swept hair, penetrating gaze and all that bullshit. The bad guys you can almost picture the ...more
Brian Krause
Dec 18, 2013 Brian Krause rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The predecessor to Charon's Landing....and far better in my opinion. The story itself was well-written and the action sequences were excellent. Once again, no f-bombs from this author but you don't miss the profanity one bit. Again, it's a bit of a stretch to think a geologist could "do" all of the things that Mercer does, but, regardless, it's an enjoyable ride. I thank Todd McCarty, my friend, for recommending this author to me.
Adrian Royce
Du Brul delivers a fast paced novel that at times seems so implausible that it is laughable. I enjoyed the attempt to personalize the President and co by concocting a dilemma that required a response. The weak points of the novel are the triple-cross parts of the plot and the invincibility of the main character--Mercer--a geologist that even the FBI boss wants to employ!

As others have noted, there is a very unnecessary child rape to make a point that could have been made in a myriad of other way
Gautam Surath
On face value, this was supposedly a book right up my alley. It had a bit of science, a bit of thrill and lots of action. As an icing on the cake it rated 4 stars on Goodreads. What could possibly go wrong. A lot is the answer it seems. Phillip Mercer is one of the most poorly constructed characters I have ever read. With no background he seems to be an expert on everything from Stealth to Wealth. He can wrestle with the sharks and drink with old men. And that's more than enough to put the reade ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you've read Jack Du Brul's books co-written with Clive Cussler, then this book will be very familiar. It has the hero, Philip Mercer, a kick-ass geologist, who was brought into the tale by a mysterious telegram supposedly written by a now-dead friend. The story is set in the Soviet Union turning to Russia era, so it's a bit dated.
There are the Soviets wanting to rule the world by laying claim to a volcano rising from under the sea. There's a Japanese-American billionaire who's orchestrating
Dave Edlund
I'm rounding up from 2.5 to 3 stars for this one. The title and book cover are the best part, unfortunately. I had high expectations, but the plot was a confusing tangle that left me feeling cheated--just when I was expecting the thrill-level to ramp up, Mr. Du Brul simply ended each thread in the plot. The tension and suspense fizzled.
Apr 25, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Jack Du Brul. I think he is tremendously under-rated. His stories are excellent, sweep you along and totally entertain. I like his characters and the plots.
Jul 27, 2015 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sought out this book mainly because I'm a fan of Clive Cussler and especially the Oregon Files novels. Jack Du Brul is a co-author for most of these. I have to say that I really enjoyed this Philip Mercer story and will likely read more of the series. I can definitely see Du Brul's writing in the Cussler stories including some of his ideas. For example in this novel, a Russian sub was camouflaged as an old ocean freighter -- very reminiscent of the ship Oregon in the Oregon files. In Vulcan's ...more
Daniel Schuldt
Total grudgeread. Quintessence: "Vulcan's Forge" is a giant pile of predictable infantile crap. Period.

The novel's main protagonist Phil Mercer is basically a hybrid of James Bond and Albert Einstein pressed into David Beckham's body. An American geologist with a rebel heart outsmarting the world's brightest minds and taking on hordes of special forces and secret agents on the way while taking nothing but a scratch here and there. Shooting and driving, deep sea diving, infiltration behind enemy
Daniel Rudge
Feb 22, 2016 Daniel Rudge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent debut from DuBrul, Vulcan's Forge reminds me of Clive Cussler, when Cussler was at the top of his game. High octane thriller with the requisite bad guys, but this book has more plot twists and double crosses than most in the genre. Unfortunately, only the main protagonist gets any character development and the rest of the characters are typical action thriller cardboard cut outs. Beneath the Pacific Ocean a new volcano is born. As it begins to rise to the surface it holds a mineral more ...more
Sep 21, 2016 Mhd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A third of the way through, this story reminded me a little of rip-roaring early Cussler! That feeling didn't entirely hold up, but it was a good read....except for the entirely unnecessary & overly graphic sex scene. I quickly knew I had to skip, but beware, it took several long skips to get beyond it. Lots of twists, most not predicted! Yes, there are several inconsistencies in the plot & action, but I was still enjoying myself. I will try some more of these.
It was... okay. In part it's because in the audio version that goes along with the Kindle book, [J. Charles] narrates just a little too fast. In larger part it's because there's a lot of exposition and info dumping that bogs things down.

Mostly it's because Du Brul tries too hard to make Mercer a charming rouge, and it feels a bit forced. Also, in the nearly 20 years since Vulcan's Forge came out, lots of what was thought charming just isn't. Just as Mercer's code to his townhouse being 36-24-34.
Henri Moreaux
If you're after a book that resembles real life you'll be rather disappointed with the James Bondesque world of Philip Mercer who (nearly) single handedly saves the United States from war/losing a possession.

There's a few little errors like saying a nuclear submarine is dead silent (uhm reactor noise?) but then later, when the plot needs it (another submarine comes near) the book then acknowledges that the reactor makes a racket and needs to be slowed to 5% power limiting the ships ability to m
Barry Johnson
Oct 12, 2016 Barry Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good fast read
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Antarktos Rising (Origins, #4)
  • Event (Event Group Adventure, #1)
  • Skeleton Coast (The Oregon Files, #4)
  • Raising Atlantis (Conrad Yeats Adventure #1)
  • Rogue Wave
  • Black Rain (Hawker & Laidlaw, #1)
  • The Hunt for Atlantis (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase, #1)
  • Deep Fathom
  • Beneath the Dark Ice (Alex Hunter, #1)
  • Hawke (Alexander Hawke, #1)
  • The Black Sun (Tom Kirk, #2)
Jack DuBrul is a New York Times Best-Selling Author from Vermont who writes techno thrillers. Recently, he has been co-authoring "The Oregon Files" novels with Clive Cussler, taking over from Craig Dirgo with the third novel.
More about Jack Du Brul...

Other Books in the Series

Philip Mercer (8 books)
  • Charon's Landing (Philip Mercer, #2)
  • The Medusa Stone (Philip Mercer, #3)
  • Pandora's Curse (Philip Mercer #4)
  • River Of Ruin (Philip Mercer, #5)
  • Deep Fire Rising (Philip Mercer, #6)
  • Havoc (Philip Mercer, #7)
  • The Lightning Stones (Philip Mercer, #8)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »