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Clive Cussler, author of over twenty consecutive New York Times bestsellers, brings back beloved hero Dirk Pitt in this electrifying, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Japan, 1945: Two US bombers take off with atomic bombs. Only one gets through.

The Pacific, 1993: A Japanese cargo ship bound for the United States is instantly, thunderously vaporized, taking with it a Norwegian vessel. Japanese fanatics have developed a chilling plan to devastate and destroy the Western powers. From the ocean depths to the discovery of cache of lost Nazi loot, Dirk Pitt is untangling a savage conspiracy and igniting a daring counterattack. While Washington bureaucrats scramble, a brutal industrialist commands his blackmail scheme from a secret island control center. And Dirk, the dauntless hero of Sahara and Inca Gold , is taking on death-dealing robots and a human-hunting descendant of samurai warriors. Pitt alone controls the West’s secret ace in the a tidal wave of destruction waiting to be triggered on the ocean floor!

602 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 3, 1990

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About the author

Clive Cussler

528 books7,748 followers
Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.

Cussler was an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers discovered more than 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic's survivors from the sea.

In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler was also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He was honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. His past international bestsellers include Pacific Vortex, Mediterranean Caper, Iceberg, Raise the Titanic, Vixen 03, Night Probe, Deep Six, Cyclops, Treasure, Dragon, Sahara, Inca Gold, Shock Wave, Flood Tide, Atlantis Found, Valhalla Rising, Trojan Odyssey and Black Wind (this last with his son, Dirk Cussler); the nonfiction books The Sea Hunters, The Sea Hunters II and Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed; the NUMA® Files novels Serpent, Blue Gold, Fire Ice, White Death and Lost City (written with Paul Kemprecos); and the Oregon Files novels Sacred Stone and Golden Buddha (written with Craig Dirgo) and Dark Watch (written with Jack Du Brul).

Clive Cussler died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 24, 2020.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 387 reviews
Profile Image for Adrian.
570 reviews209 followers
June 4, 2023
Intermittent Cussler series read 2023
Well I didn't say a great deal when I read this book in 2015, but I have to admit, it is enjoyable fun. Not the best of the Dirk Pitts, apart the very end , but still good.
I think now is the time to take a break from Dirk before I begin to get bored/ blasé with him.
So this book is based on the premiss that some Japanese underworld characters have managed to steal a march on the USA with regards technology and as a result are increasingly economically powerful to the extent they feel they can dictate terms to the USA.
Enter Dirk and his buddies to assist the secret service in a purely advisory role (yeah right !) as they go about an attempt to bring about the downfall of the Japanese underworld kingpin !
Needless to say it is ultimately Dirk and co from NUMA who save the world and defeat the baddies.

So as I said above, before I get disillusioned with Dirk's wonderfulness, I think I shall be giving him a break for a while. That said I am off to Berlin to see the grandkids soon so maybe need a big story to keep me occupied when not on granddad duty, and Dirk/Cussler does certainly get you out of a reading rut.

Ad Hoc read 2015
Enjoyable fun !!
Profile Image for John Shumway.
102 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2009
This is the same comment for all the Dirk Pitt books:
Great set of books, I had to stagger these books into my reading rotation since they are so similar.
Dirk Series Book in less then 50 words.
(introduction to bad guy, introduction to hot chick, introduction to Dirk, Dirk gets in impossible dangerous situations to stop the bad guy, Dirk wins, Dirk gets the hot chick.)
5,061 reviews57 followers
May 17, 2020
Ahhh, the good old days when Japan, Inc. was going to take over the world.

In 1945, not just two, but more like five atomic bombs were sent to Japan, but only two actually made it to their ultimate goal. In more modern times, a Japanese billionaire megalomaniac has located one of these bombs and has plans to use it on the USA. Dirk Pitt and company starts poking around, and eventually find themselves trapped on an island with a madman who hunts humans with robots.

One of the better books in the series by far.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,694 reviews63 followers
May 25, 2021
Yet another great read by the late great Clive Cussler! He definitely knows how to spin an action/adventure yarn!
Profile Image for Jaemi.
276 reviews25 followers
January 25, 2009
Pacific Ocean, 1993. A Norwegian vessel heading out to sea comes upon a seemingly abandoned Japanese Cargo ship. Before searching for the crew, they send a party aboard to check for anyone remaining on board, thinking to lay claim to the cargo. Slightly further along, a British vessel floats, the launch-point for an underwater exploration.

Aboard the Japanese ship, the Norwegians find one man on the bridge, who looks as if he was boiled. In the engine room, doors have been propped open in order to sink the ship. In the cargo hold, all the automobiles are intact, one with its hood open. All seems ordinary. Until they begin to feel sick. The head of the group heads to the hold to check on a teammate who contacted him there, and find him dead next to the car with the open hood. Knowing he's soon for death too, he takes out his gun and shoots the vehicle, vaporizing the ship, the Norwegian vessel, and the British one too.

Beneath the surface, the crew in the underwater explorer hear the bang and feel some shockwaves but cannot raise their surface contact to find out what's gone wrong. Eventually their systems begin to fail, and it seems that death is imminent. At the last moment, help arrives in the face of Dirk Pitt, who with his partner Al Giordino, drove along the bottom of the ocean in their secreat DSMV to see what the disturbance was about.

After a harried escape from the ocean, the survivors of the explosion are left only with questions and disbelief.

The Government quickly forms a MAIT team, including members from many intelligence angencies, and the NUMA trio of Sandecker, Pitt and Giordino. The threat: Japanese underworld powers have devised a systematic plan to render most of the Western world helpless. How? Bomb cars. Why? They believe in the superiority of their race, and their economic tactics, and do not agree with the way melting pot countries are run. And yet the Japanese government and people at large have no knowledge of this scheme.

At nearly every turn it seems hopeless. The odds are pretty much insurmountable. And yet Dirk Pitt doesn't seem to believe in impossibility. Even though he and his partner are over their heads and out of their realm of expertise, the duo still manages to save the day at every turn, including managing to rescue two kidnapped senators and the mastermind behind the entire Japanese plot.

Another interesting and somewhat frightening look at what the world would be like if extremism ruled the day. Definitely recommended for anyone who loves action.
Profile Image for George.
171 reviews4 followers
July 10, 2012
In typical Clive Cussler / Dirk Pitt fashion the book opens with action and it doesn't slow down until the book is over. As usual, Dirk is the ideal hero. He can do no wrong, escapes every incredible situation, and saves the day. He's an action hero in typical Indiana Jones/John McClane/Jack Ryan/Jack Bauer fashion. Though the story moves fast, is engaging, and action packed, Cussler's frequent macho catchphrases, near deification of Pitt, and penchant for inserting himself into the story does tend to get a bit tedious at times, but it is expected I guess. The Japanese bad guys are a bit one dimensional, as bad guys usually are in this type of story, however they do present an exciting and formidable threat that is fun to read about.

Anyway, if you are looking for action, Cussler is always a good time. If you're looking for something original, though provoking, or cutting edge this isn't it. Think summer blockbuster, not indie art film. Lots of flash, a fun time, but nothing all that new. I usually read one or two Cussler books a year and they're always fun, but now it's time for something more thought provoking.
Profile Image for Matt.
642 reviews
December 29, 2019
The Cold War seems to be winding down, but a new economic war appears to be on the horizon with the added element of nuclear blackmail. Dragon is the tenth book of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series as the titular hero finds himself sucked into a espionage war between the U.S. and fanatical ultranationalist Japanese businessmen and criminals looking to create a new empire.

On 6 August 1945, a B-29 Bomber “Dennings Demons” takes off from the Aleutians with an atomic bomb headed for Osaka without knowing the “Enola Gay” is headed for Hiroshima and vice versa; however a Japanese pilot shots down the bomber which lands in the water not far off from a little island off the Japanese coast. Forty-five years later a Norwegian cruise ship in the Pacific finds an abandoned Japanese cargo ship and find a car leaking radiation moments before it detonates destroying the cargo ship, takes out of the cruise ship in the shockwave as well as a British research vessel. Underneath the surface a British submersible is also damage from the nuclear shockwave is found by an experimental NUMA ocean floor crawler—piloted by Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino—from an underwater research facility that must be evacuated due to earthquakes caused by the nuclear explosion. After getting to the surface, Pitt and Giordino are flown to D.C. and are “volunteered” to join a task force to tackle the nuclear threat from Japan due to them smuggling nukes in the country in cars. The two go outside the process and give the task force big clues that tips off the Japanese that their plan has been found out. Undercover agents in both Japan and the U.S. take on security forces with both sides, but things hit the fan when the Japanese kidnap Pitt’s on-off love interest Congresswoman Loren Smith along with an influential U.S. Senator. Thanks to a British undercover agent, the task force is able to locate the Japanese command center and launch a two-prong attack with Pitt & Giordino acting a decoys to let the rest of the task force get in and destroy the command center but both teams are surprised by robots upsetting their plans. The five task force members are forced run for their lives in a human hunting game, but Pitt as the first to be the prey tricks his hunter and turns the tables on him. The task force escapes with Loren, the Senator, and the mastermind behind the Japanese plot but their attempt to cause damage to the command center doesn’t work. The Japanese decide to set off a nuke in Wyoming, but the task force has found the wreckage of “Denning’s Demons” and plan to use the NUMA crawler to get the atom bomb and set it off in a nearby fault to take out the little Japanese island that the command center is built in. Pitt keeps Giordino from joining him and is able to fulfill the plan to detonate the bomb, but the escape route doesn’t workout making everyone think he doesn’t make it until a month later when the crawler comes up out of the ocean on a little island in front of a resort with a haggard Pitt asking for some fresh food.

At the time of publication (1991) the Cold War was over and with it the clichés of earlier Pitt novels, so Cussler compensated with Japanese business takeover on steroids. Overall the plot was solid with none of the scenes really dragging the book down, unlike the previous book. Of the characters, the main antagonists were a tad on the cliché side but were written well enough to still be a little rounded. Dirk Pitt was less of a lady’s man this time around, but to offset that Cussler made Pitt be perfect at everything including beat the author himself in a classic car race. Though I’ll give credit to Cussler for having Pitt referencing Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game before he was hunted and doing homage to it in his own book.

Dragon is a product of its time, an overall fine book that kept the reader hooked but also not the best in the series in my opinion. Clive Cussler keeps on going back and forth in how to describe his main character from book to book, but at least he isn’t the jerk he was in the earlier books in the series.
Profile Image for Jamie.
Author 1 book10 followers
May 21, 2020
I don't entirely agree with those that say the book was farfetched. In fact, I found the story to be well researched. But everyone wants to believe what they want to believe. Cussler's message in this book is uncomfortable. His message says Japan is not an ally, a friend or anywhere near. There are haters in the world and some hate the West. Simple as that. They grasp for power and control and want to take our freedom away. We have been lazy and oblivious. And placed our trust in the wrong people. Of course, all Japanese are not this way. Some are oblivious just like us. But, does it matter? The danger remains. Our freedom is too important to play games with.

Japan has the technology and is a nuclear power. Some still hold a grudge over 1945. Their motto is "business is war." And don't forget Japan is a warrior society. They were brutal and ruthless with the Chinese, and did horrific experiments on their own people at Unit 731.

Now Pitt has more lives than a cat, but he's needed for the rest of the series. And he is pretty capable and determined, so we shouldn't underestimate him. Add to that, when an author creates a thriller, he is forced to push the envelope. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a thriller. Also keep in mind when the book came out in 1990, the Internet, pre-1990, would not be too helpful for research. Cussler was ahead of his time with this novel and probably had an inside source. While the book is typically long-winded, Cussler-style, it is a good read, full of tension and suspense, and, of course, conflict-all the ingredients a thriller must possess.

Profile Image for Rick Silva.
Author 9 books69 followers
January 6, 2021
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Cold War was winding down, you would sometimes see bumper stickers that said things like, "We're not going to be nuked by Russia. We're going to be evicted by Japan."

That is the plot of this novel.

Actually it also involves Japan nuking the US, or trying to, anyway. See, the Japanese are smuggling nuclear bombs into the US in imported cars. Get it? Cheap Japanese imported products are going to destroy us!

Thankfully underwater adventurer Dirk Pitt is on the job.

Pitt is a mostly likeable hero with a tiny bit of low-grade sexism, but generally entertaining in the other books I've read from this series. He's got all the heroic traits, some decent wit, and a fun hobby restoring antique cars, which the author writes about with clearly a lot of love (in addition the author writing himself into the books in cute cameo bits).

The plot is ridiculous, and both the villains and the US intelligence agencies do some incredibly stupid things, but judged purely on action this was two-star popcorn fare.

Unfortunately the continuous stream of anti-Asian racism, and an exceptionally sexist/racist resolution for one character's arc made the whole thing feel gross. Every Asian character is a negative stereotype, and there are recurring bits of dialogue with characters simply acting as talking heads to put out xenophobic arguments that are clearly meant more for the reader than the villains.

There was nothing in this book that was all that great, and there was too much that was outright toxic.
Profile Image for Michelle Bacon.
412 reviews32 followers
September 12, 2022
My first Dirk Pitt adventure and it did not disappoint. Nuclear bombs are being smuggled into the United States from Japan via a Japanese car manufacturer of whom is trying to cripple the economy of the western world so that Japan can be all superior. Dirk Pitt is on a mission to stop these men and save western economics.
Fighting robots, nuclear contaminated freight liners, and detonating bombs away from civilization is the agenda for Pitt, but at what cost??
Will it be his life, the lives of many innocent Americans, or will the Japaneses' lives be in danger??
A great, action-packed book from start to finish; leaving me hungry for more Clive Cussler adventures.
Profile Image for Neil.
1,155 reviews10 followers
December 19, 2018
This was a fun book to revisit. I still remember the shock I felt at the end of the book the first time I read it; had the author done things differently, it would have made a great cliff-hanger of an ending and ‘forced’ readers and fans of the series to buy the next book post-haste. As it was, I still remember rereading the ending several times because I could not believe it. It moves at a good pace; it held my attention; it was a fun, escapist read. The characters are entertaining; each book seems to reveal small, new facets about Dirk and Al, about their friendship. I would say that after Deep Six, the two became more inseparable in the novels. I shall have to reread Deep Six and, possibly, Cyclops, but I am pretty sure this novel marks the first “cameo appearance” of Clive Cussler in Dirk’s life. In any case, it was an amusing cameo.

The book does have a lot of humor in it; most of it works. I am not sure if some of the lines I took as being more ‘hilarious’ in nature were meant to be ‘serious,’ but I found myself chuckling quite a bit this time around while reading the story. There are some good one-liners and bits of banter between Dirk and Al, Al and Admiral Sandecker, Dirk and Loren, and even between some of the minor characters. Some of the humor was no doubt forced, but I still enjoyed it. For example,

“When the admiral clams up, the cow chips are about to strike the windmill” (151).

“Don’t pay any attention to him,” said Pitt. “Put him in a dark place and he hallucinates.”
“I see,” murmured Reinhardt, but obviously he didn’t (275).

Giordino had a talent for getting in the last word. . . . “Do you suppose,” he wondered dryly, staring absently at the fire lighting the dawn sky, “it was something we said?” (306)

“You’re in this for yourself, a personal power grab. You’re a power-mad maniac.”
“You are right, Senator,” Suma said (363).

A short nuclear physicist with a full beard pushed his way past Frick and stared at the emptiness. “How am I supposed to disarm the bombs if they are not here?” he said angrily, as if the disappearance of the cars was Frick’s fault (471).

There are plenty of other funny one-liners and/or conversations scattered throughout the book.

It is funny how some novels are more ‘time capsules’ than others. This book is most definitely a ‘time capsule.’ It was written during the late 80s and published in 1990 during a time when it seemed the Japanese were going to ‘take over the world’ economically by purchasing everything they could. They were purchasing enormous loads of United States real estate, and critics and doomsayers were saying the United States was soon to become a puppet state to the Japanese as we sold ourselves into second-class citizenship to the Japanese. The United States was said to be heading in the direction of becoming subservient to the Japanese, of becoming a Japanese colony as they purchased both debt and land (or infrastructure) from the United States. Never mind the fact that Japanese were producing products of higher quality than the United States and that the American people were gladly selling land and real estate and infrastructure to the Japanese hand-over-fist with no thoughts about future consequences for their actions. That mindset is strongly evident in this novel (just as it was in Rising Sun), so it is both amusing and interesting to read about this mindset twenty-five years later. I am sure if this novel were to have been written today, it would be the Chinese turning Americans into second-class citizens as they grow ever stronger economically instead of the Japanese.

It is also amusing how I must keep reminding myself that Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino do have military training; granted, they were Air Force and not Army (or Navy). They do have the mindset and training to see some things in terms of military matters and strategy, but it seems like they know more about ‘ground forces tactics’ than they really ought to, considering they were pilots in the Air Force.

The ‘science fiction’ aspect of the book was fun to read.

Another ‘great line’ –
Yoshishu stared out the window unseeing for a few moments. Then he shook his head. “A great pity.”
Suma looked at him. “What is a great pity, old friend?”
“The United States of America,” Yoshishu spoke softly. “She’s like a beautiful woman who is dying of cancer”

I do like how Cussler blends in historical fact with fiction as well as possible scientific advances into his books. I think it makes the books more enjoyable and, sometimes, his 'fiction' sounds true enough to actual historical fact. While the 'historical fiction' might not have been as good as in other books (like, Night Probe!, the blending of science fiction with science fact was well done in this book. I think I was going to say something else, but it eludes me. Anyway. It was a fun book to read, and I am glad I reread it (again).
Profile Image for Eli Hornyak.
237 reviews25 followers
June 26, 2022
I don’t recall the 90’s being a time where Japan tried to take over the world, second book from that time with Japan as the bad guy.
Profile Image for Kathi.
962 reviews4 followers
February 10, 2023
They really should make these books into movies.

Set in 1993 (but copyright 1990), Cussler's geo-political world bears only a little resemblance to modern day. Still, feasible, and the "what-ifs" are tantalizing.

DRAGON is a stand-alone, but I loved finding the "Easter Eggs" the author has hidden throughout for those of us who have read the prior books in the series.
Profile Image for Redvendl.
24 reviews
April 4, 2022
Definitely one of the longer Dirk Pitt books. Lots of twists and turns to keep you entertained. It's a product of its time and has insane national stereotyping as well as as rampant misogyny but if you can get past that it's definitely a good book to read on a plane. Or while waiting to get your oil changed. Worth it for a distraction and a little entertainment.
Profile Image for Ravenskya .
234 reviews37 followers
January 4, 2009
This was my first Clive Cussler book, My husband is a huge fan and has read most of them. I finally agreed that I'd read one and snagged this out of the pile.

What we have is an action adventure novel with an aloof superhero type guy by the name of Dirk Pitt and his comedic sidekick Al Giordino. The book involves some nukes, some evil Japanese businessmen, an explosion or two, a madman with a samuri sword, lots of underwater mining equipment, a kidnapping and quite a few chase scenes... oh and robots.

On the whole I really enjoyed this book... though I had to wonder why they did a few things the way the did because one would think there were more effective and speedy ways to accomplish what they did... but I can look past that. What irked me was that Cussler slipped into having people tell me what had just happened through stiff unnatural dialogue like "Gee Dirk you are so smart the way you used that pole to jam the door just in time before the water came flooding in, and weren't we lucky that the pole just happened to have been left there by the maintenance man, what luck" now that wasn't a line from the book, but there were a handful in there that read like that to me. Still if you can get past those, and a few plot holes this can be a really fun and fast read for those who like their action adventure novels with a smattering of history.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,711 reviews708 followers
May 25, 2020
Tenth in the Dirk Pitt action thriller series and revolving around the indestructible Dirk and his wisecracking partner, Al Giordino.

My Take
Huh? I can't remember having read this before, and I did enjoy it. As over the top as this melodrama is, *grin*. Cussler uses third person global subjective point-of-view, taking in many of the main characters' perspectives, allowing us to hear their thoughts, feel their emotions, and see events occurring around them.

It certainly makes for an emotional read and may not be the ideal book to read at this time in our history, as emotional as so many of us feel about the pandemic and the Chinese government.

The destruction begins almost immediately and is quite explosive. It's historical, political, and too many robots in the background! Eeek! Brilliant, but still eek.

I adore Soggy Acres. The concept of self-sustainment is brilliant and would be so much fun.

At the other end of the spectrum, the statistics Cussler includes about the number of Allied prisoners who died at the hands of the Japanese makes the Nazis look benign. Nor am I surprised that some of the Japanese army ran drugs. There are bad guys in every army, taking advantage of nefarious opportunities, and it does provide Koda Suma and Yoshishi with an interesting back history.

It really made an impression on me how easily the US government moved things around and took people for granted. The CIA are such prats in forcing Pitt and Giordino into helping. It never hurts to ask! Of course it's typical behavior of most government agencies who all think they can lord it over everyone else.

I gotta wonder how similar the situation in Dragon is to what's happening economically in our world now. In Dragon, the Japanese are poised to take over our country what with all their investments in American companies — check out the Chinese ownership of Smithfield!

You go, Loren! Why do we allow so many foreigners to walk all over us in our country when they put such restrictions on us in theirs? Don't get me wrong. I love that the US is such a fabulous melting pot of cultures. But I don't think we should bend over to let others abuse us. Anyone can buy property here, but an American can't own property in Mexico? You have to have a proven monthly income to live in Belize?

Wait'll you read that bit about who the Japanese-held companies in America will employ [in the book, I ain't sayin' that's how it is in real life...] and whether women, minorities, or unions are allowed.

We have to start looking at our own debtor status and clean it up. Bring jobs back to America. Stop being a primarily service economy. Start planning for the long-term instead of the short-term.
"You Americans must learn to accept the facts. If we buy America, it's because you're selling it."
I know. One could say that it's karma, payback for our own pushiness. But might never makes right. We need to learn from the past and become better people. Everywhere.

I wish I knew what happened to Clausen after he got off his tractor. Although we do know what happened to one of those Messerschmitts, lol. Seems a mighty high price to pay for some rudeness, but it does add to Pitt's collection.

Suma makes some good points about how awful things are in America. And then Pitt turns it right back on him, lol. No one country is without its bad and good. Every country, including ours, needs to stop thinking they're so superior. More fun comes with Giordino's comment about preferring to be represented by Monty Python's Flying Circus than the US State Department.

Just like crooks who don't think it's fair when you retaliate against their attacks. The Japanese in this story don't think it's fair when we pull the same stunts on them that they do on us.
"You and your fellow corporate executive officers believe in doing unto other nations as you would not allow others to do unto you."
That comment Suma makes about there being no difference between an economic war and a military war?...*shudder*...

Turns out Toshie is into engine work. Cute results but not very believable.

It's definitely something any mogul needs to be on the watch for — that overwhelming thirst for absolute power. Hmmm, who am I thinking of...

The Story
A terrorist plot that will encompass the world is slowly revealed against a marine backdrop of nuclear bombs, DSMVs, and spies.

The Characters
Dirk Pitt is the special projects director who doesn't spend much time behind a desk. Al Giordino is his longtime friend, partner, and NUMA associate.

The Pacific, 1993
Soggy Acres is...
...a livable, self-sustaining habitat on the ocean floor, involved in an experimental mining operation. Big John and Big Ben are both DSMVs, Deep Sea Mining Vehicles. The inhabitants include Sarah who oversees computer records and cooks; Jill is a marine equipment engineer and resident biologist; Keith Harris is the project seismologist; and, Dave Lowden is the chief vehicle engineer.

NUMA is...
...the National Underwater and Marine Agency headed up by Admiral James Sandecker. The rumpled, brilliant Hiram Yaeger, a Navy SEAL who served three tours in Vietnam, is in charge of and designed NUMA's brain center. NUMA helped develop The Great Karnak.

Raymond Jordan, one of the five most powerful men in official Washington, is director of the CIA and heads the National Security Service. He speaks seven languages, has a photographic memory, and has been married for thirty seven years. Donald Kern is deputy director of Operations. Broan.

MAIT is...
...a Multi-Agency Investigative Team that will include Frank Mancuso, a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, and under special contract with the CIA. He's working with Rico Acosta, a mining engineer with Philippine security forces. (Fernando and Imelda Marcos get a dishonorable mention.) Central Command, a.k.a., Team Lincoln, will be in Washington. Mel Penner is the CIA Resident at their Information Gathering and Collection Point (IGCP) in the Palau Republic and will act as director of field operations, a.k.a., Team Chrysler. His cover will be as a UCLA sociologist. Marvin Showalter, the assistant director of Security for the US Department of State, will be based in Tokyo as Team Cadillac. Dr Timothy Weatherhill, a nuclear scientist, will partner up with Stacy Fox as Team Buick and go undercover as a journalist and photographer for the Denver Tribune. Roy Orita and James Hanamura will be Team Honda in charge of Japan. Sandecker and Giordino will be Team Mercedes and salvage debris on the ocean floor. Pitt will be teamed with Frank as Team Stutz in support of Team Mercedes.

Clyde Ingram is the director of Science and Technical Data Interpretation. Curtis Meeker is deputy director of Advanced Technical Operations and one of the best satellite photo analysts in the business. Bill McCurry is a top investigator with the NSA. Hank Sauer is a friend of Stevenson's.

General Duke Mackay is commander of Anderson Air Force Base on Guam. Dan Keegan is an unlucky rancher in Wyoming. Roger Stevenson is the director of the National Earthquake Center where Clayton Morse is a geophysicist. Bill Frick is a special agent with the FBI. Major Marcus Turner is the chief pilot of the C-5 dropping Big Ben. Natalie is an incredible chef with flexible mores.

Washington D.C.
Senator Mike Diaz, a hardliner against foreign influence and involvement in American affairs, and Congresswoman Loren Smith, Dirk's friend, are proposing boycotts and trade barriers against the Japanese. Something we should be looking at! With regard to the Chinese. Dale Nichols is the special assistant to the president of the United States. A fact Cussler imparts word-for-word, over and over... Secretary of State Oates.

Deep Quest is a 12-ton submersible carried by the Tucson , an attack submarine captained by Commander Beau Morton. Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cmdr) Sam Hauser is a scientist with the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. More of the crew includes Sonarman Kaiser, Lt Cmdr Ken Fazio, and Lt David DeLuca, who is the navigation officer. The Ralph R. Bennett is commanded by Captain (Capt) Wendell Harper. Lt Cdr Raymond Simpson is part of the crew.

Old Gert is a deep-sea submersible on the Invincible , a British oceanographic ship. Craig Plunkett is its chief engineer, designer, and pilot for the sub. Dr Raul Salazar is the marine geologist from the University of Mexico. Stacy Fox is the photographer. Jimmy Knox is the surface controller.

Capt Arne Korvold is in command of the passenger ship Narvik . The boarding crew includes Chief Officer Oscar Steen, Assistant Chief Engineer Olaf Andersson, David Sakagawa, who is in communications, and Seaman Arne Midgaard. Shanghai Shelly is a junk commanded by Owen Murphy. Dr Harry Deerfield is a pediatrician and a friend of Owen's, helping him with delivery.

Suma Industries
Hideki Suma is its face, and he's also second-in-command in the Gold Dragons. Moro Kamatori is Suma's oldest friend and chief aide, highly gifted with his katana with a preference for hunting humans. Toshie Kudo is Suma's brilliant and submissive secretary.

The Divine Star is part of a fleet of cargo ships owned by the Sushimo Steamship Company, a Suma division, that includes the Divine Moon , the Divine Water , the Divine Sky , and the Divine Lake . Mr Yamada is a company director. Dr George Furukawa is Suma Industries' undercover agent in Los Angeles as well as vice-president of Samuel J Vincent Laboratories, an R&D center for space and aviation companies. Murmoto Motor Corporation manufactures cars and is another of Suma's companies. Dennis Suhaka is director of transportation for the company in Virginia.

Edo City is...
...a subterranean research and thinktank community and one of Suma's. It's connected to the Dragon Center where Takeda Kurojima is the chief director. Jiro Miyaza is one of its chief structural engineers, and one whom Hanamura impersonates. Dr Josh Nogami is the island medic. Nurse Oba knows karate. Masuji Koyama is an expert technician in defense detection.

The Kaiten Project includes robots, some of whom have names: Murasaki, a.k.a., McGoon; McGurk; Nakajima is a sixth-gen courier; and, Taiho and Otokodate are electrical inspectors. Ubanai Okuma and Daisetz Kano are top-level robotic engineers.

Kanoya Securities is...
...the largest securities company in the world, which has a heavy interest in many of Wall Street's brokerage houses and could swallow most of them without a burp. Ichiro Tsuboi is chief director and a member of the Gold Dragons.

Junshiro is the prime minister. Admiral Itakura is at the Washington embassy. Ashikaga Enshu is an investigator who specializes in rare art. Masaka Shimzu is a sixteenth century Japanese artist. The Blood Sun Brotherhood is another gang who are mostly East Germans. There's also the Blood Red Brotherhood. I think someone forgot to put "Sun" in place of "Red".

The Gold Dragons are...
...a gang built by Korori Yoshishu (who is still its grand old thief and leader) and Koda Suma, Hideki's father, during World War II.

In Germany, August Clausen is an old farmer who loses a tractor and finds a treasure. Frau Klausen is quite hospitable. Lieutenant Helmut Reinhardt is the angry dive officer. Herr Gert Halder is the minister of Historic Works who quotes Adolf Galland, a leading WWII ace. Chancellor Lange invited Dirk and Al over.

Nikolai Golanov is Jordan's Russian counterpart in charge of the Directorate of Foreign and State Security for the Politburo. Antonov is the Soviet president.

Japan, August 6, 1945
Dennings' Demons were the crew of a B-29, carrying Major (Maj) Charles Dennings, who is in command. Capt Irv Stanton is the bombardier. Capt Mort Stromp is the co-pilot. Lt Joseph Arnold is the navigator. Navy Cmdr Hank Byrnes is the weapons engineer.

General (Gen) Harold Morrison is special deputy to Gen Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project. Colonel Paul Tibbets was in command of the Enola Gay . Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki by Bock's Car piloted by Maj Charles Sweeney. Lovin' Lil was supposed to drop off Mother's Pearl. The bomb codenamed Ocean Mother was never airlifted.

Lt Junior Grade Sato Okinaga is the pilot of a Mitsubishi Zero. Shintoism became a cultural religion and state cult and ethic philosophy. Yasukuni, a.k.a., Shokonsha, is a memorial to the revolutionary war of 1868 and is situated atop Kudan Hill in Tokyo. Today, it's a rallying symbol for right-wing conservatives and militants.

Gen Yamashita Tomoyuki was in command of Japanese forces in the Philippines. Yamashita's Gold is the nickname for the immense hoard seized by the Japanese from every country they occupied . Gen Hideki Tojo was responsible for war atrocities.

The Cover and Title
The cover is a gorgeous marine blue gradating down into a darker shade. At the top is the author's name in a metallic gold spattered in black with a black outline. Below that is the title in a brilliant red outlined in gold, the bottom of the letters a sinuous wave atop the body of a dragon in the same colors. Below the title is a multiple-engine plane against an outline of rocks. Between author and title is the information that this is a novel in a thin black.

The title is the focus of all our problems, the Dragon.
Profile Image for Belinda Vlasbaard.
3,288 reviews60 followers
August 15, 2022
4,5 sterren - Nederlandse paperback

Augustus 1945. Een geheimzinnige B-29 vertrekt voor een eenzame en gevaarlijke vlucht naar Japan. Aan boord bevindt zich een bom. Het is de derde atoombom. die boven Osaka of Kyoto moet worden gedropt. Maar vlak bij het doel wordt de
bommenwerper neergeschoten. Met zijn uiterst gevaarlijke lading en de gehele bemanning verdwijnt het vliegtuig in de diepte van de zee.

Oktober 1993. Er heerst een nieuwe wereldorde. Niet Amerika, maar Japan is nu de leidende natie. Japan en Japanse bedrijven gaan in het Amerikaanse bedrijfsleven steeds meer de dienst uitmaken. Maar voor één man, de mysterieuze en sinistere Hideki Suma, gaat het te langzaam. Hij beraamt een moorddadig plan dat Amerika in één klap geheel van Japan afhankelijk moet maken ...

Beroepsavonturier en geheim agent Dirk Pitt wordt door de CIA ingeschakeld om de strijd te beslechten in het voordeel van Amerika. Tja, en dan stijgt de spanning weer op iedere pagina. Alles wat ik verder over dit boek zou zeggen zou alleen maar de clou weggeven. Een aanrader dus!
675 reviews23 followers
May 12, 2021
God bless Clive Cussler now that he is gone! This book was written in 1990 and is still pertinent today. He is concerned with the security of America and uses the timeline from 1945 to maybe even today.. He is fearful of another culture taking over the good old USA and of course in this book it is Japan so we learn a lot about the culture, business takeovers, etc; Lost Treasure; nuclear warfare. In1993 which is futuristic for this book, we start with a North Pacific blast and learn that there was a shipload of cars from Japan that had atomic bombs inside that exploded. Is anyone left alive to tell us what happened? YES, our hero Dirk Pitt, special project director for NUMA(National Underwater Marine Agency). So if you like boats and how everything works, you will love this book. There are lots of characters and many little stories but they all fit together in warning us of far reaching dangers, worldwide and even predicts fear of a world without communication😟
Profile Image for Joe Garvin.
14 reviews
January 16, 2023
I decided to give the Dirk Pitt series a try after finding it at my local used book store. I love the movie Shara so I thought I would enjoy the books. The storyline was fun to follow and made you think. Cussler does an amazing job of bringing the adventure to life, you feel like you are with Dirk and Al as they are fighting to take down the evil Japanese underworld. As all good books (in my opinion) should it has you end with a warm feeling that makes you excited to read the next book in the series. My one complaint of the book and the reason why I did not give it the full five stars is at times in the middle of the story it did feel long, but at the same time never long enough to make me want to stop reading. Overall this was an amazing story and I can’t wait to move on to the next!
5 reviews
September 2, 2017
Ok, first of all, I read this book in German, as this book is not available in English anymore for Kindle.
As for the book itself, if you love the Dirk Pitt series, it will not disappoint. I got into the Pitt Series a long time ago but started on the later books and once I decided to read the series from the beginning I started seeing the character development, which is very well done.
Here Pitt is more given the role of one of many players, but as always saves the day with the help of his friend Al Giordino.
In some parts, this book is a real nail biter and hard to put down.
If you love the Dirk Pit series don't miss out on this book.
Profile Image for Jordan Anderson.
1,375 reviews35 followers
May 22, 2020
Dragon is no different than any other Clive Cussler novel. It follows the same formula as the other 9 previous stories in this series. It’s a paint by numbers, fill in the blanks, formulaic novel that all fans of Clive have read before (and after).

And yet, this one was a blast (no pun intended). With a focus on technology and antagonists intent on world domination, Dragon reads more like a James Bond novel, which is great, since Dragon was easily the most action packed and non stop of the Pitt series up to this point. Even though readers know Pitt and the supporting cast of regular characters will prevail against evil, Cussler kept the tension up till the very end.

Though fans will say Cussler’s career really took off after Raise the Titanic, I’d argue it was Dragon that launched his fame and fortune and made him a household name. After all, from here on out, for the next 6 or 7 books, Cussler continued to strike gold (well, as far as I can remember since I read everything from Sahara on when I was like 14).
86 reviews3 followers
February 17, 2020
The story was exciting, and the last half of the book was pretty entertaining (I read it very quickly), but the excessive nationalism, offensive references to “Japs” throughout the book, and the extremely dated references to Japan’s economic might were a turn-off. It just didn’t age very well 30 years later.
Profile Image for Fredrick Danysh.
6,844 reviews162 followers
June 22, 2017
A consortium of rich Japanese industrialists and Japanese criminal organizations are out to remove the United States as a world power through economic blackmail and the threat of using nuclear bombs. They want total control of Hawaii and California as well as for the United States to become an economic colony of Japan. NUMA and Dirk Pitt are the only thing standing in their way.
58 reviews
April 15, 2019
Great beginning but lost interest later on. I liked how it talked about Japanese Americans and Americans but felt like the plot was not good enough
Profile Image for Miloš.
Author 2 books28 followers
July 14, 2021
It is 3.5 stars. Typical Dirk Pitt adventure. Summer relaxation read. 😁
485 reviews
April 27, 2020
As usual Dirk Pitt and Al make an awesome team. Great read. Makes you wonder about the Japanese and our country.
216 reviews2 followers
September 18, 2015
Let’s face it – given the fact that the adventure genre is filled with clichés and not typically given to introspection, a one star book in this genre must be very, very bad. And indeed Dragon is the most atrocious thing I’ve ever read, and I’ve read quite a few atrocious things. This book is racist to an almost astounding level. Even if Dragon was not offensive on every level conceivable and quite a few that aren’t, it would still be a contemptible, disgusting piece of literature. The very fact that this book even exists is an embarrassment to all mankind.

The biggest problem with this book, of which there are many, is its horribly offensive treatment of Japanese people. Cussler uses every single offensive stereotype that ever existed to characterize his villain, a Japanese executive who somehow didn’t get the memo that his country lost World War II. Said executive enjoys hunting the most dangerous game (with robots!), seems to believe he can negotiate on behalf of the Japanese government, and has a fiendish plan involving nuking things. I’m telling you, this is an extremely painful book to review and read.

Now it’s true that Cussler has made foreigners villains before. The majority of his villains, in fact, are foreigners. However, said villains always were acting on their own (except for the Soviet ones, but that hardly counted because what else could you expect from the age of the Cold War?). This one has the implicit approval of his government, and, moreover, not a single person of his nationality is presented positively. This is nothing more than an Orientalist tract disguised as an adventure novel. And it’s not even a GOOD adventure novel.

Also particularly annoying is the absurd nature of the plot. Okay – I’ll admit it, many Cussler books have an absurd plot. But this plot is not only unlikely, it literally makes no sense. The villain’s plan to nuke everyone into accepting Japan will only make people invade Japan and put it down for good. His plan to destroy all electronics with an EMP pulse was a good one, I’ll admit. But he didn’t really think things through. Japan just didn’t have enough troops at that moment to take over the world at a moment’s notice, which is what they needed.

This book is a product of that very xenophobic and brief period in the early 1990s when Americans were terrified of being overtaken by Japan. I will admit that Dragon is not as problematic as, for example, Crichton’s Rising Sun, but that’s not saying much. Obviously, there are books that I’ve read that are worse than Dragon, but few that are more embarrassing. In terms of offensiveness, this reaches near Tintin in the Congo levels. And you most certainly are better reading not just something else, but anything else.
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