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The Navigator is a beach read . . . and a pretty entertaining one. Mix in a little history, add a few Biblical references, season with a maniac villain, fold in a little sexual byplay, and tilt the odds in unexpected ways and you've got The Navigator.

The ancient Phoenicians had a valuable secret that they decided to hide away, far from where anyone would find it. Later, Thomas Jefferson caught a whiff of the secret and decided to track it down. Both the Phoenicians and Jefferson left behind coded clues.

Into this labyrinth enter Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala of NUMA when they encounter a high seas hijacking aimed at stealing a statue called the Navigator that had earlier been taken from the Baghdad museum during American invasion in 2003. In the process of foiling the theft (and other, more major, harms), Austin makes the acquaintance of the bewitching Carina Mechadi, an Italian expert in recovering stolen art works.

At the same time, an assistant librarian in the archives for the American Philosophical Society, finds misfiled some papers that seem to have been written by Thomas Jefferson. Before long, others are riveted by this find.

Austin and Mechadi take on the challenge of tracking down the Navigator after it is stolen again. At the same time, they sense the deeper riddle involving the Phoenicians and work on that puzzle as well.

Before the book's end, both will be severely tested and unexpected secrets will be revealed.

The ancient sea-going references make this book unmistakably a Clive Cussler creation. The NUMA technology and experience double that certainty. The presence of Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala convince you this is a Clive Cussler plot. From there, the book has a strong seasoning of tongue-in-cheek as the villain shows his preferences for jousting and ancient religions. I felt at times like this was "The Wild Wild West" meets the 21st century.

Although not as good as the earliest Dirk Pitt books, The Navigator is a book worthy of your time if you are looking for some light action-based reading with an occasional "what if?" thought injected.

As I read the book, I was concerned for some time that it was going to end up with some anti-Christian plot development or message. But the resolution of the story seemed to me to fall within the real of what is possible and still fit in with mainline Christianity. I only mention that point because some fiction these days chooses to plot out stories that are anti-Christian.

Have fun!
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Clive Cussler was born in 1931 and grew up in Alhambra, California. He attended Pasadena City College before joining the Air Force. He went on to a successful advertising career, winning many national honours for his copywriting. He has also explored the deserts of the American Southwest in search of lost gold mines, dived in isolated lakes in the Rocky Mountains looking for lost aircraft and hunted under the sea for shipwrecks of historic significance, discovering and identifying more than sixty. He is married with three children, and divides his time between Colorado and Arizona. His credentials as a best selling author cannot be doubted and he has a large `stable' of best selling adventure novels.

I found this to be a much better book than the Lost City, the last book I read of Clive Cussler's. This one is full of the usual adventure and mayhem that are a feature of the author's books.

Many years ago, an ancient Phoenician statue known as the Navigator was stolen from the museum in Baghdad. There are men throughout the world who would do anything to get their hands on the priceless object and that includes murder. Their first victim is a shady antiques dealer who is murdered in cold blood. Their second attempt almost sees the demise of a UN investigator who, if not for the timely intervention of Austin and Zavala would now be experiencing a watery grave.

Why is there so much interest in a statue lost to mankind so many years ago? The search for the answer will take the NUMA team on an astonishing adventure through time and space. An adventure that encompasses no less than the lost treasures of King Solomon, plus a mysterious package of documents personally encoded by US President, Thomas Jefferson and a secret scientific programme that could change the world . . .
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 November 2016
I like Clive Cussler books - great escapes from our heroes in impossible situations! I have read most of his books but I have surprisingly been a bit slow getting into the Numa Files series. Well now I am up and running with a few to go! I won't spoil your read by discussing the plot.
I will say, if you like Clive Cussler, you will enjoy this!
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on 13 February 2015
I wouldn't exactly call myself a fan of Clive Cussler, but I've always enjoyed what little I've read in the past. I'm not usually too much of a fan of marine stories, which is why he's never been a first choice of mine, although he does write exciting stories. ''The Navigator'' is no exception.

Years before the birth of Christ, the Phoenicians hid something very valuable in a far away land. Thousands of years later, Thomas Jefferson, just nearing the end of his term as President of the United States, possibly discovers its whereabouts. However, there are people keen to prevent him from doing so and much of his paperwork is stolen and his friend Lewis murdered to ensure that the secret remains so.

Hundreds of years later, following the invasion or Iraq, Carmen Machadi is able to salvage a number of articles looted from Baghdad Museum. One of these is an unremarkable bronze statue called the Navigator, which is thought to be Phoenician in origin. Mechadi isn't too concerned about the statue, but someone clearly is, as the ship carrying it and her back to America is attacked. Kurt Austin saves both her and the statue, although the attempted thieves try and succeed again. Austin and Machadi want to find out who was so keen to obtain it and why.

It sounds like quite a simple story, but Cussler mixes historical and fictional characters with fact and supposition to create a decent mystery. It's not a mystery where you can follow the clues and try and solve it before the characters, you just have to hold on tight and enjoy the ride. In this way, it reminds me a little of Matthew Reilly's ''Seven Ancient Wonders'', although Cussler is a far better writer than Reilly.

Cussler's pacing of the story really helps things along. He starts almost gently with the historical background, building up slowly before the book almost explodes into the present day. Once the story has got moving, it stays that way throughout. The action moves smoothly from one continent to another and jumps between characters often enough that you can always keep up with what's going on with someone at any given point.

If there is a downside, it is with the characters themselves. Kurt Austin is a recurring Cussler character, so he doesn't spend time describing him in any great detail. This means he comes across as rather faceless and although you can tell he's on the side of right and his joking with another recurring character Joe Zavala makes him seem a little more human, it's tough to really get a feel for him. There are other characters added at parts who are clearly known to Austin, but having not read a Kurt Austin book for a while, I did feel as if I was missing out on something by not knowing who they were.

When Cussler does build a new character, though, he does it very well. Viktor Baltazar is the man wanting to obtain the Nevigator and being a new character, he is very well drawn. His motivations are clear and he is given a personality akin to that of a Bond villain; charming when he wants to be, yet despicable. Unfortunately, because he was the most complete character here, it was easier to get involved in his aims, as they felt the most real.

This is only a minor distraction, though. Whilst it's difficult to get involved with the people themselves, as they don't exactly welcome you in, it's easy to get caught up in the story. It was a great idea, which worked very well and there were a couple of surprises, including a delightful little twist late on that kept things going a little longer just when I thought they were about to end.

Cussler usually writes with flair and style and a breathless pace and ''The Navigator'' is no different. This was an enjoyable, if not terribly taxing read and if you're a fan of adventure style thrillers, you can't usually go wrong with Cussler generally. The scope of the story and the number of characters he plucks from various places would probably make this a good introduction to his work if you don't mind feeling a little out of the loop at a couple of points.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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Clive Cussler was born in 1931 and grew up in Alhambra, California. He attended Pasadena City College before joining the Air Force. He went on to a successful advertising career, winning many national honours for his copywriting. He has also explored the deserts of the American Southwest in search of lost gold mines, dived in isolated lakes in the Rocky Mountains looking for lost aircraft and hunted under the sea for shipwrecks of historic significance, discovering and identifying more than sixty. He is married with three children, and divides his time between Colorado and Arizona. His credentials as a best selling author cannot be doubted and he has a large `stable' of best selling adventure novels.

I found this to be a much better book than the Lost City, the last book I read of Clive Cussler's. This one is full of the usual adventure and mayhem that are a feature of the author's books.

Many years ago, an ancient Phoenician statue known as the Navigator was stolen from the museum in Baghdad. There are men throughout the world who would do anything to get their hands on the priceless object and that includes murder. Their first victim is a shady antiques dealer who is murdered in cold blood. Their second attempt almost sees the demise of a UN investigator who, if not for the timely intervention of Austin and Zavala would now be experiencing a watery grave.

Why is there so much interest in a statue lost to mankind so many years ago? The search for the answer will take the NUMA team on an astonishing adventure through time and space. An adventure that encompasses no less than the lost treasures of King Solomon, plus a mysterious package of documents personally encoded by US President, Thomas Jefferson and a secret scientific programme that could change the world . . .
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on 22 May 2009
My first Clive Cussler (and unheard of extra writer - no offence fella) book. Not bad. Very slow to get started, but a decent enough thread. Unlikely I'll buy another Clive Cussler book. Have to admit to being quite irked to the massive amount of "Wow, America is the best at everything" attitude largely observed throughout the book - reminded me a bit of the Team America film (but without the obvious not-taking-itself-seriously attitude). And the dodgy spelling.

Brief summary; it's ok if there's nothing else, but don't go out of your way for this one.
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on 29 May 2015
Yet another intriguing novel where fact and fiction are blended together to provide a fast paced thriller. Some of the facts within the storyline make for an interesting piece of research aft err finishing the book
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on 17 July 2013
Don't know what other Clive Cussler fans think, but personally I think every book of his I've read has been worthy of five stars. I've read all the Dirk Pitt novels, I've read all but two Numa Files. I look forward to reading Isaac Bell, Oregon Files and Fargo Adventures
Brilliant:) :)
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The Navigator is a beach read . . . and a pretty entertaining one. Mix in a little history, add a few Biblical references, season with a maniac villain, fold in a little sexual byplay, and tilt the odds in unexpected ways and you've got The Navigator.

The ancient Phoenicians had a valuable secret that they decided to hide away, far from where anyone would find it. Later, Thomas Jefferson caught a whiff of the secret and decided to track it down. Both the Phoenicians and Jefferson left behind coded clues.

Into this labyrinth enter Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala of NUMA when they encounter a high seas hijacking aimed at stealing a statue called the Navigator that had earlier been taken from the Baghdad museum during American invasion in 2003. In the process of foiling the theft (and other, more major, harms), Austin makes the acquaintance of the bewitching Carina Mechadi, an Italian expert in recovering stolen art works.

At the same time, an assistant librarian in the archives for the American Philosophical Society, finds misfiled some papers that seem to have been written by Thomas Jefferson. Before long, others are riveted by this find.

Austin and Mechadi take on the challenge of tracking down the Navigator after it is stolen again. At the same time, they sense the deeper riddle involving the Phoenicians and work on that puzzle as well.

Before the book's end, both will be severely tested and unexpected secrets will be revealed.

The ancient sea-going references make this book unmistakably a Clive Cussler creation. The NUMA technology and experience double that certainty. The presence of Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala convince you this is a Clive Cussler plot. From there, the book has a strong seasoning of tongue-in-cheek as the villain shows his preferences for jousting and ancient religions. I felt at times like this was "The Wild Wild West" meets the 21st century.

Although not as good as the earliest Dirk Pitt books, The Navigator is a book worthy of your time if you are looking for some light action-based reading with an occasional "what if?" thought injected.

As I read the book, I was concerned for some time that it was going to end up with some anti-Christian plot development or message. But the resolution of the story seemed to me to fall within the real of what is possible and still fit in with mainline Christianity. I only mention that point because some fiction these days chooses to plot out stories that are anti-Christian.

Have fun!
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on 18 June 2009
I've read most of Cussler's books and I found this one to be rather disappointing. Usually I can't put one of his books down - but this one seemed to drag on and on and on. I read it over about two weeks which is unusual for me. I also found the story confusing - perhaps the riddle was just too complex for me.

Yes it was all very predictable - with good winning over evil, but the whole background with Solomons mines etc was rather complex (I'm still not sure how they actually saved the world this time).

Perhaps it's just time I read something a bit more grown-up.
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