Stephen Coonts is one of the best authors writing in this field who sales have been increasing with each book All of his previous novels have been NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers and attract widespread review coverage: 'Crammed with action [and] suspense' USA TODAY 'Gripping ... Once begun, this book cannot be laid aside' WALL STREET JOURNAL 'Superbly written' WASHINGTON TIMES 'Strong, vivid writing ... impressive power and authenticity' WASHINGTON POST 'Mr Coonts knows how to write and build suspense. His dialogue is realistic, the storyline mesmeric. That is the mark of a natural storyteller' NEW
Stephen Coonts is a former naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Vietnam War.
A flight of fancy and a departure from Coonts's bestselling techno-thrillers (Flight of the Intruder, etc.) pits an eager young grad student against seasoned military, government and corporate raider types for control of an ancient flying saucer dug out of a sandstone outcrop in the Sahara. Rip Cantrell is acting as gofer for a seismic survey when a glint of metal in the sand catches his eye. Aided by archeologists from a nearby dig, he unearths the ship, but the U.S. Air Force UFO team shows up followed shortly by armed thugs sent by Australian mogul Roger Hedrick. When the Libyan army appears on the scene as well, Rip and test pilot Capt. Charlotte (Charley) Pine manage to hijack the controls of the saucer, evading all their pursuers and flying to the Missouri farm of Rip's Uncle Egg, "inventor, wizard, mechanic extraordinaire." Egg cues Charley and Rip to the saucer's advanced flight capabilities, and they make decoy runs to mask their real location. But Hedrick tracks them down, and Charley is forced by a Hedrick operative to fly the saucer to the mogul's Australian ranch. Rip heads Down Under with rescue in mind when the UFO team (previously in Libyan captivity) are set free and tell all on TV, forcing Hedrick to change plans. He puts the saucer up for sale to one lucky nation, but has a sinister plan that Charley vows to disrupt. The moves get more deadly as the bidding begins, and Rip comes on the scene for a predictably spectacular ending. More Cussler than Clancy, this cartoonish slice of escapism is also more hokey than suspenseful ("But saucers do exist. There one is!"); still, it's tough to put down. Major ad/promo. (Mar. 12) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This work, which is hard to pigeonhole, will elicit various reactions. Some researchers find an ancient flying saucer in the Sahara desert, the U.S. air force becomes involved, then an Australian multibillionaire takes the craft. Anyway, there is excitement, romance, some technical details, rather flat characters, and more than a little satire thrown in. Definitely not Coonts's greatest work, it is still rather intriguing. Dick Hill, who is a well-respected narrator, does a superb job; he takes what is at best a mediocre piece of literature and makes it exciting. His voice characterizations for all the cast are consistent and quite expressive. Hill's commendable performance illustrates well the saying that it often is not what one says but how one says it. Public libraries may wish to consider.-Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.