bookrev: Tsubute by R.J. Archer
Continues the Adventure where Tractrix left off
Tsubute continues the adventures of the NWIDI team where Tractrix left off. Frank Morton and his collegues this time journey to Japan, with the initial intent to investigate a mysterious pyramid off the island of Yonaguni, the westernmost island of Japan.
As with his last novel, Archer interweaves facts with his fiction: in the late 1980’s, divers found underwater archeological ruins similar to the pyramids of Egypt, Maya and other ancient civilizations, much older than previous indicators of ancient civilizations in this area. In Tsubute, the NWIDI team’s investigation of this phenomena is mixed with an attack on one of their own, where they discover a tsubute, an ancient Japanese ninja weapon, that appears to have originated from the same island of Yonaguni.
Tsubute continues to follow the theories of Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods, etc.) but that is not the main theme of the story, as it was in Tractrix. These theories are integrated in with the action, investigation and subversive plot.
The book establishes more of the characters of the team members, and has quite a bit more action than the previous book. I thought it ended too soon though, with some loose ends not quite tied up (why was the fake PI spying on the team? what happened to Aya?)….and there is a nice setup for book three, where perhaps all will be answered.
Again, highly recommended for Clive Cussler fans, and all fans of Graham Hancock’s theories.
Your thoughts about the missing details in TSUBUTE are well-taken.
I have a few thoughts on R.J.’s behalf:
He’s taking some of your review comments seriously about Tsubute for use in novel #3, TRIANGLE. Specifically, it will probably be a quick mention that Aya is serving time (as an acomplace) in Japan, but don’t worry…she probably will serve a reduced sentence! haha.
And then there’s the fake detective. I think that’s now in the hands of the FBI and will take a few years to resolve. Well, let’s see what R.J. actually comes up with in a way that won’t interfere with the storyline of novel #3.
A quick comment…about the reduced page-count of Tsubute.
I know he had two things in mind:
1) the increased action and momentum in Tsubute makes it seem nearly as long as TRACTRIX
2) he was hoping a reduced spine would help convince bookstores to stock TSUBUTE on their shelves. He read somewhere that TRACTRIX is pushing the margin for a new author as far as number of pages, and he wanted to step back a bit.
I have a hunch TRIANGLE will come in somewhere in between the two as far as page count. I’ve read the first third and love the storyline.
A note to readers:
Your special order requests at retail bookstores help convince buyers to stock the novels. They can ALL place them through their regular purchasing channels and you’ll wait no longer than if you purchase them online. Thanks!
Great website, Larry. I plan to stop by often. It’s nice to have a forum for responding comments.