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Staff Reviews 8-11-23

Spartan Gold

By Cliver Cussler and Grant Blackwood

Release Date: September 3, 2009

Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

4 Stars! - The first in the Fargo series and a rare re-read review for me. The adventure starts early as Sam and Remi, a married pair of globe trotters, stumble onto a treasure hunt that could be their best find ever. There's hardly a dull moment as these two hook up with new friends and old to track down wine bottles and artifacts from Napolean and on down through the years.

Sam and Remi are living the life most of us would hope. They're rich, kind, clever, and have no real responsibilities to speak of. Clive Cussler had grand ideas about this team, not entirely all original. And Grant Blackwood is used to a role as a supporting writer and works effectively. Sam's brilliant and sensitive, and he has an impressive set of skills he's honed over the years that gets them to the gold almost every time. Remi is the perfect woman of course, but she does know how to take him down a notch or two. And she's not afraid to put in some work and get her hands dirty.

The plot is a bit more rushed and crazy than later Fargo Adventures. The pace is wild as they pop from country to country, outrunning pretty melodramatic and dangerous bad guys. Some of the supporting characters, recurring and not recurring too, are quite memorable. This one mostly takes place in Europe as they track down pieces from a lost cellar of Napolean's. The opening chapter is a lot to get through with all the history. And later, there is a lot of detail which can bog down the reader. We get every clue, every detail, every idea, and every lunch order from Cussler and Blackwood. But the flow is excellent. The last few chapters were so intense, even though I knew what was going to happen. Also, this is pretty much the only series that gets me to tolerate Scott Brick narration. He is overdramatic, has too much fun with accents, tries to be too dry. But you always know who is talking at least. I'd highly recommend this series, and while they can be read in basically any order, this one is a great place to start of course.


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