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Oregon Files #7

The Silent Sea

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Clive Cussler's tales of the Oregon and its crew-"the clever, indefatigable Juan Cabrillo and his merry band of tough, tech-savvy fighting men and women" (Publishers Weekly)-have made fans of hundreds of thousands of readers. But the Oregon's sixth adventure is its most remark­able one yet.

On December 7, 1941, five brothers exploring a shaft on a small island off the coast of Washington State make an extraordinary discovery, only to be interrupted by news of Pearl Harbor. In the present, Cabrillo, chasing the remnants of a crashed satellite in the Argentine jungle, stumbles upon a shocking revelation of his own. His search to untangle the mystery leads him, first, to that small island and its secret, and then much farther back, to an ancient Chinese expedition-and a curse that seems to have survived for more than five hundred years. If Cabrillo's team is successful in its quest, the reward could be incalculable. If not . . . the only reward is death.

403 pages, Hardcover

First published March 9, 2010

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About the author

Clive Cussler

528 books7,750 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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5 stars
4,208 (38%)
4 stars
4,404 (40%)
3 stars
1,905 (17%)
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1 star
64 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 474 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa Reads & Reviews.
441 reviews119 followers
June 26, 2014

When I picked up this novel, I failed to pick up on the fact it was an author-branded work. I had heard of Clive Cussler. His background and involvement with sunken ships and general marine archaeology is intriguing. That, and being a successful author were enough to lure me in--I'd hoped to learn something as well as be thrilled with the adventure. Only after a feeling of disappointment and depression set in did I look closely at the cover and realize Clive Cussler is used as a brand name. While brands are suppose to be a guarantee of a certain quality, or that a story will meet a beloved formula, to me they are sterile and predictable. Characters move as the plot dictates. Wry lines are thrown in for candy toppings. Sunken ships are involved, but again, the urgency, the fascination is missing. In sum, I am not a fan of branded novels. If I were to read Mr. Cussler again, I'd pick up one of his first works, when he was hungry and dug deep into his personal resources for inspiration.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,227 reviews2,731 followers
July 11, 2014
The Ronish family had owned Pine Island, part of Washington State for generations. The mystery of the deep pit on the island had been investigated by many, but disaster struck each time. In December of 1941 it was the turn of the five Ronish brothers to uncover the mysteries of the deep – four were old enough but the youngest could only watch on. But once again tragedy struck; then with news of the war and Pearl Harbour the older brothers headed off to fight…

In the current day, Juan Cabrillo was Chairman of the Corporation – Captain of the ship the Oregon, he was part of an intense and dedicated team of men and women controlled (in part) by the government. So when Juan was told to search for a crashed US satellite which had landed in the jungles of Argentina, there was no time to plan ahead as he would normally do – thirty six hours was his deadline. It was while his team of four were trekking through the jungle that a stunning discovery was made which would alter the course of history, and put countries in danger, especially the United States.

As the danger escalated the two seemingly unrelated incidents, sixty years apart began to draw together. With the Chinese and Argentinians involved, plus the freezing Antarctic coastline Cabrillo and his team were stretched to the limit. With shocking revelations of a five hundred year old curse, would Cabrillo and his team succeed, or would they succumb to the worst possible scenario?

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining novel by Clive Cussler. I had not read him for probably four years – I think I had overdosed! When I decided to read him again, I was curious to see if the enjoyment was still there – it most definitely was! The pace is fast, with full on action and likeable characters. The twists and turns make it easy to keep turning the pages to the end. I highly recommend this novel and I will be reading more.
Profile Image for Shannon.
901 reviews235 followers
August 1, 2015
I tried to get into this one but it had a very slow start and I gave up after a time. Perhaps I will give Cussler another audio CD or book try but for now it's on to other reading/listening projects.

OVERALL GRADE: D plus to C minus.
Profile Image for Julie.
987 reviews37 followers
December 12, 2019
This is one of my faves of the series so far :) This one was more story than characters but that is okay. Neat ending!
Profile Image for Linda.
1,891 reviews35 followers
September 14, 2017
3.5 stars. Fun Oregon Files adventure set mainly in South America and the Antarctic. As always lots of action.
Profile Image for Tom.
325 reviews30 followers
March 2, 2012
I'm not a huge fan of Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels. They're fine, but I just never connected.

However, I have enjoyed both of his Spy series novels. The Silent Sea is the first I've read from the Oregon Files, and I really enjoyed it.

The Oregon is a super-high tech ship disguised as a decrepit junk heap. It has its own helicopter, torpedos, minisubs, and priceless works of art on the walls. No, I'm not kidding.

Anyway, Argentina and China have claimed sovereignty over Antarctica, and they've built a secret...

It doesn't matter, really. There are bad guys and wisecracking good guys, strong women, smart people, and lots of gadgetry. It's not plausible, and that's fine. It's neither a military history nor a scientific treatise. It's an entertaining, fast read, and there are very few slow parts. The last paragraph put a big grin on my face, and now I can take a nap.

The Silent Sea isn't literature. Then again, I'm reading it between "A Tale of Two Cities" and Fitzgerald's "The Beautiful and Damned"--I didn't need it to be. I needed a fun entertainment, and The Silent Sea delivered.
Profile Image for Brenda H.
852 reviews77 followers
August 26, 2018
The Silent Sea is the 7th book in The Oregon Files series by Clive Cussler. This is the 5th book in which the co-author is Jack Du Brul.

Juan Cabrillo and his crew are asked by the CIA to retrieve a piece of NASA technology that has been lost over Argentina. While searching for the crashed satellite, the crew makes an astonishing discovery that leads back to a small island in the US and a long-ago Chinese expedition. What ensues is a race to prevent territorial thievery, avoid ecological disaster and find answers to a mystery that is decades old. Oh, and doing that all in direct opposition to the wishes of the US…

This plot was interesting but convoluted and took some time to all come together. As usual, Cabrillo and his crew manage near-impossible feats of derring-do and are able to bring the mission and then some to a successful conclusion. The only sour note was that the ending fell kind of flat after all the intrigue and explosive action. That won’t stop me from continuing the series, however, and I look forward to future adventures with The Oregon and its crew.

Rating: 4 stars
15 reviews
April 20, 2019
The story seemed a little too fantastic and unreal, but exciting.
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews373 followers
June 21, 2010
So, I decided to take a break from vampires and werewolves and all things paranormal. I picked up The Silent Sea because I have enjoyed all of Clive Cussler's books. I was not disappointed.

Clive Cussler has a way of creating great action stories, full of suspense and lots of firepower and explosions. This story starts on an island off Washington State, moves to Argentina, Texas, and Antarctica. And just when I thought I would read a book that was vampire-free, there was a reference to the Twilight books, as the action moved to the town of Forks, Washington.

It doesn't really matter what the story is about. It's about all the gadgets and machinery that the Corporation uses. It's a fun read and that's all.
Profile Image for Pete Carter.
Author 5 books9 followers
February 16, 2014
What spoilt this book for me was the sloppy editing. If you’re buying a self-published book for 99p off Kindle you might expect a few typos – but if you’re paying rrp £18.99 for a first edition hardback, you expect quality and professionalism. You can barely go 8 pages without a typo – some of them glaring. And not just the editing – the authors made one or two real clangers themselves. Try this for size: (p75)
‘…converging on a levelled-off section of hillside at least two acres across….’
That’s like saying ‘I trod in a puddle that was six gallons deep.’
At another point it became evident that much of the story had been dictated, as a similar sounding word but of completely different and irrelevant meaning had been inserted. Overall the quality of editing gave me the impression of a rushed production.
The story: Usual Cussler production line. Entertaining, plenty of action, technically plausible, but variation on the same old theme. Something gets lost a long time ago; clues lead to its rediscovery today; good guys chase bad guys to find it first; confrontation; good guys win. All very predictable.
Don’t get me wrong – I like Clive Cussler novels. They’re pure escapism and if you don’t mind reading the same plot over and over, with just the settings and some of the characters changed, they’re good fun. However, the sloppy editing in this one spoilt it for me, and for that I give it a 2 star rating.
Profile Image for James Feller.
6 reviews
July 13, 2011
I have read a majority of Clive Cussler's books. I have loved them all, then there comes this one... There are so many unrealistic things, capturing a torpedo in the moon-pool? Really? That is rediculous. Cussler can pride himself on his historical and factual accuracy in all his books except this one. Too many mistakes for me, a Cadillac Town Car? Town Cars are made by Lincoln not Cadillac. A torpedo with guy-wires? Guy-wires are to stop things like very tall antennas from falling over. I feel sorry for anyone who got this book as their first taste of Clive Cussler's writing.
Profile Image for Simon Harris.
31 reviews
May 17, 2021

The Silent Sea is a great novel, simple as. It's fast paced and has more substance to it than most of Clive's novels. I've become accustomed to Clive's style of writing over the years but you can sense a slight change with the influence of Jack du Brul.

It has the usual action and flows really well but seems to have a lot more depth to it. Although it's fiction, this book seems to have an air of believe-ability to it.

One of the best Clive Cussler books I've read in a while.
Author 1 book59 followers
September 3, 2020
On December 7, 1941, 5 brothers explore an island and make an exciting discovery.

Fast-forward to the present:

Juan Cabrillo and the Oregon crew's search for missing NASA technology leads to a globe-trotting adventure.

Action. Action, and more action. Twists kept coming, with one huge turn at the end.

Antartica, as you've never seen, are in the pages of this book. Adding history makes it better.

I look forward to other books in this series.
Profile Image for Laura Ruetz.
1,257 reviews69 followers
October 19, 2017
I loved this book. This reminded me of the Oak Island Money pit and that seems to be an inspiration for this book. This is an action packed book that does not skimp on the character development and it really pulls you in from the start. I've always been intrigued by old secrets and treasures and this did not disappoint.
Profile Image for  Olivermagnus.
1,881 reviews44 followers
August 10, 2017
Silent Sea is the seventh of the Oregon Files series. The book begins with a prologue set in 1941 where five brothers living in Washington search for buried treasure in a cave. Tragedy ensues, along with Pearl Harbor, so we are left in the dark about what was discovered. We then fast forward to modern times where we join Juan Cabrillo in Argentina to retrieve the remains of a lost American satellite. Before long we are ready to go to Antarctica where the ream uses cutting-edge technology and their unique skills to save the world from an evil team of Chinese and Argentinians.

I love the powerful and captivating characters in this series. Juan seems too good to be true in many cases, but this book focused a bit more on his thoughts as leader of the team. You definitely have to ignore the improbability of the team's ability to get out of dangerous situations. There is quite a bit of traveling around in this book, as well as some surprises by seemingly-irrelevant characters, which enhanced my enjoyment of the book. There's also some interesting background in the story which seems well researched.

If you like fast paced adventure mixed with fiction and fact I highly recommend any of the Oregon files books. The author is very good at finding a factual historical unknown and weaving his own fictional story around it. Overall, the story and fast developing action kept me hooked to this one. It's a great summer book to read if you're looking for a great action adventure story. Cussler is a master at blending them both in a seamless way.
Profile Image for Wolf (Alpha).
759 reviews8 followers
May 25, 2019
This was a great book. I have recently began reading Clive Cussler’s books, and if you’ve never read them before, you must. The characters were amazing. I loved all the brothers so much. The plot was amazing. I’ve read other books with plots similar to this, but this by far was the best. I loved how their story fit right in with history. I hate how one of the brothers dies in the beginning. Overall this book gets 5 stars.
Profile Image for Caroline Davis.
32 reviews
January 22, 2023
I love Cussler and overall I enjoyed this one. It dragged a little for me at times and it would have been nice to know how Cabrillo survived at the end.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Steve.
432 reviews34 followers
March 19, 2010
This is the seventh installment of the Oregon Files series by Clive Cussler. The series started out as a spin off of characters created in one volume of the Dirk Pitt series, also by Cussler. The characters turned out to be a perfect base on which to launch another successful series of books. To date, I have enjoyed every installment of the Oregon Files series. And The Silent Sea is no exception.

The story starts on a family owned island off the west coast of the United States. For generations, the family members have struggled to reach bottom of a flooded shaft at the center of the island. At the bottom of which is believed to be an abandoned pirates treasure. But while the young men of the family line have struggled for generations to reach the bottom, none have yet discovered its secrets.

How the story spins from the small family owned island of North America to the jungles of Argentina and an ice covered base in Antarctica is something that must be experienced in order to be believed. The story unfolds at an accelerated pace taking the characters on a series of twists and turns that ultimately lead not only the hidden secrets of the family owned island but the discovery of a lost ancient Chinese expedition and a deadly disease.

I'm a big fan of Cussler's work. After dozens of compelling and entertaining adventure stories, he continues to release creative and original works that center around powerful and captivating characters. The Silent Sea is yet another great example of his work.
Profile Image for Carol.
2,593 reviews80 followers
August 6, 2017
What's It About?
On December 7, 1941, five brothers exploring a shaft on a small island off the coast of Washington state make an exciting discovery, only to be interrupted by news of Pearl Harbor. In the present, Cabrillo, chasing the remnants of a crashed satellite in the Argentine jungle, makes a shocking discovery of his own. His search to untangle the mystery leads him first to that small island and its secret, and then much further back, to an ancient Chinese expedition, and a curse that seems to have survived for over five hundred years. If Cabrillo’s team is successful in its quest, the reward could be incalculable. If not...the only reward is death.

My Thoughts:
Lots of action...at times a little too much. Cussler's novels always begin with a scene straight from a history book that has significant ramifications and often dire consequences, relating to the present day...although at first it may not seem to have any connection. The Silent Sea like all 6 of it's predecessors... is a thoroughly enjoyable tale told with a great deal of imagination that Clive Cusssler seems so adapt at. Anyone that goes for history...adventure...thrillers with non-stop action... and characters that you will quickly come to love and respect will find that The Oregon Files series fits your expectations.
Profile Image for Carol Caldwell.
Author 3 books5 followers
November 10, 2012
Cussler has a knack for creating larger than life characters and Juan Cabrillo is no exception. Cabrillo's home is the Oregon, a ship that looks like it's headed for the garbage dump on the outside and one that is outfitted on the inside with the latest technology available for doing anything. It's always enjoyable to see outsider's (read enemies) reaction to the ship and how they underestimate it. This story has plenty of technology, plenty of adventure and discovery, and plenty of harrowing near-misses. It also has one unexpected tragedy.

Cussler and/or Jack DuBrul who co-wrote the novel, wrote some great lines. For example page 150..."Encounter ice," Max corrected. "One encounters ice, one must never hit ice. Bad for the ship." On page 310, he begins a chapter with a description of the horrendous wind patterns in Antarctica. The second paragraph begins "It was into this hell that Juan Cabrillo drove his ship and crew." It's very hard to put down a book that drives the reader like that.
Profile Image for Leanne Hunt.
Author 6 books43 followers
October 23, 2014
I would not have made it through two-thirds of this book had it not been for the fact that my husband and I were listening to it on a long journey and we had nothing else to read. Frankly, we both found the novel boring. While it is full of action and intrigue, and will probably appeal to a reader interested in weapons and military-style operations, it is completely lacking in depth. The characters are one-dimensional and there seems to be no subtext. It is what Afrikaans-speaking people call a "skiet en donner" book — or, in rough translation, a "shoot and punch" offering. Not my cup of tea at all.

I gave the book a 2-star rating because it passes the test of grammar and literary layout. However, I am cured of ever trying another Clive Cussler novel. I cannot see what all the fuss is about, why readers would opt for something this clumsy when there are so many other, far more informative and well-researched action novels out there.
Profile Image for Ann Keller.
Author 30 books107 followers
January 28, 2015
I read this book almost in a single day. It's a powerful tale of a group of Chinese explorers from the fifteenth century, who set sail to the east and discovered what they thought must be Africa. They left behind a few tantalizing clues on the Oregon coastline, clues that seem too incredible to be true.

Juan Cabrillo and his team follow the exciting trail to the south, to Antarctica, where a remote outpost holds the key to solving the mystery. Unfortunately, there are other contenders for this great prize. The Argentinians and Chinese aren't willing to relinquish their claim to the resources buried under the sea. A huge 300 foot Chinese junk might hold the key to untold riches.
Profile Image for Steve.
37 reviews2 followers
January 6, 2016
I'm not a great fan of Cussler 'tis true and his books are spare time filling potboilers at best. This was no exception with unbelievably perfect heroes in an organisation that never makes mistakes - yeah right. The plot was tepid and it did drag a bit sometimes. I got to the end, that was an effort to be honest, which somehow neatly tied up up all the loose ends in a rather convenient way.
I'm not going to read any more of his novels, I know what to expect and I should spend my reading hours with books with slightly more depth and realism. Yes, I know it is fiction, but seriously, a covert US unit carrying out illegal missions in a converted tramp steamer?
Profile Image for Mike Van Barneveld.
76 reviews3 followers
November 6, 2012
Hartstikke goed boek. Veel spanning en actie. Het verhaal zou wat mij betreft zo als een James Bond-film vertoond kunnen worden, uitgezonderd van de romances dan. Het einde is ook erg spannend en in sommige opzichten onverwacht. Ik vond het al met al een erg goed boek!


Een geweldig spannend begin. Keurige schrijfstijl die direct boeit. Soms is het nog even struikelen over de lange zinnen en dure woorden die er gebruikt worden, maar dat went erg snel. Erg hoog niveau tot nu toe. Ben benieuwd wat het vervolg gaat brengen want ik heb hoge verwachtingen nu :)
5,062 reviews57 followers
July 27, 2016
Another entry in the Oregon Files series see Cabrillo and Company go up against Argentinian commandos in the jungle, in Antarctica, and on a stand-in for Oak Island.

I found the Antarctica setting especially effective, as it made me feel cold in the middle of summer.

Pretty good stuff with lots of derring do. An illusion of change occurs in this novel that carries over for the next book in the series.

Profile Image for Brett.
61 reviews
March 22, 2011
note to Clive Cussler, Please stop starting and ending situations like this "Suddenly the house Sgt. Mike was in became engulfed in flames, no human could survive it, FORTUNATELY for Mike, he decided to wear his flame retardant clothing that day out of pure luck". It seems as if everyone in Clive's books are as lucky as lucky can be every minute of the book.

weak to quite weak.
Profile Image for Pat DiGeorge.
Author 1 book1 follower
November 28, 2015
Just not for me. The prologue was the most interesting part of the book. The rest of it would appeal to someone who was interested in every technical detail of the equipment and weaponry used. I listened to the audio book and did finish it. If I had been reading it I could have easily flipped through most of the pages.
Profile Image for Emily.
43 reviews6 followers
November 30, 2010
absolutely couldn't even stand to finish it. The writing is childish & the editing is abysmal. Maybe the story would have been entertaining, but I couldn't overlook the misuse of language long enough to find out.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 474 reviews

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