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Literature / Dirk Pitt Adventures

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The Dirk Pitt Adventures is a large series of novels featuring oceanographer and Adventurer Archaeologist Dirk Pitt and his motley pals in the National Underwater and Marine Agency (which is described shortly but aptly as "the maritime counterpart of NASA"). The series was created by Clive Cussler, although he has teamed up with other authors to write his books, notably Craig Dirgo and his son, Dirk Cussler (the character being named for the son, not vice versa). There have been two movie adaptations- Raise the Titanic! and Sahara.

Twenty-five books so far. Co-written with his son Dirk from the eighteenth book onwards..

  • The Mediterranean Caper (1973)
  • Iceberg (1975)
  • Raise the Titanic! (1976)
  • Vixen 03 (1978)
  • Night Probe! (1981)
  • Pacific Vortex! (1983)
  • Deep Six (1984)
  • Cyclops (1986)
  • Treasure (1988)
  • Dragon (1990)
  • Sahara (1992)
  • Inca Gold (1994)
  • Shock Wave (1996)
  • Flood Tide (1997)
  • Atlantis Found (1999)
  • Valhalla Rising (2001)
  • Trojan Odyssey (2003)
  • Black Wind (2004)
  • Treasure of Khan (2006)
  • Arctic Drift (2008)
  • Crescent Dawn (2010)
  • Poseidon's Arrow (2012)
  • Havana Storm (2014)
  • Odessa Sea (2016)
  • Celtic Empire (2019)

The NUMA Files

A Spin-Off featuring professional soldier Kurt Austin, his sidekick Joe Zavala, and the Special Projects Team. Co-written with Paul Kemprecos for the first eight books, then Graham Brown for the rest.

  • Serpent (1999)
  • Blue Gold (2000)
  • Fire Ice (2002)
  • White Death (2003)
  • Lost City (2004)
  • Polar Shift (2005)
  • The Navigator (2007)
  • Medusa (2009)
  • Devil's Gate (2011)
  • The Storm (2012)
  • Zero Hour (2013)
  • Ghost Ship (2014)
  • The Pharaoh's Secret (2015)
  • Nighthawk (2017)
  • The Rising Sea (2018)
  • Sea of Greed (2018)

The Oregon Files

A series involving an advanced freighter and the mercenary group known as the Corporation, led by former CIA agent Juan Cabrillo, who first appeared in Flood Tide.

See here for descriptions of the novel plots.

The Dirk Pitt Adventures novels contain examples of:

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     General Tropes 
  • The Ace: Dirk Pitt swings in and out of this trope's territory, usually in.
  • Airport Fantasy: Cussler books are a common sight in airport bookshops, and most of them are long enough to last an entire transoceanic flight.'
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: used frequently, usually when the character is underwater and their line has been cut or their oxygen tanks are about to run dry.
  • America Saves the Day: Well, as NUMA is based in Washington, D.C. and the main characters are patriots...
    • Often Lampshaded by one of the main characters, as the Washington politicians frequently use one of NUMA's achievements to further their own ends.
  • Arm Cannon: Juan Cabrillo, the Corporation's leader, has a false leg in which he keeps—among other things—a rather high caliber pistol.
  • Author Appeal: Pitt's large collection of classic cars.
    • As well as NUMA's fictional budget. Cussler runs the real-life NUMA, and would kill for the kind of cash that Pitt gets. Also, the fictional NUMA is a US Government department. Cussler's real life NUMA is a private organization with no official recognition.
    • The startling number of blue and green eyed people in his works.
    • The first book written, Pacific Vortex, relies heavily on it, to the extent that in some points you almost think you are reading dream sequences and not realistic scenes.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Ever since Dragon, Cussler is a recurring character in the Pitt series, usually showing up to put the heroes back on track with a minor Deus ex Machina. May also count as a Self-Insert Fic, although Word of God says it grew out of an attempt to see just how much his editor would put up with. Frequently lampshaded with Pitt wondering aloud why Cussler looks so familiar.
    • Given the sheer volume of Author Appeal in all of his novels, one could argue that Dirk Pitt himself is an Author Avatar. Bonus points for having Cussler's hair color and similar-colored eyes (not the exact tone, but very distinctive asl well).
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Sandecker in almost every book.
  • Badass Driver: Pitt and Giordino, in cars, boats, submarines, and helicopters. All the novels feature some sort of chase scene in them.
  • Battle Couple: Sort of with Paul and Gamay Trout.
  • Big Bad: One in every novel, along with The Dragon, and sometimes The Dark Chick.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Used in the very beginning of books. It usually goes like this: The Girl Of The Novel and her team has just landed in big trouble. They're in a life-or-death situation and no one can help them. Then Pitt and Giordino come along and save them, becoming wrapped up in their problem and kick-starting the plot.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Used frequently.
  • Canon Discontinuity: A number of the early Dirk Pitt books end with sweeping scientific or political changes (the development of a Star Wars system that makes nuclear war impossible, the merging of the US and Canada into a single country) that are then completely ignored by subsequent books since they conflict with the by-and-large real-world setting.
    • In Cyclops, Dirk Pitt is technically stated to have been born in 1951 (his given age was 38 in-universe 1989), yet Admiral Sandecker never ages, is always described as a man in the late middle age. In earlier books, the good ol' Admiral was described as born in 1918, which would make people wonder if he is human at all. This year was retconned for good in Trojan Odyssey, where his described age (61 in 2006) points to 1945 instead.
    • In The Mediterranean Caper Bruno Von Till is stated to have aided Nazi officials to travel to Argentina after the war. Given that Atlantis Found later exploits this possibility and expands it to the Wolf family and the descendants of Hitler, it's possible (and even implied by some hints like the Martin Bormann affair) that Von Till actually helped them to travel there and (knowingly or not) found their dynasty. However, this is never brought up.
    • The events in Pacific Vortex are implied to have happened in Broad Strokes after Pitt's children reveal themselves, because Pitt and Summer never have sex in their limited screentime together in the book. If not, the storyline would gain completely different overtones, as in every scene in which he could had gotten Summer pregnant, one of the two was always unconscious.
    • Also, the Titanic is raised whole in the book of the same name. After it was discovered in real life to have broken in half, and that raising it was impossible, the whole incident is erased from canon, despite having been mentioned many, many times throughout the saga.
    • Cyclops reveals there is a secret U.S. moon base that was created with info gathered by the Apollo missions, but Sahara shows a special document refuge where it's stated the Apollo moon landings were faked. This oddity is never addressed.
    • In Cyclops, the man in charge of the mentioned moon base claims Atlantis exists. The aptly named Atlantis Found installment shows he was right all along, but it was all buried under a Nazi conspiracy that almost needed a war to unveil. Whether he had secret information about this or was just talking out of his arse is unknown, but in the first case, it would contain some unsettling implications...
    • Treasure states that in 1991, the U.S. finally adopted the metric system.
    • There is a discontinuity in books set in Spanish-speaking territories about Pitt' and Giordino's knowledge of the language. For example, in Atlantis Found, Pitt doesn't speak Spanish, but Giordino does, as he was taught by his mother's Hispanic cleaning lady. Later Trojan Odyssey reverses the situation: Giordino doesn't speak it, but Pitt reveals he studied Spanish in high school.
    • Again in Trojan Odyssey, Yeager refuses to believe in lost civilizations when a Celtic amphora is found in Nicaragua. This seems to be a gigantic case of Arbitrary Skepticism, because Pitt and Giordino discovered Atlantis earlier in the series and Yeager himself was in the loop (he and Max were the ones who collected all the info, in fact). Bizarrely, Dirk Jr. himself mentions the discovery in the same book, confirming it is still canon, which implies Cussler simply forgot Yeager was supposed to know about it.
  • The Casanova: Subversion — Pitt always seems to patiently wait and let the woman take the first step. Which she always does.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Pitt and Giordino are masters of this, especially when all the other characters are terrified out of their wits.
  • Cool Boat: The Oregon definitely qualifies for this one. The series features lots of these, given that it centers around a marine science agency.
  • Cool Car:
    • Pitt owns an entire garage full of them.
    • And the author actually owns many of them, which are on display in the Cussler Museum in Arvada, Colorado.
  • Cool Garage: Pitt lives in a former airport hanger, which he uses to store his car collection.
  • Dated History: 1976's Raise The Titanic, and the movie based upon it, both assume the R.M.S. Titanic sank as a single piece, remaining intact enough to be salvaged. In Cussler's defense, this was the official position on the sinking until the ship was actually found, which was in 1985, almost 10 years after the book was written.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Giordino, but also Pitt, Gunn, and Sandecker.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: In Inca Gold and Atlantis Found. (Possibly others.)
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The National Underwater AND Marine Agency
  • Disney Death: Pitt and many other supporting characters
  • Distant Prologue: From Raise The Titanic onwards, opening with a long-past incident with consequences to be resolved in the present day.
  • Girl Of The Novel:
    • Although Pitt has now settled down with Representative Loren Smith, the only girl he sleeps with in more than one story - some of his other lovers appear in multiple novels, but only sleep with him in one of them.
    • Of special note is Summer Moran, who was presumed dead at the end of Pacific Vortex, later turned out not only to have survived (though she later died off-screen), but been pregnant with two kids by Pitt, the grown-up versions of whom would later feature in the novel. Despite the fact that over the course of the book, they spent about two hours in the same room as each other, which weren't used doing the nasty.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Pitt and Giordino use them as signature fighting styles. Pitt is even mentioned to have competed as an amateur boxer. Cyclops mentions he has training in Judo, but most of the books insist he doesn't know martial arts, so he is always shown fighting this way.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The NIA, or National Intelligence Agency, turns up fairly often from Iceberg onwards. Its exact nature and mission is never quite made clear, but it seems to be a combination of the real-life National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
  • Guile Hero: Pitt's often a man with a plan.
  • Hero's Classic Car: Most of Dirk's cars are rare 20s and 30s models.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Summer Moran and Loren Smith.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino. They met in kindergarten and they've been together ever since.
  • Hollywood Healing: Frequently. Pitt gets beaten up or otherwise injured quite often, but always recovers completely by the next novel, with no physical or psychological scars. Iceberg is an especially flagrant case — the vicious pounding he takes at the hands of Oskar Rondheim doesn't even damage his good looks.
  • Improvised Screwdriver: In Cyclops, Pitt uses the catch from his Doxa watch as a screwdriver to escape a cell.
  • Karmic Death: Most of the villains get taken out in this manner.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Hiram Yeager's computer GUI "Max" is a sometimes scantily-clad (or downright naked) representation of his wife.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: In Night Probe, it is strongly implied that Brian Shaw (British agent) is really James Bond.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In some of the later books people looking over reports of Dirk's career mention that his life reads like a series of adventure novels.
  • Market-Based Title: The Mediterranean Caper was published as Mayday in Britain.
  • Men of Sherwood: Some books have Dirk and his supporting cast (or Kurt Austin and his supporting cast) save the day single-handed, but often, they need government forces or public-minded citizens to provide backup to Hold the Line (if they're being attacked on friendly ground), raid the villain's headquarters, or stop some doomsday plot in the climax. Notable examples include NATO troops in Sahara, Navy SEALs, Marines, and Delta Force operators in Atlantis Found, Coast Guardsmen in Valhalla Rising, Civil War re-enactors in Deep Six (1984), local Native Americans in Inca Gold, CIA agents in Cyclops, Navy SEALs in Black Wind, and Cargo Cult members in The Storm. Sometimes the Men of Sherwood don't take a single casualty, like in Inca Gold, Deep Six, and Black Wind, sometimes they take some casualties but aren't deterred by them, like in Atlantis Found, and on rare occasions they're nearly wiped out, like in Cyclops, but when they show up, they always help save the day when the heroes wouldn't be able to do everything alone.
  • The Metric System Is Here to Stay: From Treasure until Shock Wave, all books had measurements in the metric system.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Several of the books, including Raise the Titanic and Arctic Drift, hinge on the need to find a supply of some exotic substance which seems to be available only in the sunken ship du jour.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The novels' main parts take place a few years ahead of their publication date.
  • Non-Residential Residence: Dirk Pitt lives in an abandoned aircraft hangar. He collects classic cars, and the hangar was the only place he could find that he could afford which also had enough square footage to house his collection.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted — there seems to be an infinite number of Leigh Hunts mentioned in the series (though only one in any given book). Also, Dirk Pitt Jr. After he is introduced, the elder Dirk Pitt is referred to as Pitt and the younger as Dirk so that the reader can tell them apart in scenes where both are present.
  • One-Word Title: A few of the books, like Iceberg and Sahara.
  • Reset Button: Night Probe! ends with a treaty revealing that the U.S. basically bought Canada back in 1914 and the idea the countries will merge, but later books never mention a "United States of Canada", as it's still referred to as an independent nation. Considering the events in the next book would destroy the reputation of the U.S. president that appeared in Night Probe!, it's not unbelievable that the initiative to merge the countries died with his mandate. This is more or less confirmed in the then next book, Cyclops; Dirk does mention the treaty and the American officials present are somewhat embarrassed, suggesting that declaring such a dramatic change based on a forgotten century-old treaty didn't quite work out and they decided to just hush the whole thing up.
  • Rule of Cool: What most of the books run on.
  • Running Gag: Sandecker never finds any of his special cigars missing, but Giordino always seems to be smoking one. Al secretly tracked down the source of Sandecker's cigars and has been quietly purchasing them himself.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: Pacific Vortex.
  • Shown Their Work: Very often, sometimes to the point of overdoing it. This predominantly shows up whenever cars, ships, historical moments, or diving equipment are mentioned.
  • Significant Reference Date: Cussler's birthday, July 15th, shows up in many stories.
  • Spanner in the Works: Pitt is this. No matter how brilliant a villain's plans may be, all it takes is for Pitt to enter the picture to foul them all up.
  • Status Quo Is God: In Night Probe, Pitt retrieves an old treaty that proves that the US legally owns Canada. The president uses it as part of a plan to unite the two countries. It never happens. Possibly explained by the fact that in the next book, Deep Six, which takes place a few months later, the same president is kidnapped, brainwashed into acting as a Soviet agent, and impeached after trying to dissolve Congress in order to push a pro-Soviet agenda. This may very well have killed the credibility of his other proposed policies.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Played straight at least once, in Vixen 03. Subverted in Serpent.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Kurt Austin is more or less a replacement for Dirk Pitt.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: From Raise the Titanic! onwards, all stories except Pacific Vortex! are set in the near future, usually with futuristic gizmos and fictional political developments.
    • Raise the Titanic! – Released in 1976, begins in July 1987.
    • Vixen 03 – Released in 1978, begins in September 1988.
    • Night Probe! – Released in 1981, begins in February 1989.
    • Deep Six – Released in 1984, begins in July 1989.
    • Cyclops – Released in 1986, begins in October 1989.
    • Treasure – Released in 1988, begins in October 1991.
    • Dragon – Released in 1990, begins in October 1993.
    • Sahara – Released in 1993, begins in May 1996.
    • Inca Gold – Released in 1994, begins in October 1998.
    • ...and so on and so on.
  • Universal Driver's License: Giordino points out that Pitt, as an Air Force major, can fly pretty much any airplane or chopper known to man. He also seems to have no problem with boats, and has a large collection of classic cars and planes in his house.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?:
    • No one ever explains how Dirk can afford two dozen antique cars and two airplanes on his salary as a senior employee of an obscure government agency. His father's rich, but Pitt doesn't seem like the type of person to blow his trust fund.
    • Technically, he only had to buy one of the airplanes, and most of the non-car portions of his collection (and some of the car portion) were picked up and/or given to him throughout his adventures. Still, the point does stand, since his antique car collection is enormous regardless (it actually parallels the real-life collection owned by Cussler, who used his book sales profits to assemble the collection).
    • As a rule, if the owner of any notably Cool Vehicle that Pitt encounters on his adventures ends up no longer in a position to contest ownership, Pitt snaffles it. This even includes the railway carriage from the final showdown scene in Night Probe - regardless of practical difficulties like the railway tracks by which it got there no longer existing, the apparent inaccessibility of the site to a low-loader and the several thousand tons of rock in the way. Nowhere is it explained how he deals with such problems; the vehicle just shows up as "part of the scenery" in Pitt's hangar in subsequent novels.
    • If memory serves, he had received a notable inheritance from either a beloved uncle or grandfather which he uses to buy classic cars at auction, perhaps in the beginning of Dragon.
    • He inherited a vast amount of money from his grandfather, and as it's hinted he did not live on it (9 days out of 10 he was on assignment in the middle of the ocean) he invested it in classic cars. It's in Inca Gold, the beginning of Chapter 3 — "The Demon Of Death".

    Tropes found in The Mediterranean Caper 
  • Big Bad: Bruno von Till/Erich Heibert
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: A WWI-era biplane is used to attack Brady Field.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The real Bruno von Till has been dead for a long time, and the Big Bad has been using his identity for even longer.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Pitt gets Von Till to spill the beans on his entire plan with Von Till unaware an entire police special forces unit is nearby to overhear it all and rescue Pitt.
  • Evil Uncle: Averted
  • The Dark Chick: Teri von Till averts this: not only is she on the good guys' side but she isn't even the Big Bad's real niece.
  • Germanic Depressives: Bruno Von Till.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: What ultimately gives away Von Till alias Admiral Heibert. He shaved his head to fit the real Von Till, unaware Von Till lost his hair due to disease and not by shaving. The fuzz on his scalp was the clue needed to prove who he was.
  • MacGuffin: The Teaser is what the NUMA crew are searching for in the first place, although it isn't particularly relevant to the main plot.
  • The Mole: Teri von Till has no blood relation with the Big Bad at all; in fact she is a narcotics agent named Amy impersonating von Till's niece.
  • Romancing the Widow: Teri.
  • Spotting the Thread: The first clue that put Pitt onto how Von Till is actually Erich Heibert? That a man who boasted of being a pilot in World War I would have a model of a submarine displayed in his study.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Von Till is actually former Nazi admiral Erich Heibert.
  • Wham Line: Pitt gets a great one on both Von Till and the reader in the climax. "Well, I guess it just shows you can't win them all. Can you... Admiral Heibert?

    Tropes found in Iceberg 
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Hunnewell.
  • Ace Pilot: As always, Pitt manages to improbably land a helicopter in a ship during a storm.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Used by Pitt against Cashman, who wrongly assumes he is going to be court-martialed and gets cocky as a parting gift. Instead of trying to clear out the confusion first, Pitt throws him off his chair and steps on his throat.
  • Anti-Villain: Kelly genuinely wants to turn Latin America into developed countries, only that his methods are ruthless, and his chosen allies, not as trustworthy as he thinks. The same happens with Fyrie.
  • Arc Words: "God save thee".
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Rondheim is a black belt in karate. Doesn't really defend him from having the shit beaten out of him by Pitt during their final confrontation, though. It's implied that, black belt or not, Rondheim doesn't spar very often and is simply unaccustomed to fight strong, resisting opponents.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: As in other books, Cussler seems convinced that Judo is a striking-based martial art, as he describes Rondheim about to finish Pitt with an open-handed judo strike meant to break his neck. In real life, judo is entirely based around wrestling and grappling, and doesn't train strikes other than some old two-partner sequences that are barely touched upon in modern times.
  • Black Like Me: A variation, left ambiguous. The very Scandinavian-looking Rondheim, a pale, white-haired man with hard features, turns out to have an Italian-Spanish real name of all things. Why does he look so Nordic rather than Mediterranean is never explained, unless he happens to be a blonde and very fair-skinned example of the latter.
  • Big Bad: F. James Kelly is the story's main villain, only that The Dragon, Oskar Rondheim, is planning to kill him and take his throne in Hermit Limited.
  • Big Good: Dean Kippman, the chairman of the fictional intelligence agency in charge of the good guys.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Pitt, Sandecker and Tidi accidentally ruin Rondheim's plans to murder them in the sea because they happen to grab the very ship the assassins were going to use to ambush them.
    • Lampshaded as Kristi reveals her plan had been to fake her death as Krisjan, have a sex change operation then come out as Kristi and continue her work as a scientist. But "the totally unexpected and unforeseen coincidence spelled disaster to the new life I had carefully planned": of all the plastic surgeons in the world, Kristi just had to pick one who worked for Hermit Limited, who naturally told Rondheim the truth and gave Oskar the perfect blackmail to force Kristi to his side.
  • Deconstructed Trope: When Dirk wakes up in a hospital, Sandecker's secretary, Tidi Royal, starts hitting on him. He shuts her down. She protests he doesn't even know she exists, whereupon he reels off her vital statistics—including the location of a mole—and informs her he will never "play games" that close to the Admiral. At the end of the book, Tidi has hooked up with a secondary character, and is never seen again. This explains why James Bond only flirts with Moneypenny.
  • The Dark Chick: Kirsti Fyrie qualifies in a way, although we later find out that she was blackmailed by Hermit Limited.
  • The Dragon: Oskar Rondheim is this for F. James Kelly. Only temporally from his point of view.
  • Dragon Ascendant: It turns out that Oskar is plotting to pull a "hostile takeover" of Hermit Limited with a NSA operative understating that "his future intentions can hardly be classified as honorable and benevolent."
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Jerome Lillie would be this if his family wasn't world famous for its brand of beer.
  • Fan Disservice: While in the Catawba, Pitt happens to wake up with his face near the big, fat Amos Dover's arse.
  • Flamboyant Gay: Dirk (yes, Dirk) pretends to be one in order to deceive Rondheim.
  • Guys are Slobs: This seems to be Pitt's attitude, as he sees the poetry recital as a living hell, and Rondheim's refinements as upper class nonsense. He also claims to Tidi that Playboy is the only magazine he reads, and it's not suggested he isn't telling the truth. Averted with other male characters, though, especially Sandecker.
  • Improvised Weapon: When Pitt realizes his cabdriver is taking him on an unplanned detour, he takes control (or tries to) by jamming the tip of a large screwdriver into the driver's ear and threatening to "screw your right ear into your left." The "driver" asks him to use a gun concealed under the cap instead, because it's less painful. Pitt does, and says he got the idea from the mob. note 
  • Insufferable Genius: Hunnewell has his moments of not liking not to be in control.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. Rondheim gets bloody knuckles from hitting Pitt, while Pitt himself later breaks his own wrist while punching him on the mouth.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Rondheim does this to Pitt while the latter is still pretending to be Camp Gay. Then Pitt does it back to Rondheim in the climax.
  • MacGuffin: The zirconium probe ends up not being this thanks to the person who invented it in the first place being coerced to work for the bad guys.
  • Meaningful Name: "Fyrie" reminds of "firey," especially given that he dies burned. Or not.
  • Mega-Corp: Hermit Limited, a secret conglomerate of mining companies.
  • Motifs: False identities, in all senses of the word. Pitt is a straight man that pretends to be gay; Rondheim turns out to be a Mediterranean pretending to be Scandinavian; and Fyrie, who is also a transexual for bonus points on new identities, is a person pretending to be his own sister.
  • Multi-Ethnic Name: Carzo Butera, Rondheim's true name, is composed of two surnames of Spanish and Italian origin respectively.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Hermit Limited, a cartel that encompasses Rondheim and Fyrie's mining corporations.
  • Nice Girl: Sandecker's secretary Tidi Royal.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Pitt allows Rondheim to deliver one to him as part of his Camp Gay act. Then he delivers one back on Rondheim in the climax.
  • Not Quite Dead: Krisjan Fyrie isn't dead, he just underwent gender reassignment surgery.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Jerome Lillie seems to be the only intelligence agent deployed in Iceland, which predictably turns out badly.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Kirsti has spent most of her life in New Guinea, and Pitt describes a particular ethnic steak dish as something usually served wrapped in echidna seaweed. For those of us unfamiliar with the animal—and who haven't played Sonic The Hedgehog recently—he waits until Kirsti leaves to explain to his friends that an echidna is a type of spiny anteater native to New Guinea. He just said he'd eat the equivalent of a "New York steak wrapped in porcupine quills".
  • Perpetual Frowner: Cpt. Lee Koski is perpetually angry, only becoming cynical and/or snarky when occasion calls for it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Rondheim, by today's standards at least.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Dr Hunnewell.
  • Spot the Imposter:
    • Pitt is being checked out by a doctor in Iceland when a couple of officers stop in for questions. They talk of how they stopped by a local village to have some coffee with the sergeant there before coming over. Taking Pitt to the examination room, the doctor states these men are imposters as that sergeant never patrols the area and is conveniently allergic to coffee. Pitt has already seen that one of the "officers" has faded pips on his shoulders where a sergeant's stripes would be as well as dried blood on the collar, meaning they killed the real sergeant.
    • Pitt knows something is off about Kristi from the start as her tanned skin is nowhere dark enough for someone who's supposedly spent years living in the jungles of South America.
    • Pitt stops an assassination attempt on a pair of diplomats on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Asked how he knew the killers were posing as the robotic pirates, Pitt quotes Walt Disney himself:
    Pitt: There we were on the bridge, eyeball to eyeball... and I swear I saw the other guy blink.
  • That Man Is Dead: Invoked by Pitt when Kristi offers herself to him. Pitt makes it clear he has no issue with her once being a man; what he hates is how she has gone from a "warm lover of humanity" to a cold woman willing to go along with multiple murders and the coup of several countries. "You say you never killed anyone yourself but that's not true. You murdered Krisjan."
  • Unwitting Pawn: F. James Kelly initially looks like the book's Big Bad, but he is only a puppet of Rondheim.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: F James Kelly is arguably this trope as he believes that the plan to take over Latin America with a mining cartel fulfills an ideal. Sadly, his Dragon doesn't agree.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Oskar Rondheim has white hair, presumably very clear blonde, or possibly prematurely white, and is a villain.
  • Wicked Cultured: Oskar Rondheim is known for his ridiculous, nearly flawless memory of classical poetry.

Raise the Titanic! has its own page.

     Tropes found in Vixen 03 
  • African Terrorists: Lots of them.
  • Amoral Afrikaner: Most of the characters initially associated with the South African conflict are various shades of gray, regardless of their race or nationality. The exception is Pieter De Vaal, who is pure evil.
  • Badass Family: Fawkes wife and kids put up a decent fight when under attack by the AAR
  • Batman Gambit: Pieter De Vaal counted on Fawkes initially refusing the offer to head Operation Wild Rose so he massacred his farm using mercenaries impersonating AAR members to give him a want for revenge.
  • Big Bad: Pieter de Vaal
  • Catch a Falling Star: Admiral Sandecker and Colonel Steiger catch a falling biological warhead.
  • Co-Dragons: Captain Fawkes and Emma.
  • The Dark Chick: Emma
  • Darkest Hour: The point in the climax where one of the warheads containing Quick Death has been launched and the entire city watches it float down on its parachute. Then Sandecker and Steiger swoop in to save the day.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Captain Patrick Fawkes and Hiram Lusana, in spite of their former conflict, join forces once they realize what type of warheads the former really has.
    • And at the very end, Colonel Joris Zeegler of the South African Ministry of Defense and Thomas Machita of the African Army of Revolution together deliver much needed Laser-Guided Karma in the direction of Pieter de Vaal.
  • Eye Scream: A truck driver who happened to pass by has received some disturbing eye injuries in the midst of Fawkes's attack on Washington.
  • False Flag Operation: Operation Wild Rose is the South African Defense Ministry's plan to condemn the African Army of Revolution by launching terrorist attacks by people posing as members of the AAR BUT this operation is this trope on two levels since its true purpose is to embarrass the South African Prime Minister into resignation so the Big Bad could easily replace him.
  • Honey Trap: Daggat tries to use some photos of Loren and Pitt to force Loren to drop her opposition to the US backing the AAR. When Dirk finds out, he gets the Congressman to back down by pointing out that Congressional blackmail is a far greater scandal than an unmarried Congresswoman having a steamy affair with an unmarried man - and that Dirk's father chairs the Senate Ethics Committee.
  • Jerkass: Congressman John Daggat, who tries to blackmail Pitt's lover Congresswoman Loren Smith into backing his bill to support the AAR.
  • Justified Criminal: Fawkes seems himself as this, since his family was murdered by who he believes to be members of the AAR.
  • MacGuffin: The missing warheads containing the Quick Death organism.
  • Meaningful Name: "Operation Wild Rose" is the sort of intricately meaningful name that appeals to military planners and action-novel authors. The Big Bad arranges to buy a battleship that was being sold for scrap, and use it to attack Washington DC. The battleship is the USS Iowa. The state flower of Iowa is the wild rose.
  • Monumental Damage: Captain Fawkes blows the living shit out of the Lincoln Memorial with warheads. Oddly enough Abe himself withstands the damage.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Subverted. Loren Smith's father disappeared in an explosion years ago; the only fragments found were a boot and a thumb. However, when Pitt discovers the wreck of the military transport aircraft codenamed Vixen 03 sunk in a local lake, in the cargo bay he finds a skeleton strapped to the floor and missing a boot and a thumb.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Patrick Fawkes and Hiram Lusana.
  • The Mole: Emma to the Defense Ministry.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Quick Death warheads probably count as a realistic example of this trope. Even the bad guys weren't aware of what they almost released.
  • The Starscream: Colonel Jumana to Hiram Lusana.
  • Washington D.C. Invasion
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: De Vaal sent Emma to eliminate Fawkes after the latter has finished blowing half of Washington to dust.

    Tropes found in Night Probe! 
  • Anti-Villain: Brian Shaw is much more of a rival than a straight up villain - that role is mostly filled by Foss Gly.
  • Big Bad: Although Henri Villon is the leader of the Free Quebec Society, his dragon Foss Gly is far more effective and intelligent. At the end Gly kills Villon and briefly takes over his position. Of course, there's also Brian Shaw but he isn't exactly a villain.
  • Covers Always Lie: Early editions of this book showed a locomotive on the riverbed.
    "The Manhattan Limited," Pitt replied. "It doesn't lie on the bottom of the Hudson River. It never has."
  • The Dark Chick: Danielle Sarveaux
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Foss Gly's plan to take over the newly independent Quebec would culminate in this.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Foss Gly
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Although Brian Shaw loses the race to the treaty and is captured by the Marines, Pitt arranges for his release and he flies back to England with Heidi.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Amazingly, Foss Gly is able to get away massively with his impersonation of Villon even to the man's close friends, wife, and mistress. He acts horrible to Danielle as a test but when she brings up to the real Villon how upset he was, he just brushes off their last true meeting as her being dramatic and she accepts it. It takes Fly showing up as Villon for them to realize what's happening.
  • Genius Bruiser: Foss Gly
  • Ghost Train: Subverted. While investigating the disappearance of a train that carried one copy of the North American Treaty, Dirk learns of stories of a "ghost train" that appears on stormy nights, follows the lost train's path, and disappears when it reaches the site of the bridge that collapsed and dropped the train into a river. He later discovers that the story is a hoax, carried out using a train's headlight and a PA system broadcasting train noises being pulled along a cable suspended above the ground.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: The battle between the Americans and British over the treaty (especially the gunfight at the end with sympathetic characters on both sides dying) can come down to this.
  • Hero of Another Story: Shaw has an extensive history fighting Soviet counterespionage organization SMERSH. If you want to actually read those stories, go read Ian Fleming.
  • MacGuffin: The treaty.
  • Mile-High Club: Henri Villon and Danielle Sarveux in a private plane. Danielle wonders if it's legal to have a plane fly around in circles with nobody at the controls (Henri was the pilot).
  • The Reveal: In one of the last chapters, it's revealed that Savreux and the President have been working together for years on the idea of uniting the U.S. and Canada. The Treaty just worked into their plans perfectly.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Lampshaded by Pitt on how "the best laid plans of mice and men" hit Massey's plan. First, he didn't expect the Secret Service agents on the train which led to a shootout that cost some of his own men. The bigger problem was when Massey set off the explosives to cut off the mine entrance, figuring they could escape with the gold via an escape tunnel. But the explosives caused water fissures to open up, flooding the tunnel and condemning everyone in the mine to a slow death by starvation.
    • Sarveaux notes that Gly's plot to impersonate Villon might have worked had Sarveaux (aware of his wife's affair for years) hadn't known right where Villon was when Gly showed up at Sarveaux's office impersonating the man.
  • Suppressed History: The crux of the story is Pitt discovering the existence of the North American Treaty which reveals that in 1914, to pay for World War I, King George V and Prime Minister H.H. Asquith sold Canada to the United States for a billion dollars. However, the British copy of the Treaty was lost in the Empress of Ireland sinking while the American copy disappeared along with the train it was on. As for the Canadian copy, by that point, the Cabinet had become outraged at their biggest commonwealth being sold behind their backs and thus it was destroyed and the entire thing buried for fears of the American people demanding their "property" back.
  • The Unreveal: A fairly minor one. It is mentioned by Pitt that the coincidental disappearance of both copies of the treaty is peculiar. As it turns out the two events were completely unrelated after all.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Deliberately invoked by Pitt in his final showdown with Brian Shaw in order to avoid actually killing him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Henri Villon's ultimate goal is a free Quebec.
    • Clement Massey/Dapper Doyle was a Robin Hood-type figure in the early 20th century whose goal was to steal and presumably give to charity the gold shipment on the Manhattan Limited. Unfortunately he didn't consider the pyrotechnics involved and as a result a trainload of people died.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Henri Villon and Danielle Sarveaux stop being useful to Foss Gly as soon as the former's political victory over Quebec is essentially assured, and he promptly kills them both.

Pacific Vortex! has its own page.

Deep Six has its own page.

    Tropes found in Cyclops 
  • Artistic License – Engineering: The Russian moon lander from this book is both described and shown to be six times heavier than the Apollo. Even more amazingly, it is described to take off with a regular rocket, instead of being assembled in orbit like its Jersey Colony equivalent. Needlessly to say, back in The '80s there was no human rocket capable of carrying such a load, nor is there today.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: A spaceship that carried a colony crew to the moon was assembled in orbit, with ten idealistic men and lots of supplies being put there in fake communication satellites, all of this in complete secret, without support and with the technology of the era.
  • Big Bad: General Peter Velikov
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Foss Gly does this to Pitt, Giordino, Rudi, Jessie, and Raymond. Most of the main characters, really. It's heavily implied, if not outright stated, that he enjoys doing so.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: It takes weeks of hardship, toil and torture at the hands of the Russians until an escaped Jessie has sex with Pitt under a Cuban bridge.
  • The Dragon: Foss Gly
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Very much like in Deep Six, the president's name is not revealed, aside from a single mention of his first name, Vince. Of course, if the reader has also read Deep Six, they'll know his name to be Vincent Margolin.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Both out and in-universe. Jessie LeBaron makes a joke about the supposed "Latin sexism" to get a taxist to drive her and Pitt. That is, The Load is talking about male chauvinism, in a book series in which every female character is a perennial Damsel in Distress Flat Character (like Jessie herself) who gets treated as a girl-of-the-book trophy by the incredibly capable male protagonist.
  • Jerkass: Raymond LeBaron. His wife too, at first.
  • The Last Dance: Pitt and the sailors sent by CIA are fully determined to move the explosive-laden ships to open water, even if they are 99 percent convinced they will die with them.
  • MacGuffin: The La Dorada statue.
  • Mega-Corp: Half of the Jersey Colony budget was apparently filled by filthy rich people.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Again, President of the USSR Georgi Antonov is clearly based on Yuri Andropov, down to the supposed 1970s plot of Andropov and Mikhail Suslov "staging a tragic accident" by detonating a nuclear bomb.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Turns out Raymond LeBaron as well as most of the inner core of the Jersey Colony project have faked their deaths.
    • Foss Gly turns out to be alive as well.
  • Reentry Scare: When the moon colonists return to earth aboard the space shuttle Gettysburg.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Pitt skips his citation with Jessie and then presents himself uninvited in her private party, all just to show off one of his cars. When Jessie throws him out of her party, this is treated as her being a Rich Bitch in the narration. (Cue the Oh, Crap! moment when she hears from the Secretary of State who Pitt really is and how much power NUMA actually has over any marine business.)
  • Space Base: A good-guy example. The USA has a secret moon base called the Jersey Colony. It's done mostly for science, but also to challenge the Soviets. The Soviets find out, and they're very NOT happy about it — the colonists had been shooting down every Soviet spacecraft that saw the colony, and some of them were manned.
  • Unexplained Recovery: No explanation is given as to how Foss Gly survived what happened to him in his previous appearance.
  • Wacky Racing: Dirk Pitt and a KGB team road-racing each other through Cuba. With a hijacked '57 Chevy and a ZIL, nevertheless. While it makes sense in the plot, and Cussler goes to great lengths to prove it was technically feasiblenote , the idea of rogue agents road-racing ZILs is just ludicrous.

    Tropes found in Treasure 
  • Badass Army: "The Demon Stalkers" are a special forces unit who show up in the second half of the book.
  • Batman Gambit: The General in charge of guarding the Mexican border is faced with all the children at the front of the mob, and, after a moral struggle, chooses to stand down and let them through. He then calls the President to give his resignation, when the president smiles and instead says to promote the general revealing that he'd specifically picked that man knowing he would stand down, thus preventing civilian casualties and help lure Topilzin into a trap.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: In the prologue Venator, head of the Roman expedition, manages to swim out into the bay, towards the only one of the ships to escape, but the disillusioned crew make no effort to pick him up and simply keep sailing away.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Akhmad Yazid and Topiltzin a.k.a. Paul and Robert Capesterre.
  • Cassandra Truth: Sam Trinity's claims about having found Roman artifacts in Texas got this treatment for a long time.
  • Closest Thing We Got: When the pilots of the plane carrying the U.N. representatives is sabotaged, it is left to the chief flight attendant and a delegate who was a mechanic for a different kind of plane forty years ago to try and land it.
  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: The opening chapters have two (separate but related) criminal conspiracies both try gin to assassinate different people on the same plane.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Venator and Macer form the beginning are portrayed as noble men with an admirable goal who (given the beliefs of the time) happen to use large numbers of slaves (although they don't treat them that bad).
  • The Dragon: Suleiman Aziz Ammar to Yazid and Juan Machada to Topiltzin.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • In the prologue, despite feeling somewhat disdainful towards the Natives, Venator and Macer are disgusted and frustrated by Severus's decision to Rape, Pillage, and Burn the native tribes.
    • Abu Hamid is a conniving and ambitious member of Egypt's government, but he refuses to ally with Yazid due to feeling distaste for his violence.
    • Ammar is bothered by the Ax-Crazy methods of Fawzy, another of Yazid's followers.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: There are several other members of the Capesterre family out there, some of them more important than the ones who appear onscreen. At the end of the novel the government is preparing a commando "training" mission to "accidentally" storm their base.
  • Human Shield: Toptizlin sends thousands of children in the first wave of his refugee invasion of the United States.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the prologue Severus makes some decent points about why he and his men feel little loyalty towards or investment in the crumbling Roman Empire.
  • MacGuffin: A collection of works from the Library of Alexandria.
  • Made of Iron:
    • In the prologue, Macer remains standing after taking arrows to the knee and thing, cutting three preaching natives in half. He is then struck with five spears but pulls them out of his body before continuing to fight.
    • One of the pilots Ammar poisons, despite that bison (and kick to the grin) manages to stay on his feet for a while and nearly strangle Ammar.
  • Master of Disguise: Ammar is very good at impersonating people during his assassinations so that even their own coworkers don't notice the difference.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Muhammad Ismail.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the prologue, Macer, the gigantic slave overseer is described as having a high-pitched voice.

    Tropes found in Dragon 
  • Abduction Is Love: Toshie is attached to Suma in spite of having been sold to him as a child. When she is given to Giordino, however, she seems to have forgotten all of that.
  • Accidental Hero: In the prologue, a Japanese pilot shoots down an American plane, not realizing that 1) he just kept it from dropping a third atom bomb on his country and 2) that plane being shot down later provides a Chekhov's Bomb to use against the bad guys.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The last chapter of the book is set on Marcus Island, which is depicted as a tropical tourist resort. In reality, only a few meteorologists and JSDF and Coast Guard personnel are stationed on Marcus Island, and civilians are not admitted on it. Cussler does mention that the resort is a recent development, though it still might be a tall order to fit the airfield, a championship golf course, six tennis courts, a "vast" swimming pool, a theater etc. on the tiny island.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics:
    • The hidden nuclear devices are the size and shape of a car A/C compressor and powerful enough to blow ships to pieces over dozens of miles and trigger an underwater earthquake. First, to trigger an underwater earthquake, megaton-sized weapons are needed, the quoted "maybe 10 to 20 kilotons" is too small; second, only the smallest nuclear devices ever made, W48 and W54 Davy Crockett, could fit the size of an automotive A/C compressor, maybe 60x15 centimeters, and their yield was just 72 to 20 tons of TNT respectively, enough to blow to pieces a large ship if hit directly, but never to lay waste to hundreds of square miles.
    • Also, Pitt's Uncle Percy, retired nuclear physicist, claims the smallest possible nuclear bomb is the size of a baseball. The smallest critical mass of plutonium is a sphere 10.8 centimeters across and it still needs a case, a tamper and a pit, plus detonating devices around.
    • It's next to impossible to take down the electronics of a large country with multiple nuclear EMPs generated on the ground. The nuclear explosions have to happen in the upper atmosphere to allow the radiation to travel far enough before fading. Otherwise a few thousands of computers and installations may be fried near the explosion sites, but the vast majority of them would be outside the pulse's range.
    • Simply being on the same ship as a bunch of nukes would not give someone acute radiation poisoning. An undetonated nuke gives off very little radiation, if any. For someone to be as badly affected as the book describes they would have had to do something like take one of the nukes apart and submerge the core in water, or eat bits of it, or something equally daft and improbable.
    • A Fat Man type nuclear weapon would not be in functional condition after spending several decades under the sea. Even if it had been sufficiently well waterproofed to keep water out of the electrical systems, and they had power to them, the polonium in the initiator (half-life 138 days) would long ago have decayed into uselessness. It would therefore go off with all the alacrity of a wet fart. (Not to mention that the US has many other far more practical systems to deliver a nuke in any case...)
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Much of the Japanese names and terms in the book are... less than accurate.
    • One of the bad guys is named Korori Yoshishu; not only Yoshishu is pretty much made up, Korori happens to be a Japanese onomatopoeia for dropping dead, and was also a colloquial name for cholera in 19th-century Japan – in other words, a highly unlikely name for a person.
    • The name Murmoto is also phonetically impossible in Japanese.
    • The drink sake is referred to as saki.
  • Badass Driver: Pitt chases a modern car at triple-digit speeds in his Stutz DV32. Which would be like chasing it with a small truck: high center of gravity, solid axles with leaf springs and drum brakes. (Don't try to run a truck at triple digit speeds in kilometers. It may be the last thing you do in life.)
  • Big Bad: Hideki Suma. Suma gets captured, Ichiro Tsuboi and Korori Yoshishu take over this role.
  • Cool Car: The Murmotos - either a V12 engined sedan of 600 hp, or a 5.8 liter V8 sportscar. In Real Life, the JDM cars are electronically limited to 180 kph and all Japanese sportscars were limited to 280 metric hp prior to 2004 to get through the homologation rules for Japan Grand Touring Championship. Full blown Toyota Supras and Nissan Skylines were for export to US mainland or Europe.
  • Cool Plane: Pitt finds an underground airfield with forty Me-262 turbojet fighters. Naturally one ends up in his collection.
  • Divided States of America: The ultimate goal of the villains includes the United States ceding both Hawaii and California to Japan.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: After some flirting with Stacy and a back massage, Pitt falls asleep in exhaustion, and later wakes up to find himself having sex with her. He falls asleep immediately again and she's gone when he wakes up in the morning.
  • Expy: Koda Suma and Korori Yoshishu are likely expies of Yoshio Kodama and Ryōichi Sasakawa. This is further reinforced by the fact that the non-fiction book Yakuza: Japan's Criminal Underworld by David Kaplan and Alec Dubro, which also describes Kodama and Sasakawa in detail, was published in the USA in 1986, which is about or shortly before Cussler would have begun writing Dragon.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Near the end of the novel Suma is being held captive by the CIA to interrogate him on all his secrets. Suma makes it clear that as soon as he's released, he will ensure every agent there is dead and just double his efforts to destroy the United States. Suma is utterly unaware that as far as the rest of the world knows, he's been dead for weeks in an accident and his company is on the verge of collapse. He also fails to grasp that once he's given them all the info he can the CIA is ready to make that fake death all to real...
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Exaggerated. Not by the fact plot revolves around a Japanese nuclear blackmail, but by the characters' speech, comments and attitude. When Rep. Loren Smith talks to Japanese businessmen, it sounds like two enemy countries having the last talks before full blown war.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Subverted. While Kamatori is skilled with a katana, he is inexperienced when it comes to fighting enemies with other types of swords.
  • Let's Get Out of Here: Pitt detonates a nuke underwater to destroy the Dragon Center with a tsunami, and spends a month in the Big Ben reaching the nearest shore across the ocean floor.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Suma gets the equivalent of this after capture, mostly because he continues to be interrogated by the CIA.
  • Passed-Over Promotion: A twist. The prologue has a Japanese pilot mad that he was passed over for kamikaze duty.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Pitt's obituary is in the epilogue - which ends with him emerging from the ocean.
  • Self-Insert Fic: This is the first book where Cussler writes himself in as a character, when he races his vintage car against Pitt. This kind of author cameo continues throughout the rest of the series.
  • Suave Sabre: Dirk Pitt, as a decorated pilot and adventurer, has enough working knowledge of sabre fencing to face off against the katana-wielding villain Kamatori.
  • Yakuza: Koda Suma, Hideki Suma's father, and Korori Yoshishu were once common criminals and members of a yakuza group named the Black Sky. Both then entered the military, as it allowed them to enrich themselves and their organization on an unprecedented scale through looting and pillaging. After World War II, Yoshishu continued to control Japan's criminal underworld and his new organization the Gold Dragons, while both Sumas concentrated on financial and political scheming.

    Tropes found in Sahara 
  • America Saves the Day: More so than usual since it's an American force that pulls The Cavalry at the climactic Last Stand.
  • Artistic License – Ships: Ironclad monitors were short-ranged under steam power, and unlike steam frigates they carried no sails. The most direct route possible from the East Coast over the Atlantic to the mouth of the Niger River is about 6000 miles. Shortest route from the last point where a coaling station might have been found in the Lesser Antilles to the next point where wood or coal might have been found on the African coast is about 3600 miles.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: One of the subplots, involving the Confederacy's kidnapping of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Berserk Button: Invoked by Dirk springing a trap before it's ready by telling his Muslim would-be assailant that he buries his enemies with pork in their mouths.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When it looks like the Malians are about to overrun Fort Foureau, Dirk prepares to kill Eva and the rescued women so the enemy doesn't get to rape them. Fortunately, The Cavalry arrives just in time.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The book has two Big Bads. Yves Massarde is a corrupt French businessman who is inadvertently causing the Red Tide Plague, and refuses to believe Pitt when informed about it. General Kazim is the dictator of Mali and runs the slave-labor gold mine Tebezza. The two have a loose alliance.
  • Dub Name Change: For some reason, the Spanish translation of the book renames Pitt as "Dick Pitt" and keeps the change through the entire story.
  • Greenwashed Villainy: Yves Massarde has built a state-of-the-art facility for disposing environmental waste in the Sahara Desert, far from any significant human habitation. But the "waste disposal facility" is really only for show — while some waste is being destroyed as advertised, the most dangerous waste is stored underground in very unsafe ways, leading to massive contamination of nearby groundwater supplies and oceanic pollution that quite threatens the entire biosphere.
  • Karmic Death: The fate of Massarde. Dirk and Al tie him out in the open until he sunburns, then lets him drink lots of the water tainted by the pollutants he introduced. He dies a raving loon.
  • Last Stand: Dirk and the UN team have one at Fort Foureau against attacking Malian forces.
  • Made a Slave: Dirk, Al, and Eva are sent to Tebezza, a gold mine run by Kazim. Unfortunately, Tebezza's "employees" are actually slaves, and the main characters were sent to work...
  • Mercy Kill: Pitt was about to deliver one to Eva before the fort was overrun by Kazim's forces when The Cavalry arrived.
  • Mook–Face Turn: The security forces at Massarde's mansion live in fear of him, take some unsuccessful steps to try and save victims of his death, and happily defect to Pitt's side at the end in exchange for a good cash bribe and the the assurances that Massarde won't be around to seek revenge.
  • Shoot the Builder: Yves Massarde sends the engineers who designed his nuclear waste disposal facility to be worked to death as slave laborers (along with their families) after they become suspicious that he's Cutting Corners and start snooping around.
  • The World Is Not Ready: Subverted. When Perlmutter reveals to Pitt that Abraham Lincoln wasn't killed at Ford's Theater but a double was, while the real Lincoln rests in a Confederate Ironclad in the desert, Perlmutter says it's better the world not know the truth but remember Lincoln as a martyr. However, Pitt insists that the world should know and it turns out that Lincoln is more revered than ever when the truth is uncovered.
  • The Place: It takes place in the Sahara.
  • The Plague: The result of nuclear waste leaking from Fort Foureau into the water supply.
  • To the Pain: Al pulls this on Massarde's lackey.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The team of scientists who find Fairweather and are taken to the mine with him never appear afterwards and its unknown if nay survived to escape.

    Tropes found in Inca Gold 
Gunn: The State Department experts and the Congressional Committee on Latin American Affairs think you both should hang around and make the dirty Yankees look good by helping to halt the looting of Peru's cultural heritage.
Pitt: In other words, our esteemed government wants to milk our benevolent image for all it's worth.
  • Artistic License – History: It's claimed that Sir Francis Drake was in a huge numerical disadvantage when he fought the Spanish Armada. This is often repeated in pop culture, but the reality was actually the opposite: the massed fleets that defended the British ports actually outnumbered the Armada by a significant margin, roughly 200 vs. 150 ships. The Armada did surpasse them in tonnage, but many of their vessels were transports and troop carriers that weren't necessarily an advantage in a naval battle (it also had a slight upper hand in number of guns, but not in the quality of those, which was quite poor due to the rushed way the fleet had been put together).
  • Bandito: Amaru.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Joseph Zolar, Cyrus Sarason and Charles Oxley, who are actually all brothers.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of the book Pitt jokes to Giordino that he expects to be greeted on his return by a dixieland band playing "Waiting For The Robert E Lee". At the end of the book, after Pitt emerges from the river that would eventually bear his name, he is welcomed back by his friends with a mariachi band singing "Waiting For The Robert E Lee" in Spanish.
  • Dead Person Impersonation
  • The Dragon: Tupac Amaru
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Fernando Matos, along with multiple other heads of government and police forces of Baja California are taken in by the Zolars' bribe fairly easily, to the point where Pitt is actively hunted down as the bad guy.
  • Every Man Has His Price: The local police commandant who is bribed with Matos has spent decades gathering a reputation as incorruptible in the face of the cartels, but that is simply because they've never offered him enough money to risk jeopardizing his lifestyle and the Molar's do.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: When trapped in a cenote (sinkhole with vertical limestone walls dozens of feet tall), Dirk Pitt muses for some time on how he never climbed and could not even name the tools used by true climbers, then fashions two crude aids from a small pick, a large steel buckle and two pieces of divers' safety string and slowly and painfully climbs the wall.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Pitt hesitates to shoot the main antagonist in the treasure cave, wasting a lot of time to taunt, threaten and ridicule him even as he knows he's injured and the opponent is a cold-blooded murderer. It still ends in a physical fight, but it doesn't end well for our hero.
  • Karmic Death: Played with in a rapist's case. Dirk shoots his genitals off, but he survives that. Just not the book.
  • Lost World: The Chachapoya city and temple ruins arguably qualify.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: Tupac Amaru does this with Pitt multiple times, and obviously fails.
  • Mighty Whitey: 16th-century sail master Thomas Cuttill is found nearly dead by a primitive tribe in Amazonia and nursed back to health, but becomes a respected tribal elder after teaching them how to build labor saving devices like pulleys and levers from wood.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Averted. Admiral Sandecker never seems to be bothered by Pitt and Giordino deserting a research mission to fight a little personal war with machine guns and downed helicopters, he covers them up in front of Peruvian and American authorities and gladly helps with money and resources by bucketload when they act on a suspicion and an old maritime log. Everyone would love such a Benevolent Boss, if he existed in Real Life.
  • Rule of Cool: Exaggerated to childish level and mixed with Description Porn in the scene where Rep. Loren Smith picks Dirk Pitt up at the airport. US Congresswoman from a rural district who looks like a MILF fantasy and dresses herself in red? Road race through Washington, D.C., in a former track car of the 1950s? US Government official living in the above-quoted Cool Garage hangar turned museum with dozens of Cool Cars? (How comes none of them is bothered by the noise of dozens of planes taking off daily in the vicinity?) And no lousy journalist ever bothering either of them? Too much spoof of James Bond to be 100 percent in touch with reality.

    Tropes found in Shock Wave 
  • Big Bad: Arthur Dorsett.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: A couple of Chapters give us Mr. Exposition characters who sit on a somewhat benevolent one of these, the Multilateral Council of Trade, a group of tycoon from across the world dedicated to forming a single global economy (and unlike most similar characters in Cussler books, not engaging in some evil conspiracy to accomplish that goal, although at least some of its members are involved in some criminal conspiracies to further their plans). They meet a couple times to talk about the effect Dorsett's plan will have on the global economy, and their own dream, and discuss some of the details about how he's going to achieve it, and appear at the end celebrating the failure of his plan and discussing how it won't come into effect with him dead.
  • Covert Pervert: Maeve looks serious and formal, but when she finds Pitt sleeping on a Modesty Towel, she, being also implied to be a bit drunk, cannot help but sneak a peek under the cloth.
  • Dwindling Party: In the prologue, only ten of the over 200 crew and convicts of the Gladiatior survived to make it to the island, with two more drowning as they made it ashore, two being killed in fights over the women and one of those women dying in childbirth.
  • Eye Scream: Pitt pokes Dorsett's eye out in a fit of rage.
    • He was aiming for both eyes (but missed one due to being knocked down), and did it as a last act of defiance after Dorsett had unveiled his Evil Plan and the Cruel and Unusual Death it entailed for them.
  • I Have Your Wife: Or rather, I Have Your Sons. Dorsett uses this to control Maeve for the early portions of the story, although she takes this far less passively than most. Interestingly, unlike most examples of this trope, he's bluffing, as Maeve's sons are the heirs to his diamond empire due to her sisters being childless, but he does a good job of bluffing.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Discussed when Pitt visits Perlmutter, who describes the various generations of Dorsett's and how most of them have been visionaries and philanthropists, until Arthur and his father, while Arthur's' daughter Maeve and her sons stand poised to break the negative current branch of Dorsett's.
  • Parental Incest: Arthur is mentioned to be horny for his own daughter when he finds her in a bikini, leaving clear how messed up this family is.
  • The Mutiny: Happens with the British convicts on the raft in the prologue, who attempt to eat the women.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Boudicca.

    Tropes found in Flood Tide 
  • Big Bad: Qin Shang.
  • Evil Plan: Qin Shang plans to explode a massive ship to divert the Mississippi River. This will basically wipe out thousands of towns, kill millions of people and render New Orleans and Baton Rogue ghost towns. It will also mean Qin Shang's specially constructed port will be the only access to the United States and thus make him the most valueable man in the country.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The opening has the ship carrying the Chinese treasures sinking in a huge storm in Lake Michigan. General Hui snaps they have to abandon ship or at least leave a note in the log so someone can find the treasure only for Captain Hunt to sardonically point out how Hui's own demands for secrecy are going to prevent that.
    Hunt: The lifeboats have been crushed and swept away. You demanded all life vests be thrown overboard. You destroyed the ship's radio. We can't send out a mayday call. You covered our tracks too well. We're not even supposed to be in these waters. Our location is unknown to the rest of the world... You planned it well, General, too well.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: Qin Shang's first scene has his contact in the Chinese government, Yin Tsang, who tries to force him out of the government sponsored smuggling and replace him with a competitor that Yin has cut a deal with. Yin proves himself to be stupid as well as greedy when his suspicions aren't raised by Qin Shang asking "Who else have you discussed by expulsion with ?" And then proves himself to be even stupider by taking a sip of tea offered to him after saying that he's inly talked it over with the rival shipping tycoon. A couple pages later newspaper headlines reveal Qin Shang's competitor was killed in a mysterious hit and run, while Yin Tsang died of mysterious heart failure.
  • Meaningful Name: Qin Shang's name comes, naturally, from the Qin and Shang dynasties of China.

    Tropes found in Atlantis Found 
  • Ambadassador: In Atlantis Found, the American ambassador to Argentina and an escort of Marines accompany the heroes to a showdown with the villainous Wolfe family to keep them from having their bodyguards gun down everyone in the room, or provide some backup if they decide to try to anyway.
  • Argentina Is Nazi Land: A plot point.
  • Big Bad: Karl Wolf.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Atlantis, of course. They even had domesticated unicorns for crying out loud.
  • Designer Babies: The Wolf family's offspring.
  • Easily Forgiven: Corrupt president Dean Cooper Wallace is here presented as a Reasonable Authority Figure despite his pact with Qin Shang in Flood Tide.
  • Evil Plan: The Wolfs and how. They plan to use nanotechnology to cause the Ross Ice Shelf to collapse. This will cause a massive global cataclysm to wipe out civilization. The Wolfs will ride it out in specially constructed Ark ships with animals, plant life and 300,000 people who are under the belief an asteroid is going to hit Earth. Once the shockwaves die down, the Wolfs will rebuild Earth in their own image and be hailed as saviors by those unaware they're responsible for this holocaust.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A member of the Wolf family looks into Dirk's background, and she reports that his background looks like a series of adventure novels.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: The Spartan Q-99 Eradicator used by the Americans integrates an automatic twelve-gauge shotgun, a 5.56-mm automatic rifle with sniper scope, and miniature missile launcher. Amazingly, it "only" weighs 10-Lb.
  • The Mole: Played with in a confusing way. Elsie Wolf is shown collecting intel in the office of Sandecker, whose secretary is stated to be named Julie Wolff. It is never cleared whether the surnames are just coincidential or rather Julie and Elsie are the same person.
  • Prospector: Luis Márquez (who discovers the MacGuffin on his claim) has spent a decade prospecting for colored gemstones in Montana, Nevada, and Colorado and investing his profits in real estate.
  • Putting on the Reich: The New Reich, to be exact.
  • Shoot the Builder: The Nazi Arctic submarine base and storage facility was constructed by a slave labor force of Russian POW's. Most of them died of cold and exhaustion during the construction, and the survivors were executed afterward.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Let's just say the Wolf family have some serious skeletons in their closet.

     Tropes found in Valhalla Rising 
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Big Bad is an oil magnate who wants to sabotage the prototype magnetohydrodynamic drive because of what its mass production would do to the maritime oil business.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In one scene Al calmly chokes out The Brute who was simultaneously trying to crush him. In contrast, when Dirk was fighting the same guy earlier, he was desperately hurling random stuff.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Invoked when it's revealed Zale has spent billions bribing almost literally half of Washington D.C. to his side. As Sandecker notes, some of those Congressmen or Senators would have stuck to their ethics for, say, a million dollars but ten to twenty million or more was too much to resist.
  • Evil Plan: Zale plots to set off a massive explosion by the World Trade Center to devastate New York. The evidence will make it look like Middle Eastern interests and turn the public on foreign oil and Zale's conglomorate becoming richer.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Zale, the Big Bad is a former self-educated fram ddi who provided for his mother and sisters but is now obsessed with profit and willing to kill thousands for a more money to add to his already obscene wealth. As the narrative notes, "There was nothing left of the boy who used to hike across cornfields to complete his chores."
  • Would Hurt a Child: The leader of the death squad, Kanai, attacks a plane being flown by Dirk that was conducting a charity flight for sick kids.

Trojan Odyssey has its own page.

    Tropes found in Black Wind 
  • Evil Plan: Kang will fire a missile packed with deadly bio-weapons to create a plague across the United States. With them distracted, North Korea can then take over South Korea without interference.
  • Shoot the Builder: The Big Bad plans to blow up the engineers who built his missile launcher (and the crew of the ship housing the launcher) as soon as he's used it to deliver a bioweapon to the U.S. He fails, and the engineers are captured and questioned. Interestingly, there's no indication that he plans to lethally silence the biologists who create the bioweapon.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: In Kang's first scene, he summons three South Korean Corrupt politicians and requests that they propose legislation to expel the American military from Korea in the name of encouraging reunification. All three men are unhappy with this, but two acknowledge that their careers are too dependent on Kang for them to oppose him. The third man refuses to fall in line, saying that Kang's plan will cause their country to be conquered by North Korea (which is what Kang secretly wants), and he won't be a party to that. Without missing a beat, Kang has the dissenter thrown out the window in front of the other two men.

    Tropes found in Treasure of Khan 
  • Life Saving Misfortune: The only survivor from a group of Russian surveyors who stumble across the villains plans survived because he fell down a gully and hurt his leg while receiving himself, had he climbed back up a little faster he would have been murdered with the others.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Of the three criminal siblings running things, the sister is the only survivor.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: All three of the earthquake machines are destroyed (and the scientists who built it died mysteriously prior to the novel), and while the plans do survive (being in the trunk of the classic car Dirk uses to make their getaway and then is allowed to claim for himself) but he chooses not to tell anyone about them.
  • Retired Badass: In the prologue, most of the crewmen from the Mongol troopship (which a storm blows to a tropical island) come to live happily with the Natives and hardly any volunteer for the return trip to the Empire when they repair a ship years later.
  • Shoot the Builder: The Mad Scientists who built the villains' earthquake machine died shortly afterward. It's ambiguous whether their employers murdered them or if they died accidentally while testing their invention.

    Tropes found in Arctic Drift 

    Tropes found in Crescent Dawn 

    Tropes found in Poseidon's Arrow 

    Tropes found in Havana Storm 

    Tropes found in Zero Hour 
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Most of Cussler's bad guys are pretty much undeniably evil, and have few redeeming qualities to boot, but perhaps one exception is the main villain of Zero Hour, who, following the deaths of his children and wife in a government-sponsored assassination attempt that left him horribly scarred, was so torn up by his loss that not only does he promise revenge against all society, but also develops a split personality representing his "son" from his conscience, who actually works with the good guys to defeat him. It's made apparent that the poor man is, between his destroyed memories, alternate personality, and lingering pain, nothing but a shadow of his former self, and when he is finally killed, he thanks the heroes for ending his misery.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Invoked when it is discovered that Nikola Tesla's prototype zero-point energy system, the same type the villain is trying to recreate and exploit for his own ends, is highly unstable, and even in a best-case scenario can lose control and cause random earthquakes, and in the worst case....well, let's just say there's a good reason that the government tried to destroy all evidence of the system. When it is discovered that the villain has actually completed the system and is preparing to test it out by deliberately causing a massive earthquake, it's quickly decided that the best course of action is to nuke his island base and erase it from the map.

The Numa Files Contain examples of:

Serpent has its own page.

    Tropes found in Blue Gold 

  • Board to Death: The Big Bad has a meeting describing her plans to monopolize the water ways. Congressman Jeremy Kinkaid angrily protests this as immoral and vows to fight it in court, while a scientist named Dearborn also questions the ethics of it. They are told that their opinions are respected but after the meeting the Kradizak's (who were watching) are asked who they think they should kill, and name Kinkaid (who is later confirmed to have died in an "accident") and Dearborn.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Francesca's bodyguard Rodrigo acts like a bumbling guy mainly just there to scare off boys in the prologue but when there's an actual kidnapping threat is shown to be a stone cold professional.
  • Single-Minded Twins: The Kradizak Brothers, who are described as being more of one person who happens to have two bodies.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's mentioned that the Kradizak's have ten of their fellow Serbain war criminals with them as henchmen, and that they all call themselves the dirty dozen, but then those other ten men are never mentioned again.

    Tropes found in Fire Ice 
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The book involves a lot of Russian intrigue and introduces a Russian agent whose face was scarred while exploring a wreck which Kurt had beat him to (and warned him against diving for). Surprisingly, the man doesn't hold a grudge against Kurt, recognizing it was his own stupidity that got him hurt and is trying to stop the villains.
    • Most of the book implies that the villain is a descendant of the surviving Romanov daughter from the opening chapter but it later turns out that while there are surviving descendants, he himself isn't one and only thought he was.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Aside from the Big Bad (who wants to use the tidal wave device to create devastation and become Tsar of Russia), there's Jack Shrager, owner of a new hotel in Maine who twisted a lot of arms to get his obstructive building put up and then went back on his promise to fire locals by importing Ethnic Menial Labor. Shrager becomes the only fatality of the villains testing there tidal wave device when someone notices the signs of a tidal wave and everyone but Shtrager (even his girlfriend) heed the evacuation notice.
  • Did Anastasia Survive?: Here the story shows that while the Romanov men were executed, the deaths of the women were faked due to loyalists smuggling them to an escape ship (as detailed in the prologue). When the communists chased down and destroyed that ship, Anastasia herself is killed, but one of her sisters is saved by the dying captain.
  • Nepotism: A justified example, given the rural setting, but fishing boat captain Kamal employs three of his cousins among his crew.
  • Sink the Lifeboats: The communists torpedo the lifeboat of the ship carrying the Romanov's instantly killing everyone except the captain and Princess Maria (who is placed aboard a floating piece of wreckage for someone else to find by the captain with the last of his strength).

White Death has its own page.

    Tropes found in Lost City 
  • My Grandson, Myself: The villain has been alive since before the first world war using life extending techniques and poses as a distant descendant.
  • Shoot the Builder: Zigzagged. The scientists hired by Racine Fauchard to recreate the Elixir of Life are initially paid off and sent home unharmed. However, Racine accidentally leaves evidence of her crimes on one scientist's computer, causing the research team to threaten to go to the authorities. Racine murders nearly all of them within a week. Then she discovers there are flaws in the potion that she can't fix on her own, and spares at least one scientist so that he can fix the formula. Instead, he sabotages the potion to kill her.

    Tropes found in Polar Shift 
  • Evil Poacher: Several career ivory poachers are hired to kidnap Karla and murder anyone with her.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: Mickey acts like the loyal gofer to Margrave but was happy to sell him out to Jordan Gant and rants about how Margrave condescended to him by asking him to fetch champagne for Spider while saying he could have a beer for himself.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Margrav and Gant find out what it's like to be on the other end of a tidal wave.
  • Ignored Expert:
    • In the Back Story, Dr. Kovacs published a paper warning the scientific community that trying to manipulate the electromagnetic field could destroy all life on Earth. The Nazis responded by kidnapping him and trying to force him to weaponize that technology and use it against their enemies.
    • Spider Barrett discovers Kovacs' work in the present day and brings it to the attention of Tristan Margrave, an anarchist who wants to destroy communications satellites and bankrupt the world's Corrupt Corporate Executives. After his versions of Kovacs' device causes tidal waves and abnormal animal behavior, Spider tells Margrave that the tests are unsafe, but Margrave arrogantly insists that he can fix the flaws in his device and refuses to halt his plans. Unknown to him, his partners try to murder Spider, who narrowly escapes.
  • Mysterious Protector: Karl (for professor Kovacs in the prologue and his granddaughter in the present), being introduced as a mysterious, gun-totting man who is keeping an imprisoned Nazi scientist ahead of the communists but then turns out to be a resistance fighter, who promises to look out for the mans family.
  • Not So Extinct: Karla Janos (Kovacs granddaughter) is part of an expedition which has found a preserved wooly mammoth in the ice. Then they find real wooly mammoths having been surviving underground.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tristan Margrave really does believe that anarchy is necessary to bring down the corrupt elite. Too bad he doesn't realize that he's an Unwitting Pawn.

    Tropes found in The Navigator 

    Tropes found in Medusa 

    Tropes found in Devil's Gate 

    Tropes found in The Storm 
  • Cargo Cult: The Cavalry of the novel comes in the form of a group of Pacific islanders who have modeled themselves after the two survivors of a badly damaged U.S. Navy ship that a hurricane washed to their shores after it was already mulled in a battle with the Japanese.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Sabah, The Dragon is unceremoniously said to be Killed Offscreen in a Naval Bombing.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Tech CEO Elwood Marchetti is a nanobot designer with his own private island, but does things legally and has humanitarian goals for his designs. It's just that a couple of his employees have been bribed into serving the Big Bad.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: A Mook named Ishmael is surprisingly non-hostile to Kurt and the Girl of the Week when the three of them end up marooned on a raft together.
  • Shoot the Builder: In the climax of The Storm, as the heroes are about to capture the last villains, the Big Bad shoots the scientist who built his swarm of nanobots (others helped, but none of them are working for the villains) so that no one will be able to stop them from destroying the island all of them are on.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Major Edo goes from telling Joe about how a plan to destroy the dams and cause Nile River to flood is impossible to scrambling to help him sound an evacuation order and plug the widening holes once he actually does see that sabotage.
  • The Starscream: Mr, Xhou, one of the Big Bad's investors in his weather manipulation project is concerned abotu how much power he'll have over them and convinces another investor, Mustafa, that they should kill Jinn and take his technology. Mustafa dies in the process but Xhou is not present during the failed attempt and survives the novel.
  • Undying Loyalty: Sabah refuses an offer to betray Jinn despite how much personal profit their would be for him and his family.

    Tropes found in Zero Hour 

    Tropes found in Ghost Ship 
  • Heel–Face Turn: Callista, who is really the daughter of a family the villains parents kidnapped (the rest were killed) and brainwashed her into thinking she was their daughter. She goes over to the heroes side after finding out.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: One of the villainous brothers, Laurent, vanishes in the climax.

    Tropes found in the Pharaohs Secret 
  • Hero of Another Story: The Oregon crew runs into Joe while working on a mission of there own at one point.

    Tropes found in Nighthawk 
  • Dark Action Girl: Zigzagged with Jian Diayu, a Chinese Tyke Bomb who serves as a spy and assassin but is more of a Patriot than a Psycho for Hire and dies trying to stop the real Big Bad of the novel after being informed of his plan.
  • Evil Luddite: The bad guy wants to send Earth back to the stone age.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Kurt and Joe with the surviving Russian agent and pilot they end up shipwrecked with in the last chapters.

    Tropes found in The Rising Sea 
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: The mining robots of the villain have formed a community of sorts surviving on their own underwater after their overseers were killed in an environmental disaster, while trying to follow their original programming.

    Tropes found in Sea of Greed 

    Tropes found in Journey of the Pharaohs 

Alternative Title(s): NUMA Series, Sahara