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Shadow Tyrants: A Novel of the Oregon Files

Review

Shadow Tyrants: A Novel of the Oregon Files

It was the year 261 B.C., and Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Terrible was overlooking the remnants of another destroyed city. The air reeked of burnt flesh, and he relished the reports of utter destruction of his enemies from his top general, Kathar. Ashoka had now grown his empire from the region conquered in his name stretching from Persia to the Ganges Delta. Those not killed by his murdering horde had Ashoka's Hell to look forward to --- his own cruel version of prison.

But still, Ashoka was not satisfied. He was building a library that would contain all the secrets to control the world. The scrolls in question became known as the Scrolls of Knowledge. Ashoka realized it would be foolish to keep all these vital scrolls in one place, lest one of his own men turned on him and took over the library. Instead, he found nine unknown men and granted each of them one of these most critical scrolls. To this day, legend states that the person who could find and possess all nine Scrolls of Knowledge would indeed rule the world.

"...a novel that crackles with intensity and maintains a high level of suspense from start to finish.... Strap yourself in as Cabrillo and his extensively talented and likable Corporation attempt to save the world from being plunged into the Dark Ages."

The action jumps forward to present day as we witness Adam Carlton, the son of one of the most powerful men in the world, Xavier Carlton, go down in one of Xavier's private jets and is seemingly lost forever. This is a pivotal event that will later play out fully as Xavier, CEO of Unlimited News International, and eight of his international business colleagues are meeting to discuss an extremely important endeavor. The group refers to themselves as the Nine Unknown. Following upon the legend that was coveted by Ashoka, the knowledge of the original Nine Unknown has been passed down and expanded upon. Today, each of the members of Carlton's exclusive cabal holds a piece of the Nine Unknown. The leader of the group is Romir Mallik, CEO of Orbital Ocean, and he suspects that all may not be right with their top-secret exclusive group.

Meanwhile, our hero, Juan Cabrillo, and his Corporation are pursuing some strange, potentially illegal doings taking place in the Western Indian Ocean. His ship, the Oregon, is disguised under the name Goren, and their target is the Triton Star. They pose as a ship in distress, and upon boarding the Triton Star quickly overtake the captain and crew. They become concerned when they intercept a call that requests the Triton Star kill all aboard the distressed ship they had come upon. Cabrillo and the Corporation quickly realize that something much bigger is at play --- but what that is and where it can be still remains to be answered.

When some sort of EMP missile is launched, it forces Cabrillo and his team to scramble and figure out the target or targets to be knocked out by its pulse. They ponder over different terrorist groups but are way off. This action is well under the guise of the mysterious Nine Unknown, and the end game they have in their sights will truly bring the entire world down to its knees. The label for this mission is the Colossus Project, and Mallik, Carlton and the other members of the Nine Unknown have been testing various incarnations of it until it is perfected. Colossus is, essentially, an artificial intelligence capable of rapid self-awareness while distributing undetectable viruses that would cripple any major software network.

The problem is that Mallik and Carlton are each planning their own individual power plays, with sole possession of Colossus falling to the winner. The Nine Unknown are truly tyrants operating from the shadows. To defeat them and keep Colossus from being turned on will require Cabrillo and his entire team to also remain under the radar, utilizing the mistrust between Mallik and Carlton to allow them to stealthily stop both of them from succeeding. The result is a novel that crackles with intensity and maintains a high level of suspense from start to finish.

When you pick up a Clive Cussler book, you realize you are about to jump directly into the deep end with an author who has become synonymous with terrific, escapist action novels. Add Boyd Morrison to the mix, himself a bestselling author of intelligent thrillers in the style of the late Michael Crichton, and you have a lethal combination guaranteed to entertain all comers. SHADOW TYRANTS now marks the fourth consecutive teaming of Cussler and Morrison in the Oregon Files series, and it's obvious that they are operating as a well-oiled machine. Strap yourself in as Cabrillo and his extensively talented and likable Corporation attempt to save the world from being plunged into the Dark Ages.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 14, 2018

Shadow Tyrants: A Novel of the Oregon Files
by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison

  • Publication Date: September 11, 2018
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0735219060
  • ISBN-13: 9780735219069