Series: Philip Mercer *8
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Date Published: August 11th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Hard Science Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Thriller, Thrillers
Description: An exciting new adventure for Doubleday--introducing #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor Jack Du Brul, and his erudite geologist with a special taste for international intrigue, Philip Mercer. Sinking thousands of feet below the surface of the earth in the Leister Deep copper mine in Minnesota, Philip Mercer rides a series of heavy-duty elevators to visit his old friend and mentor, Abraham Jacobs. Jacobs has led a research team to the deepest section of the mine for a groundbreaking study into climate change and cosmic rays. But as Mercer approaches the bottom, he is stunned to hear the unmistakable report of automatic gunfire in the massive underground chambers. He can't stop the inevitable: by the time Mercer finds his way to them, his dear friend, and the entire research team, have been efficiently executed. Mercer is left seeking answers . . . and revenge. This sets in motion a propulsive thriller intertwined with intrigue, vengeance, and cutting-edge science. Mercer is thrust into an international hunt for the murderers--and the frightening secret of what they were looking for. The Lightning Stones is a smart rocket ride . . . and a franchise in the making. Jack Du Brul became a #1 New York Times bestselling author with Clive Cussler, cowriting the Oregon series that has become a fan favorite. Du Brul's own backlist--featuring Philip Mercer--serves as a launching pad now for the reintroduction of Mercer on a much larger level.
It’s been 9 years since we last met up with Philip Mercer, the globe-trotting, disaster-diverting, geologist from Jack DuBrul. Mr. DuBrul has been off co-writing the Juan Cabrillo books with Clive Cussler. (You can read my review of the latest Cabrillo, Piranha, novel here.) . And now, he’s back writing the Mercer books.
Here’s my gimlet cheers to that!
The set up of The Lightning Stones is borrowed heavily from Clive Cussler’s format. 1) Prologue – a historical scene which seems completely unrelated. In this case about Amelia Earhart’s last flight. 2) The action starts right up with the a catastrophe that our hero manages to witness and survive. Here, the attack and murder of his friend/mentor/father figure. 3) The chase is on. And I forget all about that beginning scene. Until it all comes together in the end.
Our villain this time is a megalomaniac. Not the Brain of Pinky and the Brain type megalomaniac. The destroy the environment so he can “save it”, but mostly make money selling renewable energy type. And the henchman is a South African mercenary that Mercer has personal history with.
For me, The Lightning Stones was just ok. I really thought that I had missed Mercer. But it turns out I didn’t. In this book, Mercer is out for revenge for the murder of his mentor. Which I did not really appreciate. Justice is one thing. Revenge another. I didn’t enjoy the dark turn in the character. I was happy with the action in The Lightning Stones. Car Chases. Shoot-outs in an Afghanistan cave. Climbing the outside of a Russian ship with high tech gloves. Being caught in a flash flood in a house which has come loose from it’s foundation. And speaking of the Afghanistan cave, that scene was especially well-written. Mercer had to contort himself to fit through the very small openings in the cave. While suffering from oxygen deprivation from the altitude. I was panicking from claustrophobia just reading those passages.
The Lightning Stones can be read as a stand-alone, or in order with the rest of the series. Check it out if you are need in some adventure in your reading.