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IN 1695, a notorious English pirate buried his bounty in a maze of booby-trapped tunnels on an island off the coast of Maine. In three hundred years, no one has breached this cursed and rocky fortress. Now a treasure hunter and his high-tech, million-dollar recovery team embark on the perfect operation to unlock the labyrinth's mysteries. First the computers fail. The then crewmen begin to die. The island has guarded its secrets for centuries, and it isn't letting them go--without a fight.
- Fun...Just Fun
The only way to describe Riptide is fun - no deep meaning, no literary significance. Just fun. Preston and Child team up to deliver an action-packed, entertaining tale of lost treasure and greed. Unlike many adventure novelists, Preston and Child create fully realized characters and intricate plot lines. Many novelists in this genre (Crichton, Cussler) have been writing for years but haven't come up with anything as well written and entertaining as Riptide....more info
- Preston & Child can do better
I absolutely *love* Preston and Child, and normally their archaeology-thriller blend is right up my alley. But this is a lousy book, and even worse for having been written by people I know *can* write well. The plot isn't too bad, concerning a 17th century pirate's deathtrap of a treasure pit. As usual, Preston & Child have a nice sense of location, which in this case is a small island off the coast of Maine. But the characterization is absolutely nonexistent. Every single one is a stereotype (crude-but-brilliant computer geek, musty old technophobic historian, gorgeous French female archaeologist, brave-but-inflexible minister, etc), and all have been done better elsewhere. Yet this is a thriller, and as a reader I'm prepared to wince and keep reading for the sake of an interesting plot- too bad the plot completely breaks down toward the end of the book, hanging the climax on a transparent legal deus-ex-machina that rings false to anyone with even a TV-viewer's knowledge of law. Preston & Child have some good ideas here and some fascinating detail on cryptanalysis, but overall this book is a disappointing failure....more info
- An Ancient Puzzle, Challening Present Day's Resources
I am an ongoing fan of Douglas and Lincoln's novels, mainly the Pendergast series. I decided to give one of their side novels a try.
Synopsis: Off the coast of Maine, Ragged Island has a history of misfortune for those seeking the treasures rumored to be buried beneath it. The mysterious island harbors the Water Pit, a cavernous structure of interlocking tunnels/geography said to house the treasure of the infamous pirate, Red Ned and the timeless St. Michael's Sword. Historically, Red Ned had the architectural mastermind, Macallin, construct the Water Pit to store Ned's bounty of treasure. Red Ned mysteriously perishes soon after.
-Malin Hatch is connected to the mysterious island through a long family history of excavations gone wrong. Having lost his brother during a naive childhood adventure to the island, he swears he will never return to his childhood town of Stormhaven.
-Time passes and wounds heal; Neidelman the captain entices Malin to participate in an excavation project on Ragged Island with promises of fortune and insight into his brother's mysterious death during his childhood. With a team of specialists, high-tech equipment, and the hidden codex journals of the Water Pit's architect himself, the excavation team ploughs into the Water Pit in search of its hoard of treasure.
-Many brilliant approaches are tried, yet seem to fall short due to unnatural, unexplainable means. The specialists begin to believe the answer must lie in the cryptic, coded journals, but they are unable to unravel the coded messages; moreover, the underlying history of a curse about the island does not help the researchers' plight.
-Deaths, technical malfunction, and undermined determination cause Neidelman's team to seek answers from the Water Pit's brilliant architecture. The pit is designed mysteriously in well-balanced symmetry yet having no blatant pattern to the naked eye. It seems that whoever attempts to claim the treasure has no way of getting out of the pit alive.
-A storm approaches, setting a dangerous deadline for the diggers. Simultaneously, the researchers begin coming down with deadly, mysterious diseases that seem to have no connection. That is until the excavation squad exhumes mass graves of long dead pirates with similar presentations to those of the miners. Hatch draws connections with his medical expertise and figures out the deadly common theme.
-Hatch must prevent the discovery of the Water Pit's secrets or else witness the repercussions of his failed predecessors' exploits. Neidelman has become so manic in his search for St. Michael's Sword he takes Hatch's plea for cessation personally. A race against time ensues as Hatch tries to prevent the unearthing of an ancient curse before history repeats itself.
Opinion: Like Douglas and Preston's other novels, the action is quick and the intricacy of the novel is well-researched. The invention of the Water Pit itself is very interesting and the authors reveal just enough of its cryptic history to keep you plowing on. The equipment/technology is creative, as well as the attempts of unearthing the Water Pit.
-The characters are likeable, except I was bothered by the religious zealot, Clay, because I get bored reading about religious fanaticism. The violence is rather gruesome and easy to picture with the great, descriptive detail woven in the pages.
-A problem with the novel is the Water Pit shaft itself is very hard/confusing to imagine with the abundance of descriptive words; this fact made the action sequences inside the shaft hard to follow.
-This was a good stand-alone novel for Douglas and Lincoln fans that can use a break from the Pendergast series. The puzzles are addicting and the story is original. You find out as the story unravels, it is truly a battle of the past, Macallin, and the present, Neidelman. This novel will satisfy those with a taste for cryptic thrillers!
- Solving the mystery of Oak Island
This is a novel that is based on the real-life unsolved mystery of Oak Island's Money Pit. I thought the book had a realistic account of what it would take to penetrate the mystery of the Money Pit. The story was entertaining and kept me turning pages. The only negative comment I would make is that Neidelman, the treasure salvor, apparently has never heard of OSHA or workplace safety concepts, and this made him less credible as a character. (I often found myself wondering how the ESS from ICE LIMIT would have handled this task.) Overall, though, this was a very engaging read and a great way to pass an afternoon....more info
If reading good adventure novels is what you like, then you have come to the right place. This is without a doubt one of the best stories I have ever read. It is not a deep "make you think novel," but Brain candy to the Nth degree. I loved the mystery and the adventure of the island setting, here we have booby traps, scuba diving, and treasure hunting.
In a nutshell, a vast treasure was buried over 3 hundred years ago by a famous rogue pirate, but because of an ingenious architect, the ability to dig for the treasure was virtually impossible.
Until we come to the 1990's. A modern treasure hunter, and his crew are after the treasure, and this time they are determined to get it at any cost, even if lives are at stake. Thats all I'll tell, but I promise you will not be disappointed.
These two guys are some of the best writers around, keep the books coming....more info
- Even This Jaded Book Reader Couldn't Put This One Down!
I've been looking for a page-turner for a long time. If you have read so many books that they all seem to blur together, this one will be a wonderful surprise.
The past several books I have started this year are collecting dust after reading 2 or 3 chapters. Riptide, however, lasted only a weekend.
If you are sick of the same old stories and are looking for one that is both imaginative and well written (with the bonus of a take-off of the Oak Island mystery), you will not be disappointed....more info
- Quite a ride!
If you are looking for an action packed book with complex and interesting characters, potential curses, pirate treasure beyond anyone's dreams and general danger and havoc (which of course always goes with this combination of factors), then this is the book for you, and what a fantastic ride it is!
These authors can always be relied on to produce great tales, and this is no exception. Just when you think you have the plot lines figured out, there are little red herrings and interesting side plots to keep you guessing.
I do have one small issue - I figured out the mysterious health issues befalling many characters before our heroic doctor and main character did, but I decided to forgive him this small lapse as he is of course digging for buried pirate treasure under distressing and challenging conditions!
This is a great, edge of your seat read. Something to treat yourself while on a sunny beach somewhere, or in front of a roaring fire. And be aware it is a real page turner - you may just have to finish it in one sitting!...more info
- Riptide is an incredible read!
By far the best book I have ever read. The book is based upon the true story of the Money Pit on Oak Island. If you research the oak island mystery, you can get some good background....more info
- These guys make a GREAT team~
I've been interested in Oak Island for many years now, and this story is obviously based loosley on the Oak Island legends. The detail was incredible. I felt like I was on the island, and I wanted that treasure! I was so involved, I felt like I could reach out and touch it. If you're interested in things like the Bermuda Triangle, Loch Ness, and Easter Island, you'll love this book. This is honestly one of the best books I've ever read. Bravo Mr. Preston and Mr. Child!!!...more info
- Preston does it again!
No matter what this author writes,it's great! I eagerly look forward to each new novel. Great adventure story with wonderfull explanations for the "spooky" stuff....more info
I have read almost all of the Pendergast novels and really liked them. I purchased this book mainly based on the reviews on Amazon and because I like the authors others works. However, I must say this book was pretty boring. The first chapter hooks you, but then not much exciting happens for the next 300 pages or so. Once I got to the climax of the book it got a little more exciting but still I was pretty disappointed. I'll keep reading Preston/Child and look forward to their new works, but I cannot recommend this one as an exciting adventure/thriller....more info
- My favorite Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book
I've read nearly all of the books done together by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and Riptide was my favorite. It follows their standard formula of a dramatic event, followed by a lull as you get to know the characters, but then cascades into an adventure thrill ride that makes you feel aftewards like you just got off of a rollercoaster. If you like the other books by the author, or if you'd like to try out these authors, then this is the book you should be reading next. One word of warning, however, at around 100 pages in the action starts and you are unlikely to be able to put the book down....more info
- Impressive adventure thriller
I read quite a few books like this and most I become dissatisfied with half-way through, as the plot becomes more outrageous and the explosions more frequent. This one kept me involved (and not annoyed) from beginning to end....more info
- Entertaining, but not their best work
Attempts to retrieve the pirate treasure of "Red Ned" Ockham from the Water Pit on Ragged Island have lead to nothing but death and bankruptcy over the years. Malin Hatch who owns the island lost his brother to the booby-trapped Pit in a childhood adventure that went horribly wrong. He has avoided his home in Maine and the dreaded island just offshore for decades. When Captain Neidelman shows up with considerable financial backing and a potential key to the Pit's obstacles, Hatch reluctantly agrees to another attempt to recover the treasure - now worth 2 billion and rumored to include the relic St. Michael's Sword. But the high-tech equipped venture quickly runs into problems and it's not at all certain that they will be able to defeat the 17th century architect of the Pit.
With the exception of the main character, Malin Hatch, most of the characters are one-dimensional cliches and that makes it hard to care about them. Some of the characters turn villainous with no clear explanation of motives or reasons. The plot forges ahead quickly enough to gloss over the weaknesses in characterization. Unfortunately the plot also has several moments of feeling too forced.
The general theme seems to be summed up by the Bible quote: "For the love of money is the root of all evil." Riptide is entertaining enough if you're looking for a lightweight thriller to read at the beach, but this is not the authors' best work....more info
- go to any of their other books and enjoy
First let me say I am a great fan of Douglas Preston, especially when he co-authors with Lincoln Child.
I pre-order their books as soon as they become pre-orderable, and when the book arrives in the mail, I put aside whatever book I was reading and start on the new one (huzzah agent Pendergast!)
I also get the books on CD and listen going to and from work. So you could say I am a fan. I would recommend any of the Preston/Child books.
EXCEPT this one. This one was a Stinker. Spagetti plot and sub-plots, too many characters and no real action. I got so tired of it that I gave up and giving up on a book is something I never do.
Bottom line here is: go to any of the other books and enjoy. Thunderhead is a great one to start with, but think twice about this one.
- A real page turner...
Loved this book. So much so that I intend to order more works written by this duo.
If you like mystery & intrique, I highly recommend this read....more info
Doug Preston & Lincoln Child are fantastic writers.
I own and have read all of their books.
Exceptional mystery and suspense with high tech information thrown in.
I recomend all of their books....more info
- $2 billion in pirate treasure = a great adventure tale!
Ragged Island, an island off the coast of the small town of Stormhaven, Maine, is rumored to be the site of the buried treasure of a ruthless 17th century pirate named Red Ned Ockham. All attempts at recovering it have ended in failure and even disaster, and many locals believe the island to be cursed. Dr. Malin Hatch, the owner of Ragged Island, has personally seen the curse at work in several generations of his family. After being away from Stormhaven for 25 years he is approached by treasure hunters who wish to try again. The difference this time, however, is that this group not only has the latest technology and extensive financial backing, they also know a lot more about what's buried and who designed the hiding place than any group before them, and so Dr. Hatch is convinced to allow them to try and is drawn back to the ghosts of his childhood. It looks like this time Ockham's treasure is finally going to be unearthed, but there's still the Curse of Ragged Island to deal with...
This is a great adventure tale, and although it's a bit slow to begin with (after the first chapter, that is), it was interesting enough that I couldn't stop reading. But the action picks up and the story keeps taking strange twists, and I ended up reading the last 100 pages or so at one sitting. Some of the characters were a bit stereotypical, but it in no way diminishes the story. The only thing I didn't understand was the title "Riptide" because the riptide around the island is barely even mentioned. All I can figure is that a "riptide" is something that can grab you and drag you down to your death, just like hunting for Ockham's treasure - but that's just my guess! Regardless, a very enjoyable book I can highly recommend....more info
This book reads like one of those cheesy disaster movies (such as The Posiedon Adventure or The Towering Inferno). We get introduced to dozens of cardboard characters in the slow-paced first half of the book. A few characters become three-dimensional only by folding the cardboard a bit. We hear hints of a curse (yawn). The local fanatical preacher hates the idea of digging for pirate gold, but no one keeps an eye on him or beefs up security (when we know he will encourage or commit sabotage). A mass pirate grave is uncovered, and the main character (Dr. Hatch, an infectious disease expert) cannot figure out that they probably died of a contagious illness.
This book has no substance. Even skimming over some paragraphs I find it too slow-paced to tolerate. I cannot understand the dozens of five-star reviews. Are these commenters such fans of Preston and Child that they post rave reviews for every book?...more info
- Should have been better
Ok, I admit it, I'm a sucker for cheap adventures. Can't help it, I just am.
This book should have been great. Pirates, water, traps, treasure - all the right pieces, but it can be so difficult to properly balance these pieces.
Preston and Child made it 3/4 through the book before their pieces toppled.
The first three quarters are great. Exciting, entertaining, they'll keep you glued.
The book falls in the end, though, as characters seem to change too drastically, and much of what has been set up topples in the wind.
Would I recommend this? Absolutely. It will be a let down, and sometimes that's worse than a book that's terrible from the start, but the bulk of this book is the duo at the top of their game, and it's worth purchasing for that alone....more info
- Ripping Good Read
Preston and Child took a lot of the real-life Oak Island's history and invented a Maine island just like it - that is, an island that is an enormous baffle-trap, protecting an unknown treasure. The real Oak Island traps are believed to have been constructed by Elizabethans, and P&C manage to work that in, as well. They've even done some good research into the best methods to beat the engineering marvel that is Oak Island's series of traps - which, to date, have all failed.
This was the writing duo's first really good book, where they got their formula and their style down. The ultimate treasure (and menace) of the island - which they amplify into a giant deathtrap - isn't all that credible, but is convincingly enough drawn to suspend disbelief and enjoy the sheer roller coaster ride to the book's dramatically satisfying conclusion.
Anyone who likes good thrillers or detective stories will enjoy this one, but especially if they have a taste for pirates, Elizabethan history or engineering marvels. The characters aren't as well drawn as in the authors' later books, but they're better than in their preceding ones. Riptide is well-plotted, suspenseful, and maintains a high degree of interest throughout. Enjoy....more info
- Another rousing adventure from Preston and Child
Preston and Child have done it again. This is another gripping adventure set in an absolutely compelling location. The story involves a high tech search for a legendary pirate treasure. The treasure is located at the bottom of an elaborately booby-trapped Water Pit. The Water Pit is located on an island of the coast of Maine. This novel offers everything a reader could want. Action, danger, suspense, a high tech appoach to solving a puzzle that has claimed dozens of lives over hundreds of years. There is also a quest for personal redemption. The main character, Dr. Marlin Hatch, is battling the memories of a childhood tragedy, involving the Water Pit. Preston and Child manage to weave together topics that most wouldn't think to connect. (For example - computer modeling and pirate treasure.) Riptide is another outstanding adventure thriller from the superb team of Preston and Child....more info
- A fast book to read
The book will keep you reading but many times it goes out of the main story and that makes a little bit boring the story, the story of the lost sword is good, but at the end I think that the writers just wanted to end the book and say that the sword was made from alien materials. It's not the best book but if you start this book you will end it because taking out the boring parts, the story of the island and the pirates will keep you interested, and is a really easy and fast book to read....more info
- The ancients had their own degrees of wisdom...
This is one of Preston/Child's book that made me squeamish. Probably because I've seen some of the Discovery Channel and other education stories about the Oak Island treasure and the deaths it has caused to those searching for it. Besides, I'm not overly fond of the ocean except with my two feet on land, and looking out at it! Besides my husband's family includes Captain Kidd...there are loads of them out here in Beaver, PA. (poor guy, he was not really a pirate but that's another story).
The basis for this story is the same as Oak Island. Someone gets this juvenile idea of getting rich quickly, and so they pounce on the owner of this island who has horrific memories of playing there as a child and losing his brother to it. These modern day treasure hunters are so arrogant, because of all of their machinery, that they continue the search regardless of the fact that the island seems unstable, people are dying with no obvious reason, and the electronic machinery is going haywire.
But the 'captain' in charge of this treasure hunt is a bit on the manic side, and won't listen to anyone. He wants not just the gold but something called St. Michael's Sword, at any or all cost. Unfortunately, what he got is not what he imagined!
This book was less enjoyable then the other Preston/Child books. It really gave me the willies, and punched up my anxiety a bit with the claustrophobic conditions. But it is still an enjoyable book, just don't go on the ocean and read it!
Karen Sadler...more info
- Did we read the same book?
The five-star reviews here certainly don't reflect my experience with Riptide. The dialog was awful, the undeveloped characters where clich¨¦d and the story mundane. There were a couple of interesting aspects to the Pit that kept this from being a total waste. There were no real surprises and I never cared if the characters lived or died. I enjoy fun, escapist adventure novels, this just wasn't one of them. ...more info