now this is podracing!hey everybody! tanner here, and in my continuous search to find the best lighting i can, i’vemoved to my basement. it is entirely possible that every video i do from here on out willbe held in a different part of my house. today we’re gonna be looking at the race by clivecussler and justin scott. if you’re not familiar with cussler’s work, he’s an adventure novelist,so lots of epics and, like, treks across the world and discovering mysteries finding hiddenartifacts, that kinda stuff. i think everything he’s written is part of one series or another,his most popular being the dirk pitt series of novels. i have, like, a fraction of experiencewith clive cussler. i got about fifty pages into sahara about ten years ago, and i couldnever really get into it.
fortunately, the race looked interesting enoughthat i gave it a shot and it was definitely worth the try. the race is actually part ofa different series called the isaac bell adventures, which are period piece detective mysteries.i think it’s the second book in the series…i’m not sure. it doesn’t really matter. it’s avery continuity-light book, and anything that could’ve been a major development earlierin the series is given a pretty thorough treatment here, so anyone who’s a newcomer like myselfwon’t have a hard time figuring things out. the book is one part mystery and one partepic, and they intertwine and connect the result is that it’s really hard to put down but alsothat there are a lot of moving pieces. you’re not gonna get confused, but when you’re tryingto describe the plot to people it can kind
of get longwinded. so! i’m gonna try and summarizethis as best i can. the year is 1909, airplanes are just startingto take off (pun intended). in order to prove that the american pilots are better than theeuropean ones, newspaper magnate preston whiteway has organized a cross-country race. he’s alsosponsoring one of the pilots, josephine frost, who just so happens to be married to organizedcrime lord harry frost. while practicing, josephine witnesses harry commit a murder,and he has to flee because she was in her plane at the time, so he can’t take her out.in order to josephine, whiteway hires isaac bell and the rest of the van doorn detectiveagency, not knowing that they all have a personal connection to harry frost, who is basicallythe one that got away for all of their cases.
as the big day approaches and the race eventuallygets underway, the van doorns have to scramble to josephine, whiteway, and all of the otherpilots while harry calls in every favour he has with thug across america in order to killjosephine, not caring who gets in his way. one thing i noticed with this book, and irarely notice it with other stories, is that it is very well paced. almost the first halfof the book is solely dedicated to the set-up of the race; the race doesn’t even begin untilhalfway through, maybe a bit before. normally i’d complain about something like this, butit is so well written and there’s so much backstory and investment built up for theother characters, and even the fellow racers! they’re not totally fleshed out charactersthe other racers, but you care about them,
so even when you’re cheering for josephineyou’re still keeping an eye out for steve stevens and joe mudd and the guy with the long-assbritish name which i can’t remember which i think is kind of the point.unfortunately, this leads to a kind of disappointing ending. everything gets resolved, but there’sno fallout, there’s no afterwords from it. the actual epilogue seems like it should bea last chapter and there should be another thirty pages after just to wrap things up.instead it’s kinda like grease: as soon as everything ends, the main character and his love interest literally off fly into the sunset – except this time it makes sense becausethey have planes and not a flying automobile. there are a few complaints i have, however.one is that a major twist happens about halfway
through the book. while the twist itself isvery good, i feel like they could’ve stretched it out longer because then it would’ve hada more impactful reveal, especially with the stuff that happens after. a lot of informationthat could’ve been evidence for the reader to figure out the twist is basically justthings that isaac has to use to catch up. speaking of isaac, he really should’ve figuredout the twist earlier. he gets literally every piece of evidence that he would need in orderto figure this out, but literally needs it spelled out for him almost fifty pages awayfrom the end of the book, and even then it’s this huge shock to him. i was waiting forhim to, like, casually mention that he knew it all along but no, he is shocked. and thatshock shocked me because you are supposed
to be the greatest detective in the agencyand you completely dropped the ball on that one isaac. none for you, isaac bell.they kinda toe the line of early 1900s pulpy ridiculousness with how badass harry frostis. one of my favourite examples being how he is the only person in the world who canwear a prototype bulletproof vest. they are these giant things that are so thick and sodense that anyone who tries to wear them collapses, but harry frost is this giant hunk of muscle,some kind of walking gorrilla-man, and he is able to wear it like nobody’s business.unfortunately, josephine is the only female pilot in the race, although that kinda makessense from a plot perspective. preston is using her underdog status and her lady statusto pump her up to the press and make her seem
like the greatest thing and basically forceall other papers that he doesn’t own to report on the race. that being said, while it doesmake sense, i would’ve loved to see another female pilot – if not for the diversity, thenat least to see preston whiteway have smoke pouring out of his ears and screaming at thetop of his lungs, because that’s exactly what would happen! he is that kind of character.overall, my complaints really pale in comparison to the amount of quality and fun that is presentin this novel. yes, the ending is a bit underwhelming, but i’ve read some pretty bad endings beforeand at least this one isn’t overwhelmingly underwhelming. if you like epics, adventures,lighthearted mysteries, or all of the above, i’d definitely recommend you check it out.i may not be sold on the dirk pitt series,
but i’m definitely gonna try and find moreisaac bell. and if you like this video, feel free to like, subscribe, and check out myprevious work. now, we’ve got less than two weeks until theend of january and i still have two books to read: black widow and welcome to nightvale. they’re both around 400 pages long. i believe i can do it, but i gotta get tosteppin’. so until then, i will see you *snap* later.