Special Sub-Topic: Valhalla Rising
|Which famous Cussler character is the protagonist of "Valhalla Rising"?|
Dirk Pitt. Dirk Pitt is the main character of this and many of Cussler's popular novels, including "Atlantis Found" (1999) and "Flood Tide" (1997). Kurt Austin is another Clive Cussler character, who can be seen in the "NUMA Files" series, which Cussler co-writes with Paul Kemprecos. Juan Cabrillo is the main character for the "Oregon Files" series by Cussler, and Jack Ryan is a main character in several of Tom Clancy's novels.
|What historical group of people does this story involve?|
Vikings. As many of Clive Cussler's novels do, this novel includes something from history - in particular for this story, the Norsemen of Norway. There is some evidence that there has been Viking contact in North America during the early part of the last millennium, but L'Anse Aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland, Canada is the only confirmed settlement. Even this the Norsemen quit after a few years, and no permanent settlements were founded. Other temporary settlements may have existed, as told in Norse Sagas, but Newfoundland appears to have been the main area.
|As it plays such an important part in the story, who is the author of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"?|
Jules Verne. Jules Verne's most famous novel, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", published in 1870, is found in Cussler's book to have been based on actual fact. Instead of the Indian Captain Nemo who is the protagonist in Verne's version, Dirk discovers that the book was based on the British captain Cameron Amherst, whom Verne met as he was sailing across the Atlantic on The Great Eastern, a passenger ship. Amherst went on to build a submarine years ahead of its time, which continually was sighted for forty years then covered up.
|What disaster occurred on board the Emerald Dolphin, supposedly the safest cruise ship of the age?|
Fire. Part One of the novel tells how an uncontrollable fire started in the chapel on board the Emerald Dolphin, which quickly spread, no thanks to the high-tech fire-protection system which had been installed on the ship. The fire-protection systems had all been disabled and despite all the crew's best efforts, the fire continued to blaze. Luckily for the cruise ship, the Deep Encounter was in the area and Dirk Pitt and the rest of the crew were able to save the majority of the passengers.
|What is so special about the Golden Marlin, the second water vessel that is attacked?|
It can go underwater. The Golden Marlin was scheduled to be the first submarine cruise ship, an interesting way to view the ocean. Unfortunately, the Cerberus corporation used explosives to ensure the maiden voyage would not be successful, though thanks to Dirk and Al, no one lost their lives.
|All the attacks of modern times are made by the same corporation. What mythical being are they named after?|
Cerberus. The Cerberus organization is headed by Curtis Merlin Zale, a "cold-blooded sociopath without a shred of conscience", who wants to take over the U.S. government. Cerberus is a three-headed dog from Greek mythology who guards the gates of Hades, the Greek version of the underworld.
|What is the name of the owner of Yukon Oil, one of the members of the Cerberus team?|
Sally Morse. Yukon Oil represents the Canadian element of the large North American oil companies which have teamed together to stop the dependence on foreign oil. Sally Morse is the only member of the team who backs out when she discovers what Zale was planning to make people outraged at foreign oil companies - namely, a large explosion off the coast of New York City. Although she believes it will take place off of San Francisco, there is enough time for Dirk and Al to stop the real explosion which takes place a few hours later in the Big Apple.
|Where does Elmore Egan's secret work space turn out to be?|
In a cave. Dr. Egan's extremely private work space was never able to be found before his death by his daughter Kelly, or by his work partner. After the difficulties with Cerberus are over, Dirk and Al are able to give Kelly a hand looking for his mysterious laboratory, and they discover it by diving into the Hudson river at the edge of the Egan property. Kelly's father's work place was a partially underwater cave where several Viking ships and the famous Nautilus eventually made their home.
|Dirk and Al have to stop several disasters from occurring in this novel, with the help of a few very interesting boats. What is the name of the boat which Dirk and Al use to stop the Mongol Invader from exploding in the New York City harbour?|
Coral Wanderer. Similar to the Golden Marlin, the Coral Wanderer is a submarine cruise ship. As it is able to go underwater, it is not as easily detected, and allowed Dirk and Al to rid the waves of the threat of the Mongol Invader by blasting it underwater. This finally did in Zale's Viper team and finished off the evil Ono Kanai, the leader of the Vipers.
|A big surprise is in store for Dirk at the end of the novel: he discovers that he has two children. What are their names?|
Dirk and Summer. Dirk and Summer are fraternal twins, aged 23 in this novel, who are the children between Dirk and Summer Moran, Dirk's love from "Pacific Vortex!" (1983). Dirk believed Summer to have died those many years before, but it turns out she lived and give birth nine months later to twins. It is at the end of this novel that Summer has finally truly died, and her children come to search out their father.
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