While Cussler’s Cresent Dawn is well, or rather fast paced and, surprisingly, was not going over the top as many Cussler novels do the character development is going all wrong. At least as far as Dirk Pitt Jr is concerned.
The whole subplot of the loss of Pitt Jr’s love interest and its violent conclusion is non-credible. The parallelism between father and son with respect to their lost love is unnecessary. There is no reason for “cloning” Dirk Pitt. The figure is easily exchanged without copying every little feature as the other Cussler novel series prove. The bonding time between Pitt and his lost love is too short to justify his actions and, I guess, the emotional scars in later novels. His vengeful violence depicted in the novel is excessive and does to seem to fit the earlier impression I had.
Overall, the novel seems to suffer a bit from the rather large number of main characters. The too many protagonists lead to less room for character development and to too many subplots. Each of these subplots may be interesting, all of them are, however, under-developed and thus too shallow.
All in all, Crescent Dawn is neither Cussler’s worst nor best.