BOOK CLUB: Cave Diver

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“Cave Diver” by Jake Avila is a debut action adventure novel aimed straight at die hard fans of the genre. It’s not high on originality, but it’s well-executed and likely to win Avila fans.

Rob Nash, a world class cave diver, has let his life collapse around him. Traumatised and grief stricken after the death of his wife Natalie, he’s lost his friends, career, income, reputation, and his house is about to follow. Then his “Uncle” Frank Douglas brings him an offer with the possibility of restoring most of those. Jarred from his self pity by bad news, Nash takes the offer.

Unfortunately the job is not as presented to Nash. The Indonesian backers aren’t interested in making a documentary about cave diving; they’re interested in retrieving a hoard of Nazi gold. Led by Sura Suyanto, a TV star with a remarkable vicious streak, and her even more violent lover Jaap, they intend to put Nash to a very different kind of work than he’s expecting.

I think people started writing about hidden Nazi gold about three days after the war ended. It’s a trope that’s been in use for decades. Avila manages to bring a slightly original slant to it, but it’s still a basic story that you’ve read many times before. Nevertheless, Avila knows the rhythms of his genre, and this is a well paced story with vividly described action.

cave diver

This is a novel for fans of the genre: if you don’t enjoy action adventure, it hasn’t much else to offer. But for fans, it’s likely to tick all the boxes. Characters are strong although they lean towards stereotypes.

The real strength here is the action itself. Avila vividly describes cave diving, balancing technical information with activity very well. We understand both its’ dangers and attractions. Action scenes – both in and out of the water – are vividly described so that they’re easy to visualise. They’re realistic while also stretching our credulity just a touch to allow for a miraculous escape or two.

This is a debut novel, but Avila’s writing is assured. Genre fans are likely to mark him as an author to watch.

Author: Jake Avila
ISBN: 978-1-76088-700-7
Copy courtesy of Echo publishing (2021)

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Cave Diver by Jake Avila. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Cave Diver

  1. Cave Diver by Jack Avila is a great debut adventure book for this Author.
    Rob Nash blames himself for the tragic death of his wife
    during a cave dive.
    He is aimlessly getting through the days.
    When he is offered the chance to lead a cave diving expedition
    in Papua, he agree to do it.
    From the outset, the expedition is ringing alarm bells.
    There is danger, adventure,
    betrayal, loyalty and a sprinkle of romance.
    Well researched and descriptive.
    Lovers of Action/Adventure Genre will devour this book.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Echo Publishing
    for the opportunity to read and review this book,
    I really enjoy it.

  2. What an action-packed adventure story!

    I found Cave Diver stuffed full of all the usual elements that make adventure novels sing – an exotic location and a skilled explorer up against various life-threatening challenges and evil villains.

    Australian, Rob Nash is the hero in this story who is at a low point in his life following the death of his wife in a tragic cave diving accident. With nothing to lose, Nash is tempted into taking on a cave diving expedition and soon discovers something isn’t quite right about this “documentary” he is meant to be involved in.

    Loads of descriptive pieces – on land and under the sea – and a fast pace will make this popular with those who like Dirk Pitt/Bond etc adventures. I certainly raced through it! My only thought – were some of the other characters are little too typical for this time of genre? Nevertheless, I am totally sure, this will be a hit with many. And maybe even a big screen hit too!

    I appreciated the opportunity to read this – thank you to Beauty and Lace and Echo Publishing for a great tale.

  3. Cave Diver by Jake Avila is a fast-paced Adventure/Thriller set in exotic and frightening Papua New Guinea. I really enjoyed learning about these countries and followed their adventures on Google Maps, but I did find the characters to be one dimensional and stereotypical, especially the females.
    There was a lot happening so that at times I found it difficult to visualise and the body count was extremely high. The sense of danger from everywhere was well described and the diving was well researched.
    Overall this was a good book to read without being great. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Echo Publishing for my introduction to another new Australian Author.

  4. Rob Nash is wallowing in self pity with mounting debts after the death of his wife in a cave diving accident when he is approached to take part in an expedition in Papua New Guinea. The pay check is too good to refuse, so Rob agrees, not knowing what he is getting hinself into.

    What ensues is a thriller with many villains and double-crosses.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it’s a thriller with a twist & turn type storyline but it’s much more than that.

    I was intrigued to read the author’s exploration of many different emotions such a greed, grief, lust, regret and jealousy. His carefully executed details of the second world war and the hidden ‘ghost ship’ also made for very interesting reading.

    Give this book a go, it’s something a bit different than your average novel and well worth a look.

  5. Cave Diver was an enjoyable action adventure debut by Jake Avila.
    I don’t often dive into this genre so it was a refreshing change for me.
    It was full of action and the diving portions seemed to be well researched.
    I enjoyed the story and it has a little bit of everything to keep you engrossed.
    I would recommend this to anyone who likes action adventure novels.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Echo Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

  6. Cave Diver is an action-adventure book set in Papua New Guinea. Rob Nash loses his wife in a cave diving accident and not surprisingly spends his nights in despair thinking about his wife as well as avoiding TV news crews who are chasing the full story which led to Natalie’s death.
    Nash is then offered an opportunity to lead a cave diving expedition in the jungles of PNG. This could be what he needs to overcome his fear and reignite his passion for cave diving. The expedition becomes a matter of life or death in the search for a WWII Japanese submarine loaded with gold.
    While it is full of action (about a third of the way in), I really struggled to get into it in the beginning with the overly detailed descriptions. Recommend to anyone who loves action-adventure thrillers – perhaps Bond similarities.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Echo Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  7. Cave Diver certainly was an action-packed adventure, full of everything from an exotic location, various life-threatening challenges, evil villains and a love match.
    As the title suggests, the story follows Australian Rob Nash as he re-enters the world of cave diving- something he left behind after a terrible tragedy.
    With nothing to lose, Nash is tempted into taking on a cave diving expedition for both the thrill and the cash.
    There were historical elements in amongst the drama and intrigue of the adventure, dating back to WWII and the Nazis.
    It kept me guessing, and kept me entertained throughout.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Echo Publishing for an interesting read.

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