Tom Clancy - writing about Jack Ryan and his 21st century swashbuckling and globe-trotting adventure/spy/drama books - must have been having a VERY bad day when he wrote this stinker of a book! Jack Ryan, now President, authorizes his OWN SON and NEPHEWS to become paid assasins for a government kill-team that targets 'suspected' 'bad guys' ??? Give me a break! The whole book was so implausible that I had a hard time in grasping the concept -- thinking that surely I was missing out on the IMPORTANT stuff.... and come to find out, there wasn't any of THAT, either!
To make matters even worse, the narrator sounds like he's reading poetry - not trying to enliven already dull characters and at least differentiate in voices or dialog, plus he has an annoying habit of ending all his long-winded sentences on a 'downturn' -- sounding like everything had a "Oh, poor thing, it's so sad....." sound -- that might be helpful in reading bedtime stories to not-very-sleepy kids -- but certainly not what was needed for an 'action' story.
And the reward for listening through a painful 16 hours of this nonsense? The story just ends.... as our unproven (to me) hero flies off into the blue - supposedly on his way to another adventure. If it's another adventure like this first one, I'll read a paragraph synopsis and feel like I came out ahead.
Tom Clancy may have 'hit it big' previously -- but this is a total bust! I only rated it ONE star because there was nothing LESS that would qualify as a rating!
I love spy novels and especially the stories crafted by Tom Clancy. HOWEVER, this book is one of the worst books I've listened to from Audible. The story is too long, improbable and at times inconsistent. I think you'd rather listen to The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille.
I loved his early books and appreciated his attention to detail. But in this one, every time something is about to happen in the here and now, someone has to reflect back on what "old Dad" did before or speculate on his thought processes and moral conundrums. There is so much angst and soul searching, repeated ad nauseum, that the action could fill a very thin novelette indeed. And there was such extreme repetition of things described in minute detail at different intervals in the book to different people that I found myself talking back to the tape "yeah yeah yeah, I heard this already!" I've never fast forwarded through a book before, but I did extensively on this one, and wished I'd opted for an abridged version. An interesting story, poorly and tediously told. Where was the editor on this stinker?
I read everyone's reviews here and I thought, "It's Tom Clancy, it can't be that bad".
Ouch. For the legions of Clancy fans who enjoy the detailed research that goes into his other titles, this one will leave you flat.
As another reviewer mentioned, what was Clancy thinking having a former president's son leaping into the spook world? Like no one knows who Jack Jr. is? Like his Secret Service contingent is going to let Jack Jr. travel by himself to Europe to chase terrorists? Like "People" magazine wouldn't be following him around to have him on the cover of it's "Sexiest Man of the Year" issue?
And attention to tradecraft is comical. He has identical twins (who are rookies in the business) doing hits on terrorists in Europe...interesting, but don't you think they would stick out? Plus they do their hit the same way on three separate people in the span of a few days...do you think any intelligence agency or police agency would not notice? He has Jack Jr. and the twins actually in the hotel room right next to one of their targets as the three casually discuss their plans.
Still, the concept of a self-funded anti-terrorist organization is intriguing and plausible the way he has it set up.
Overall, entertaining, but not up to the usual stuff.
It's hard to reconcile that this book was written by by the same author that wrote Patriot Games,The Hunt for Red October or take your pick of a number of fine novels that bear his name. The characters in this work seemed one dimensional and immature. The moral angst was contrived and revisited ad nauseum. In Tom Clancy's other novels it was like he pulled the curtains aside to reveal motives and machinations not guessed at by ordinary folks. This read like a soap opera script. John Ryan has been retired and the next generation just can't carry the ball. The fact that it took two credits should have been a warning that this was a swan song. I'll not be buying any new novels with his name on it unless I hear he's done a 180 on his current style. I was truly disappointed and wanted to blame the editor, publishing company, anybody but Tom Clancy whom I have enjoyed reading for over 20 years.
This is a good continuation of a nice series. the narrator was good , the pace fast , and the characters nicely developed so far. I enjoyed this book alot and will be looking for more Clancy novels like it.
...and drives off a cliff. For years I have defended my enjoyment of Clancy's thrillers against those who dismiss him as a right wing war hawk. After all, I served in the Army, and a lot of what Clancy writes is true to form; and why blame an author for the ignorance of his fans? Not so this time.
Apparently Tom has been drinking too much kool-ade from his benefactor's punch bowls; and no longer feels the need to justify or disguise his hatred of all things librull. The characters become one dimensional props for a simple revenge fantasy unworthy of James Bond in Roger Moore incarnation. Democrats are all spineless and/or traitorous. Republicans are all incorruptible defenders of the Greatest Country In The History Of Earth. Subtlety and nuance of motivation are dispensed with entirely.
And so we are asked to suspend disbelief for the preposterous premise that America's interests are best served by a secret society of untouchable aristocracy financed by illegal insider trading and acting as patriotic vigilante assassins. For qualifications to assume this mantle of unaccountable power, we get precious little. One is the son of a great spy and powerful man, and genetics seem to be his only credential. Most preposterously, or perhaps ironically, Clancy cites George Orwell, an author who wrote brilliantly against creeping fascism, as justification for his heroes' fascist behavior.
Clancy spends better time on their motivation, with a detailed look at the mechanics of a terrorist atrocity. But even the atrocity is not particularly imaginative, and its climax is telegraphed early on. The heroes encounter no complications, casualties, or "blowback" from their off-the-reservation activities. In the end, we are left hanging for an obvious sequel and the inevitable bad movie adaptation starring Tom Cruise as the genetically perfect aristocratic spy and directed by Michael Bay.
If you want a good revenge novel by Clancy, read Without Remorse.
Outside worker bee
Clancy fans will enjoy this book as it is typical of his in depth knowledge of the intelligence community. I looked forward to each chapter, al beit 26+ hours long...