Monday I finished threat vector and immediately checked when the next book in this series was due out (command authority is due early december). I was really stoked. Then I opened my computer tuesday morning and saw the sad news that Tom Clancy had died. I generally don't write reviews of the books I read or listen to, mostly because I just don't have the time. But today, in honor of a terrific writer and brilliant strategist I set fingers to my keyboard to let others know that this and all of Mr Clancy's novels have been engaging, well thought out, and many times frightening. Hunt for red october was probably the first audiobook I listened to in the 1980's - then I was borrowing the cd's from the library and listening to them on my way to work. There were many a day that I would get to work and not be able to get out of the car because I was so riveted to the story then performed by Michael Prichard. Tom Clancy has never lost his appeal or his insight. This book is no different. It will hold your attention from the first chapter to the last. The gang is all in attendance from Jack Ryan senior, John Clark and Ding Chavez to the latest Ryan, Jack , "don't call me junior". Lou Diamond Phillips' performance is top notch as well. This is an audio book that should not be missed
There are lots and lots of little sub stories that tie into the main story. This is somewhat necessary, but it makes the whole book drag, especially in the beginning.
Stop Please Stop. I like Lou Diamond Phillips the actor, but he doesn't have the voice for these kinds of books plain and simple. My 12 year old son even complained and he doesn't even listen to the books except when he's riding with me in the car. I will say one positive thing and that is he does impersonations very well, but that in no way makes up for a voice that should stay on the big screen. I didn't believe what I read about the narration, but believe me Lou Diamond Phillips should get out of the book business.
Chinese Cyber Espianage
The book starts out very slow and picks up later. Too many sub plots and not so interesting details describing the criminals, etc. etc. It's only because the last third of the book was good that I gave it a 4.
More depth to the characters is needed. A better plot with deeper understanding of the geopolitical situation is a must if this book is to seem plausible. Chinese motives were very simplistic and reactions once conflict starts inept.
Less factual errors would have made the book more enjoyable. For example, Barcelona is not the capital of Spain and does not have an American Embassy. Also, Hong Kong is part of China (self-administering though) and is not a free-for-all zone for special forces and spies to operate at will.
Tom Clancy's books are usually better researched and more plausible. Not this one.
Wow, just wow.
As per usual, Tom Clancy continues to weave a web of threads into a very plausible and action packed techno-war novel. But, of his last few offerings, this one had me captivated from the first few chapters and I could barely put it down. A record for me to finish an audio book this quickly, and wanting more, more, more.
It's a nice transition for many of his characters as well,. As some of Clancy's mainstays get older and mature he does a nice job of passing the torch by introducing some new characters I hope to see in future installments which is a good sign that an author can adapt and grow his universe as time marches on.
Lou Diamond Phillips does an incredible job of providing very distinct voices and accents to a menagerie of characters with clear pronunciation and timing. I hope he'll do more for Clancy.
As far as the story goes, I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the thought of Big Brother, cyber-attacks and cyber warfare just became extremely credible for me after listening to this and very plausible. The idea that hackers can infiltrate the CIA, military satelites, banking systems, the national power grid, and more with various ramifications described within is chilling and fascinating. The most unlikely bad guys of the future won't need guns, missles, and muscle....just a MIT degree and a keyboard to wreak havoc abroad.
This novel never let up. The only reason I cannot give it 5 stars is that the ending, as powerful as it was, left a few loose ends that deserved more time. **Possible Spolier** I needed to know more about the motivation behind 'Center'...and his demise was a bit lackluster. I want Gavin, "Trash" and Adam fleshed out more...hopefully in future installements. Seems like a few characters didn't get their full due in this novel even though they may have played an integral part (Clark, Lipton, Kovolenko, etc.) What happens to the ROC, Taiwan, India, etc....That may be a bit nitpicky for a 20 hour novel, but it is just that good and I really got invested in these characters to have the book end in teh fashion it did...too quickly.
It is a good book if you like political thrillers. It is very realistic and Clancy always gets the details right.
The ending was not very predictable, and it didn't end like I thought it would.
No I haven't, but he does an excellent job with this book. His narration is borderline spectacular. He could do audiobooks for a living. He has a very even voice.
This book is as good as "Rainbow Six" which is the only other Clancy book I have read, and that book was well above average. He makes the story and characters realistic. He did an excellent job of realistically portraying China and Americas military strengths and weaknesses. I'm tired of reading these books that make China of the future out to be some military power that can't be beat.
I love stories with multiple simultaneous activity. Threat Vector has all that -- in spades. What I don't like is endless jabber about computer programming, especially on an audio book. We should be warned. When reading a book, you can happily skip past the five pages of geek language and get on with the story simply by skimming and scanning. With sound, all you can do is stay with it. When you fast-forward, you have no idea what you are missing. I like to have some control over the reading. I want to skip pseudo-technical bullcrap, long chases, endless descriptions of firearms construction, etc. I'm one of those guys that prefers relationships, character development, and a story that keeps moving forward. This audiobook is a case where the unabridged edition would have saved both time and money.
Most interesting was the scary possibility that governments have to outsource spying and killing. Least interesting is the highly improbably brinksmanship of the Chinese government.
Lou Diamond Phillips might be the best reader in Audible.com history. He nails gender, accents. One truly forgets there is only one narrator. So clean. So clear. I probably can't afford him, but I want him on my next book. My name, Lou, is Jack Dermody. Find me on the web.
No movie -- too much violence, too many chases, too many improbable outcomes.
Author of three books with infused companion songs. Multimedia is the new way to tell a story.
As a Tom Clancy who has read all of the Jack Ryan series, I was glad to try this latest installment as an audiobook. Professionally produced from pen to microphone. Well done.
I started listening to the book just during my hour drive to work. It wasn't long before I was listening during breaks and after I got home at night. The action and intensity just keeps building right up to the end. It's got spies, computer gadgets, fighter jets, world powers on the brink of war and lots of good guys saving the day in the nick of time. John Clark is back and president Jack Ryan along with Jack Junior are major characters.
All loose ends are wrapped up by the end of the book and in the epilogue.
Gavin, the computer nerd - expert.
The story is great, but the dialogue is so stilted that even the excellent reading of Lou Diamond Phillips can't rescue it. The problem is that the characters don't ever use contractions when they talk, and as we know, that just isn't how people speak to each other. This isn't so noticeable when reading because we tend to contract in our heads, but with spoken word it just becomes stilted and silly to hear these rough and tumble characters speaking with such fomality -- even in the most crisis-ridden moments.