Let me start out by saying the action sequences in this book (especially the Theme Park) are first rate. The members of the team are believable and Clancy can certainly write a fight.
The story is a long shot to believe, as you will see. You sort of have to suspend disbelief, any reader will recognize that even for Clancy this is pretty unlikely stuff. I'm not really spoiling the book since you'll figure this out in the first 2 hours but it's a tale of a special counter-terrorism unit that basically forms up and then immediately has tons of business. It gets explained why, but the unrealistic thing is that an outbreak of terror attacks like happen in the novel would likely cripple the Western world, whereas in the book it just trips along.
The thing that made me really irritated is the "sleuthing" factor. All of Clancy's heroes and villains are always at the top of their game - best at everything, great shots, fluent in multiple languages, etc etc etc. But there is this stupid theme in the book where a few clues are dropped and whether it's the good guys thinking about the bad guys or the bad guys thinking about the good guys they pretty much guess right every time.
So every time a few characters are speculating about the opposition it's like Sherlock Holmes on steroids. The next sentence is not a spoiler (as all will become apparent in the first few chapters) but an example: Hmm, this operation seemed expensive and involved money, drugs, and terrorists. Therefore it must be a rogue American pharmaceutical corporation with a former KGB spy working for them. Bingo.
It gets a little tiresome, and you pine for Clancy's descriptions of training and operation deployments.
Top 5% It's incredible.
When you find out what Hull's Trial is going to be.
When you figure out what the evil leech's well is.
Didn't overdo the voices, a few subtle accents but didn't go crazy.
Some parts of this book are just laugh out loud funny. It's one of the only epic fantasy books that incorporates profanity really well. Instead of something fancy like "By the goddess!" or "to the seven hells!" the characters in TEB just say f***.
As others have noted there are a few loose ends. Motivations are not always clear and when they are not they are only sporadically set up for a later answer.
Probably the biggest confusion is why the 2 princes are willing to be abused and nearly tortured for 8-10 years, this is particularly true for Kaiden who doesn't even understand why he's with the monks.
It's also true for Yurl (sp?), why does he go through the entire training? Couldn't he be 90% as cruel and nasty without risking his life for 10 years?
Lots of people compare this to Abercrombie, Rothfuss, Riyira, Kingkiller, etc, this is WAAAY better. If some of those left you a little unsatisfied this will not. I've been trying to find my next fantasy series since Mistborn and this is as good as that. Truly a "driveway" title.
tough to say
he does a great job with everything, doesn't over do the voices
I think after listening to 3 of the books I would say that this is A-. It's definitely good, in fact it's really good. Creative, well written, compelling characters. For whatever reason it doesn't have that driveway quality to it where you want to sit in your car and let it play. I enjoy listening to Ryira but find I stray away from it for podcasts or another book. I'll probably finish the series but very slowly as I'll be constantly interrupted by other things.
The plot twist in the middle is quite odd. It's almost like 2 different books.
If they were hard-core sci-fi people.
He's a good narrator.
Absolutely. This is like the Fellowship of the Ring, it doesn't stand alone very well.
It's a solid B+ sci-fi book. The combat is really cool. It's a little weird that the most vicious scene is the protagonist fighting people just like him and this is never really processed.
Not sure, someone who liked generics spy novels?
The whole book seems to be about Hurley's temper tantrums. Also I have to say that Rapp is a completely cardboard character. I've rarely read a book with so little development of the main character.
He has a great voice, but he sounds the way you'd expect Hurley to sound (gruff) and so it seems weird for him to be voicing all the other characters.
A few parts are pretty fun.
For those who like Archer, I think the show may have been slightly influenced by this book.
Didn't really have one.
Stop doing accents.
Given what a stickler Clancy was about details down to the material on gun stocks and things like that I think it's pretty funny that Junior and Dom can basically become Tier 1 special forces operators with like 3 years experience at the Campus. Driscoll is believable but I must have missed the part in the series where the other 2 become interchangeable with Delta.
Final fight at the hotel is near Rainbow Six quality excitement.
If it were an actual old school Clancy book. I understand he's a pretty conservative guy but this reads like a Sean Hannity fever dream. When I got to the part about the obese, single female lawyer who was "married to her convictions" and who actually gets a quasi-sexual frisson from defending terrorists who have attacked the country I almost had to quit. It's all just caricature. Clancy has created the Clark/Ryan universe and in that universe Fox News doesn't exist and the Democrats are literally 2 degrees of separation from the KGB. He constantly talks about the media while ignoring the fact that the most powerful media outlets around today are outspokenly conservative. The book is basically set in a world that Tea Partiers think exists: the media is all-powerful and arrayed against them, Democratic politicians will happily do anything (even let the US get attacked) to stay in power, liberal oligarchs are actively working to bring down the country, and torture works every time!
Can't we just get back to Rainbow 6? When it was all about running, gunning, and espionage? I never cared how Ding Chavez voted....
He reads them well.
Disappointment at how far into the silly right wing politics of the day a really talented author has sunk.
I just really wish the Clark/Ryan universe could go on as a fun, readable, thriller series.
Harper, Larouche (sp?), and Jim are really believable as they develop. All are trying to do their best and aspects of who they were in their past lives are in tension with who they have to be now. It's actually really excellent character development. Most readers will probably find themselves identifying strongly with one or the other. They are all sort of neither good nor bad exactly, just surviving.
I would have to say Larouche's story.
These books are REALLY violent. Like down to the level of what anatomy is getting severed/destroyed/crushed. Doesn't really bother me but if you are someone who gets queasy some of the fight scenes will turn you off.
I like the way that the strike teams don't automatically become special forces. We are constantly reminded that they are not trained, are disorganized etc.
The fact that the Camp Ryder citizens become like a chorus in a Greek drama starts to strain believability. They almost behave like a part of zombie video game where you have to make sure your camp is fed, watered, satisfied etc.
Jerry is not a very compelling character. The author clearly doesn't like politicians but the idea that Jerry could take over just by modulating his voice and playing to the crowd is kind of thin, see above.
It doesn't have the same old Clancy super powers where every single step is pitch perfect and Clark/Ryan/Chavez always figure things out on the first try.
Rangers in the cave.
Rangers in the cave.
Combat scenes and still the search for resources.
Just really fun reads. Lead character is becoming more compelling. The dynamic between Lee, Bus, and Harper is really believable.
Lots of post-apocalypse books. Lots of military books. One interesting thing is that the zombies are quite a bit smarter in this book.
There's really only one major character...
I think the author does any amazing job of using place and resources in this book. It's not really a spoiler to say that Lee encounters some obstacles along the way. The author really makes you feel the times of relative safety and security, even something as simple as being in a locked car with gas in the tank. When resources are low, my heart rate defniitely went up.
This reads almost like a military thriller in parts. The first action sequence is so incredibly satisfying that you're smiling as you read it. Mild but predictable spoiler: bad guys who meet Lee don't always do so hot.
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