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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author and master of the technothriller returns with his All-Star team.

There's a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.

©2013 Tom Clancy (P)2013 Random House Audio

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Fine and fitting send-off for Tom Clancy

Unless Mr. Clancy does like R Ludlum and continues to give us scads of posthumous material (I do love covert-one, btw, better than the real Ludlum, actually...), this is it. I've read or listened to every Jack Ryan/JR Jr./and John Clarke book. The Jack Ryans are my all-time favorite thrillers, and John Clark had to grow on me. Jack Jr I was enjoying initially but it was getting a little tiresome as the books were sort of becoming just name-the-terrorist and pick-a-spot-on-the-globe. Nevertheless I decided to give this one a chance, and I'm very glad I did.

This is such a fitting send-off because the book is well-balanced between the Jack/Jack Jr./Mr. C. story lines. Though three decades into the saga, this book brought all three into a nice globally and temporally intersecting story. There is some flashback which gave us important backstory we didn't already know and took me at least to a comfortable place in the storyline, since I really still like Jack Sr-of-the-past best.

I have a sense of closure. And if the series continues Ludlum style, I'm all ready to enjoy that too . . . now. And I can't wait for the movie (due out in a few days) !!!!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Marci
  • portland, OR, United States
  • 12-10-13

Great story with a couple of flaws

I wanted to savor, cherish, and adore this book as it is the last we will receive by Tom Clancy. But I also want to be true in reviewing it.

Here are the great Clancy characteristics that Command Authority has:

Complexity with a great ending:
Clancy is the master in writing extremely complex political tales that come spinning into an ending that leaves you breathless.Command Authority has that.

Wild and totally believable tales:
Not a detail was left out. At one point, Ryan senior uses an umbrella in a scene, and in the scene before that, Clancy specifically writes about Ryan borrowing the umbrella from the door man. Too many "action" authors miss that kind of detail. But it's that genius writing that makes all the wild scenes purely enjoyable.

Facts and details:
I always finish a Clancy novel feeling like I learned a bunch. This story delivers on that.

An obvious love for the subject matter:
Once again, Clancy's knowledge of military life and international travel and characters come through, which makes him so credible and this story great.

The Clancy characteristics that are missing from Command Authority:

Total clarity and super smooth flow. This book gets confusing. With going back and forth in time between Sr. and Jr. and the way the chapters are labeled, I got lost more than once, especially right in the middle of the book. I was just starting to tire of the feeling of not knowing what was going on, and then in the last 25% it got back on track and was easy to follow.

A love for the original characters:
Some of the characteristics that made the world LOVE Jack Ryan, weren't played up and weren't revisited. I don't grow tired of hearing how suave he is, and how super human and yet perfectly down to earth he is. I wanted to fall in love all over again, and a little bit of that was missing.

I don't know how much of the book was written by Mark Greaney. I searched for some information on that, but none could be found. We can only guess why exactly this book felt a little different.

Phillips as the narrator only gets four stars because he has a lilt to the way he finishes each sentence that works in interpersonal/conversational scenes, but is weird and a little distracting during the action scenes. Most of the time though, he's great.

Clancy fans will read/listen to this book no matter what, I know I was going to. With that said, I really do recommend this book.

76 of 82 people found this review helpful

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  • Ron
  • Basehor, KS, United States
  • 12-12-13

Full Cast of Characters.

You will find the full cast of characters we all have come to love in this last Tom Clancy novel. In this novel we are transported back and forth between the past (30 years ago) and present day. How does Jack seniors past effect Jack Juniors present? You will find everything you have come to expect from a good Clancy novel. The narration by Lou Diamond Phillips brought this book to life.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding performance by Mr Phillips.

I don't normally write reviews, but I was blown away by the narration by Lou Diamond Phillips. I have enjoyed many of his acting performances, particularly his role in the Longmire TV series, but this is the first time I have listened to a book narrated by him.
The storyline switches back and forth from 30 years prior then back to present day and entertwines them very well telling how they relate. Mr Phillips characterizations are excellent, with the different accents amazing.
I look forward to more of Mr Phillips narrations.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant but borderline non-fiction!

Would you consider the audio edition of Command Authority to be better than the print version?

Don't know.. didn't read it

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jack Ryan Jr. Totally in control and cool

What about Lou Diamond Phillips’s performance did you like?

The best performance I have ever heard on an audio book.. I can't believe how well he did so many (12) different characters in at least 3 dialects

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

too long but I couldn't wait to continue

Any additional comments?

This book is almost identical to what is really happening in Russia and with its leader Putin. It is chilling and eerily similar. Great story and well written

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-29-14

Right out of today’s headlines

I had delayed reading this book after the death of Tom Clancy, sort of, postponing the end of the Clancy era. When I read the first few chapter's I said Wow! This is right out of the headlines of today’s news. This is not the first time Clancy’s has a seemingly far out part of one of his stories has come to be seen in the headlines, I am thinking of his having terrorist seizing airliners and flying them into buildings long before nine eleven. The story opens up with military action in Estonia as Russian tanks and troops invade this small country; the Russians are repelled by a NATO force stationed in the area. Russian then roles into Crimea Ukraine. Russian President Valeri Volodin’s justification for trying to seize Ukraine is “It is the home of the Black Sea Fleet, our oil and gas pipelines to Europe go through Ukraine, and we need to protect Russian citizens in the area”. In the story Volodin as ex KGB man and his main enforcer Roman Talanov as young men saw the coming of the collapse of the Soviet Union. They stole money from the KGB and hid it in numbered accounts in Switzerland. They past the money through various dummy corporations and account and bought companies in Russia to become wealthy. Volodin becomes President of Russia with the goal of establishing Russian dominance over the former satellite states. Clancy has Jack junior tracking the monies from 30 years earlier trying to find the current owners of certain companies. The story goes into a typical Clancy cloak and dagger spy adventure, high tech military action, all triggered by the poisoning via plutonium of Ryan’s friend Sergey Golovko who dies at a lunch with President Ryan and his family in the White House. I enjoyed the book more now than if I had read in at the end of last year when it came out, because of what is happening right now in the Ukraine. I wonder does Clancy’s death spell the end of the Jack Ryan Saga or will Mark Greaney carry it on? Lou diamond Phillips does a good job narrating the story.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth
  • Glen Allen, VA, United States
  • 12-11-13

Continuing saga of the Jack Ryan storyline

What made the experience of listening to Command Authority the most enjoyable?

Admittedly biased as I have been a Clancy fan for some time. This book does not disappoint and continues with the world of Jack Ryan. Have not had a disatisfied time with any of the books in the series.

Any additional comments?

Sorry that we will not be able to continue to get this type of authoring from Tom Clancy. I personnally will truly miss his books. RIP Tom

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Best Narrator Ever

Lou Diamond Phillips is the best narrator of audiobooks. He's got it all: great pacing; excellent emphasis; perfect voices for each character, and; his accents are spot on! Scott Brick should listen, he'd learn a lot.

I read this book after finishing Ken Follet's Edge of Eternity, and it was the perfect follow-up. It continued the Russian theme developed into current events. Sometimes it's hard to find a book after finishing one that's excellent, Command Authority was exactly right.

I highly recommend it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A Novel Worthy of His Name

Here is a complicated spy story involving modern Russian politics and crime. It is smart, making you think, even while enjoying action packed suspense.

There is a long, suspenseful evacuation scene, typical of Clsncy, that makes you understand the highly skilled and technical side of our military. It reminds me to appreciate real military action to save lives involves a great deal of courage and skill, yet never with a certain outcome.

Why only four stars? I find the main characters, President Jack Ryan, his son and John Clark and the entire Campus are becoming super human, much like The Gray Man, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp novels. Evil men stand no chance when they cross their paths. It's not a big deal, I just prefer Harry Hole, Bosch and Arkady Renko type characters.

Lou Diamond Phillips is stellar as always. I hope to hear more from him.

This was a fun, suspenseful listen!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Not Clancy

Any additional comments?

I'm a little more than halfway through this book, and I have yet to hear anything authored by Tom Clancy. There's one key characteristic in every Clancy novel that's missing here. No one has "observed" anything. To a longtime Clancy reader/listener, that's a dead giveaway. This novel has Clancy's name in first billing, but I doubt he did more than lend his name and characters to this enterprise. I'll let you decide for yourself whether it's good, bad or indifferent, but you'll be listening to Mark Greaney's work.

19 of 26 people found this review helpful