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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not shameless, simply fiction.
[edit - I originally posted this review in 2003, but I have now updated it with a little more detail since I see it is still one of the few reviews of the book on Amazon.]

Balance of Power continues the stories revolving around the Op-Center of previous books. As such there is little-to-no point in any newcomers starting here with this novel. Not only will you...
Published on 8 Sep 2003 by Mr. R. M. Brown

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Its historical background lacks of the due information
I have praised Tom Clancy books for years. "Balance of Power" has, however, disapointed me. Reading it I have had the same feelings as reading science-fiction. The geography and the names' spelling of the Spain that Clancy views, are very accurately settled (a quality that the Spanish reader seldom finds in English-American books). In contrast, Spain's...
Published on 10 Oct 1998


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not shameless, simply fiction., 8 Sep 2003
By 
Mr. R. M. Brown (Canterbury, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Balance of Power (Tom Clancy's Op-Centre, Book 5) (Paperback)
[edit - I originally posted this review in 2003, but I have now updated it with a little more detail since I see it is still one of the few reviews of the book on Amazon.]

Balance of Power continues the stories revolving around the Op-Center of previous books. As such there is little-to-no point in any newcomers starting here with this novel. Not only will you receive very little introduction to the settings or the characters but you will probably have a hard to adjusting to the narrative style, especially if coming to it from serious political-thriller fiction or even Clancy's earliest books. I'll say in short then that Balance of Power is more of the same, if you enjoyed the immediately previous books you'll probably enjoy this.

This book is very much deeply set within the storytelling world of Tom Clancy. In 2003 when I reviewed this book here I was in my teens and I had no problem consuming everything that the man could throw at me. Even though there was an obvious slight decline in presient quality from early books such as Red October, or more recent thrillers like Rainbow Six, I read the book just as rapidly over successive evenings as any others. My review here on Amazon simply stated that it was brilliant, a pageturner, a thriller, and recommended to fans - I wrote it as contrast to the other reviews from a few years earlier (that you can still see on this page) that talked of the discrepencies between the world portrayed in the book and that of real life.

Well, it's interesting to note that those reviews were posted in 2000 before the entire world changed. Back then the idea of techno warriors fighting terrorists as portrayed in Clancy was risibile stuff. Now it is reality, perhaps the high concept action sequences and thriller fodder of the book is tame and codified in comparison to the life or death of fighting terrorism. Reading Clancy is a rite of passage for a lot of adolescents; personally, reading these kind of books just happened to coincide with the awful real world events, and to that end they were actually total myth-making escapism. These are books where there are ultimately answers to problems and the teams of characters Clancy presents will work to a solution one way or the other. This is a comfortable world to read about if you are a young person. After all, the news is always full of information about how terrible things are happening, it's nice to have a little idealism to balance it out.

I gave the book five stars. That was my gut reaction as a teenager and a fan of the books. No doubt, this is not award winning artistic literature, it is a boys-own thriller. That's what it sets out to be and that's what it is. It feels just as churlish to remove that as it does to point out that the Spain (of 2000) was not the Spain in "Op-Center Balance of Power". That, after all, is storytelling, and as a young adult I could still understand the distinction.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Its historical background lacks of the due information, 10 Oct 1998
By A Customer
I have praised Tom Clancy books for years. "Balance of Power" has, however, disapointed me. Reading it I have had the same feelings as reading science-fiction. The geography and the names' spelling of the Spain that Clancy views, are very accurately settled (a quality that the Spanish reader seldom finds in English-American books). In contrast, Spain's historical, social, and political background is as far from reality as the Ptolemaic physics from the Copernican ones. Spain reached its unity as a nation in the 16th Century; Yugoslavia was an artificial State born in this Century from territories of the ancient Austrian and Turkish Empires. Why then put in the same level Bosnia and Andaluzia? The Spanish Constitution say that the King of Spain is the Chief of the military forces (a role similar to the President of the US). He has in fact an authority over the Spanish Generals and officers, that was decisive in stoping the "vaudeville" military push of 1981. Clancy's book do not mention the real thread to Spanish democracy: the terrorism of ETA.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sure it is fiction... and only fiction :-(, 24 Aug 1998
By A Customer
T.C. usually means accurate information and a lot of research work. This one is just the reverse: shows how innacuratelly it can be written a book.
If this was a book about Germany in the '30s, the jews and democrats would rule the country and the oppressed nazi supporters were the heroes who tried to help and save Germany. This is for the political trends presented in this book.
Then, there's at least 100 innacurate facts and descriptions provided in the book that are, at least, wrong. Either spelling of spanish words, behaviours, etc.
The biggest fumble is identifying mexican life-style (from food habits to words) with spanish life-style. Who has ever been both to Spain and Mexico will agree that the spanish society presented in "OP-C: BoP" is closer to the real mexican rather than the spanish society.
Yes, it's a __pure__ fiction book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars GET SOME CULTURE,TOM, 1 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Since,Hunt of red october i've been reading most of Tom's books and found in the late ones total lack of political and storical background.He totally misscaracterize the people of Spain and their lives,We have free press(Mr.Hearst).Our polititians are not bought(N.R.A.)our kids seem to know more about U.S.A.history & geography than Mr.Clancy,and they don't carry guns to the school,Mr Clancy should imform himself before placin his plots,besides to restore democracy he should send the op-center to overthrow the Dictators that his government helped to power Pinochet,Marcos,etc,etc....etc
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1.0 out of 5 stars Op-Center's strong anti-spanish bias, 18 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This book represents a blatant insult to any sensitive person of spanish culture. It looks like having being written from a strongly prejudiced standpoint, and it is full of inaccuracies and negative topics with respect to my country (or to any latin american one, which seems to be confused with present day's Spain). If the authors consider it just fiction I would expect having such a kind of fiction about the author's country. By reading it one can realise that we, the spanish cultured people, do not have in Mr. Clancy & Co any enthusiastic admirer.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This book is a nosense, Spain is not the third wolrd., 25 Aug 1998
By A Customer
In that book Clancy translate the spanish sentences whit a computer and you can see that some are false. The "Guadia Real" is not a elite group of de Spanis army. And there are not any political problem in Spain, Catalan and Basques arel good people an we have our diferences but we won't do other civil war. And If someone wants to take the control of Sapin, he won't go to the Royal Palace it is a nosense, there are other political and military places more important than the Royal Palace.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ghost Written, 5 May 2014
By 
Poacher (Southern U.K.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Balance of Power (Tom Clancy's Op-Centre, Book 5) (Paperback)
But don't let that put you off, Rovin has written a good few of 'Clany' novels and it is hard to tell.

This fits in with the story-line and adds well to the collection
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1.0 out of 5 stars Again, an evidence of american people ignorance, 22 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This kind of histories into the mind of american peolpe are dangerouses. Only serves to increase lack of culture about other countries and that is very sad. I don't understand you, Mr. Clancy what is your porpouse whith this garbage. Advice: you should travel little more.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shameful, 9 Aug 2000
By 
RAMON (Santander, SPAIN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Balance of Power (Tom Clancy's Op-Centre, Book 5) (Paperback)
Tom Clancy should read a bit about the countries he writes about. All the plot is so ridiculous that it makes me blush. The Spain he describes must be the outcome of an ill digested resume of international news delivered by CNN. Of course no part of this book has any connection with actual life, because actual life in Spain is something else. I am terrified to know that Mr Clancy is a Pentagon adviser, if his knowledge about countries, peoples, problems and ideas are so shallow and basic. He should remember that his own country is one of the most dangerous in the world. One should expect more from a pupil of the jesuits.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Insoportable!!!!!, 2 Feb 1999
By A Customer
INSOPORTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Balance of Power (Tom Clancy's Op-Centre, Book 5)
Balance of Power (Tom Clancy's Op-Centre, Book 5) by Jeff Rovin (Paperback - 4 July 2011)
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