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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing return from Mr Clancy et al.
In the 90's Clancy was huge, his books were huge and it seemed he could do no wrong. It was probably wrong to think such a srata of books would remain contemporary forever.

For many, Clancy went off the boil and in some cases the later books were poor by his standards. This new novel, co-written by someone I confes i have never heard of, is moving that...
Published on 13 Dec 2010 by Drambuster

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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous Islamic Terror Plots Amid Antiterrorist Attempts to Save the Day
"For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness." -- Psalm 38:4-5 (NKJV)

Dead or Alive pits the Emir and his global terror network against the United States, with only the hope that the secret group, The Campus, can act in time to avoid horror. If...
Published on 29 Dec 2010 by Donald Mitchell


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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous Islamic Terror Plots Amid Antiterrorist Attempts to Save the Day, 29 Dec 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
"For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness." -- Psalm 38:4-5 (NKJV)

Dead or Alive pits the Emir and his global terror network against the United States, with only the hope that the secret group, The Campus, can act in time to avoid horror. If that plot sounds familiar, you've read some variation on it several times in the last decade by other authors. What's different here? Authors Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood work in the major surviving characters from the earlier Jack Ryan novels. Although the names are familiar and friendly to the memory, the characters themselves are more similar in name than in reality. So if you think you are going to enjoy a vintage Jack Ryan thriller, think again.

If that puts you off, realize that you'll be disappointed if you are looking for the old zing in this series. It's just not there. You'll probably grade the book as one or two stars, as a poor imitation of "the prior characters and stories."

If you can put that feeling aside and focus on the book itself, it's about a two-and-a-half star effort that's mainly marred by taking forever to develop over the 950 pages in my edition. The strength of the slow development is that your curiosity will grow about what the terror plot involves, but I doubt if you'll be intrigued. If you enjoy learning how to run a terror network over the Internet, the book becomes a little more interesting. If you want to gain a little paranoia about American vulnerability to terrorists, the book is decent in that regard.

The test for me with such a "thriller" is whether I can put it down in the middle for a few days and feel relaxed about not knowing what's coming next. I did such laying aside with no problem.

The book opens on a high point, as an Army Ranger team strikes into the cave network along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border seeking to capture a potentially high-value terror suspect. They come across something quite unsuspected, which begins to slowly reveal a mystery in motion. Terror cells are described in action, moving towards undefined objectives with great remorselessness. Treasure those parts of the book. What's coming isn't nearly as fast-paced and interesting.

What's the nicest thing I can say about the book? It's definitely better than The Bear and The Dragon.

What's the worst thing I can say? The Kindle version is overpriced.

Should you read it? You'll probably enjoy the trip if your expectations aren't set by the best of the prior Jack Ryan books.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing return from Mr Clancy et al., 13 Dec 2010
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
In the 90's Clancy was huge, his books were huge and it seemed he could do no wrong. It was probably wrong to think such a srata of books would remain contemporary forever.

For many, Clancy went off the boil and in some cases the later books were poor by his standards. This new novel, co-written by someone I confes i have never heard of, is moving that quality line back towards where it once was. OK, so it's not Clear & Present Danger or Executive Orders, but it is better than some of the later offerings.

In places, you might be able to spot the Clancy chapters and this makes the book a little patchy but the characters are old friends and the plot in well put together. At 600+ pages it is a 'shorter' Clancy, but the fact that I finished this in under a week means it held my interest and was clearly a good read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shame on you Tom, 22 Feb 2011
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
First off I'm a big Tom Clancy fan. I guess that is why I'm so disappointed with this book. Although the plot is decent, if not a little cliche these days, the writing is absolutely atrocious. If you are not a stickler for detail you may not even notice it, but for those that know and love/d Tom Clancy for his realism and attention to detail you will find neither here. Some errors are truly pathetic for a professional author, such as numerous misspellings an improper grammar or vocabulary usage. Others are just errors in accuracy (such as the statement that the Shia are the minority in Iraq, when in fact they are the majority), which would not be a major issue if this wasn't Tom Clancy. I realize that Grant Blackwood co-authored, but in the end it is Clancy's name that is in bold print. Whether the literary and grammatical errors were vomited from Clancy's pen or Blackwood's is irrelevant, I would hope that Mr. Clancy would have at least read the final draft before he signed his name to it.

Over the past decade Clancy fans have already had to be wary of the myriad of "created by Tom Clancy" books, which were actually authored by unknowns. We used to wait with baited breath for the rare releases of novels actually written by Clancy. Unfortunately, it seems even the original is no longer up to par. I regret to say that it seems obvious that Clancy has now completely sold out for money and forgotten all about his artistic integrity. I think its time Clancy either holsters his pen, or goes back to writing his own books. Oh, and since he has so much money now he might want to spring for a decent editor. Shame on you Tom
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review, 24 Feb 2011
By 
K. C. Scott - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
Just finished reading this latest novel from Tom Clancy, usual style of his writing, but overall found the plot a bit long winded and a bit dissapointing, too much high brow and not enough action. Perhaps the John Clark character is past his sell by date.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad, 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
Just read it.

Not as good as Clancy's best but some good bits.

Inaccuracies creep in though... I'm an anaesthetist and 7mg of succinylcholine is a reasonable dose for a rabbit. A human needs about 100mg.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sad decline, 11 Feb 2011
By 
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
Difficult to believe that Tom Clancy was involved in this book at all! I never did find out what the book was really about - the characters
had the old familier names but the dialogue was so long winded that I juust gave up half the time. They were obviously supposed to be looking for someone call the Emir but they never ezplained why or what he was supposed to have done. About every 50 pages a little action but not in the same league as Rainbow Six!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting back on form..., 19 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. T. Punton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
This book is a direct sequel to Teeth of the Tiger, Clancy's last lack lustre entry in the Jack Ryan world. That book introduced Jack Jr, the other members of The Campus and the hunt for the Emir. This book centres on the hunt but thankfully is a return to the Clancy of old.

One of the main differences, is this book welcomes back some old characters, with the most focus on Clark and Chavez. This is a welcome relief as the new characters seem a bit under developed even by the end of this book.

Like most Clancy books this starts slowly with a number of (seemingly unrelated) plot lines before wrapping them all together in an exciting climax. This book seemed to start even slowly than most, and is quite tough going for the first half. However, the pace really picks up in the second half.

Overall, this isn't as good as some of the early Ryan entries, but it's certainly worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent but no vintage Clancy, 22 Jan 2012
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
Tom Clancy invented a genre, his early works were fantastically riveting. It was something never seen and impossible to put down. He now revisits his old characters in a decent terror story with government bureaucratic intrigue. This time, it does not sound as good or as plausible. The story is ok, like many others around, but not exceptional. It was easy to put down, and I sometimes felt like reading on just to get it over with. I cannot really explain why, but it really disappointed me as a fan of early Clancy. Sorry, Tom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Clancy Back??, 11 Jun 2011
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
Im still not sure while i type this, there are flashes of the old genius, but as mentioned here on other reviews in his prime he was one of the Kings, but now the market is full of people who can pull off a similar plot line, and we have seen it all on TV.

I think a prequel would have been better, Jack Ryan Jnr just does not work, he is too good to be true, and that is a weakness in quite a few authors these days, using a plot cop out of superhuman action to get out of a blind alley or to over dramatise a situation.
It works in a Clive Cussler because thats an action adventure where you need to suspend disbelief and almost switch off the brain, but it should not be the case in a clancy.

In summary its a fun read, but its a shame that give the amount of time off TC has had he didnt put more into this.
(Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Dead or Alive" Shoots Itself in the Foot, 1 April 2011
This review is from: Dead or Alive (Hardcover)
"Dead or Alive" would be an excellent spy thriller if it was half as long. Its overblown length militates against its very categorization as a thriller.

For the most part there is ample action to sustain the propulsive momentum of the novel. However, there are many extraneous subplots that pointlessly bog down the rest of the novel. Not only that, several of the subplots lead down unfulfilling and ultimately frustrating cul-de-sacs.

One subplot in particular was intriguing, only to be abandoned as of no consequence. It regards the special ops agent Sam Driscoll. In the beginning of the story he kills a plethora of enemies in caves on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

A member of the US attorney general's office wants to bring charges of murder against Driscoll when he learns that Driscoll took out a number of defenseless enemies in their sleep, at point-blank range no less.

Driscoll's slaying of the enemy terrorists begs the question: is it morally as well as legally acceptable for a soldier to blow away enemies while they sleep?

It's an intriguing subplot. But it goes nowhere. It is cursorily dropped by means of yet another subplot that comes to nothing.

This other supererogatory subplot concerns Jack Ryan Senior's mulling over whether to run for president again. Apparently, the only raison d'etre for this subplot is to allow author Clancy to drop the aforesaid subplot of Driscoll's prosecution for murder. Candidate for president, Jack Ryan conveniently persuades the attorney general's office to eighty-six their prosecution of Driscoll, and that is the end of that.

That being said, "Dead or Alive" is generally intriguing and moves along at a brisk pace, considering its unwarranted immense length that juggles too many unnecessary subplots.

All things considered, I recommend this fascinating, if bloated, spy thriller.

--Bryan Cassiday
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Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy (Hardcover - 7 Dec 2010)
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