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3.4 out of 5 stars132
3.4 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2011
I've been a big fan of Clancy novels in the past. He's had the odd blip such as the Sum of All Fears, but the story of Jack Ryan's rise through the ranks while tackling various world problems which accurately reflected real tensions in the world was good enough to get me to buy most of his brick-sized books.

Now the world has changed - it feels like we're drifting aimlessly after the mad rush to the top of the stock market, and the old enemies are perhaps our new friends (or at least customers). Clancy, too, seems to be searching for direction, and sadly this book doesn't really manage it.

It's a good try. It goes back to Clancy's roots - find a real and unpleasant situation (in this case, the drug trade), and put some fictional characters into it to sort out justice in a semi-official secret-agent fashion. The sub-text is to teach readers just how nasty the real situation is, and the book certainly does that, albeit with surprising sympathy for some of the drug runners and even drug barons. There are also the usual detailed descriptions of miltary activities, though I've read the details of Navy SEAL training before, so that kind of washed over me (sorry, bad pun).

But the book suffers from being just too predictable. The continued addition of nasty events associated with the drug trade and the regrets and reminiscences of those involved make the book seem preachy after a while. The good guys -- and the "other" bad guys -- become minor characters compared to the drug cartels, despite the attempt to bring the main good guy to life with a detailed backstory. And one of the key events, where the main good guy finds out the name of the drug cartel leader, is handled without any suspense whatsoever -- what's the point of a 'whodunit?' when someone tells you the answer?

Perhaps the giveaway is in the small letters on the cover of the book. It's by Tom Clancy "with Peter Telep". In my experience, 9 out of 10 books written by "famous author WITH guy you've never heard of" aren't as good as the guy writing by himself, and I'm afraid Mr Telep is one of the nine. If Tom Clancy could co-write his next book with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I'd be rushing out to buy it again, but this one is a worthy failure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2012
Im an avid reader and long time fan of Clancy, so felt very let down by the poor standard of this effort. The book came across as very disjointed but still managed to be predictable. A poor plot written to a standard far below the authors normal efforts and you soon realise that the author has a definite love for the US Navy SEAL. The constant references to how good they are soon become repetitive and helped the book loose its way, leaving the whole subject hollow. In the end i found myself finding reasons to pick up the book and finish it as oppose to being able to read it straight through.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2011
Unlike Dead or Alive, which was also co-authored and whose writing style closely resembled that of Clancy's, Against All Enemies was quite clearly not written by Tom Clancy. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, given that Clancy's normal style is clunky, wordy, redundant, inefficient, unnecessarily long prose that constantly goes off on completely useless tangents.

Instead the writing is the more lean and straightforward, often showing-rather-than-telling style of most successful commercial fiction thrillers. It fits the book well, since it's very much like those countless other thrillers, with a somewhat generic Navy SEAL/CIA operator taking on armies of terrorists and drug cartel enforcers, with gun battles and assassinations in almost every other chapter and lots of violence, while never becoming overly complex, similar in style to Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, or Alex Berenson.

The book's focus on the drug cartels and the main settings in Mexico are at least refreshing changes from the numerous thrillers with terrorists and Middle East locations.

Clancy/Telep/Putnam's new hero is Max Moore, a Navy SEAL/CIA veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan assigned to a task force targeting a Mexican drug cartel leader. Moore is never fully developed and, unlike Clancy's other main characters, doesn't really come across as a real person, despite being given large chunks of back story that are told throughout the novel in brief flashbacks. He's just another special forces action hero with little personality, and the book never really gets into his thoughts. None of the other characters particularly stand out either, which is unfortunate since there are so many of them, and it makes it a bit difficult at times to recall who's who and what their relationship to other characters is.

The other major downside is that the book is a bit too long. The plot is not that complex or intricate, and this story could have been told in a lot fewer pages. But it still held my attention throughout and was a very fast read. There were perhaps too many unnecessary action scenes that did nothing to advance the plot, but most of these are pretty brief.

Overall the book holds up as a quality and above average thriller. There are a couple minor moments scatered throughout the book that aren't entirely consistent with reality, but the story is plausible and follows a believable chain of events, without delving into comic book territory or relying on implausible plot twists, like so many of these types of books tend to do.

While not up to Clancy's usual standards (or even the standards of the co-authored Dead or Alive), Against All Enemies is still just as a good anything by Brad Thor or Vince Flynn. A fun, readable, but not exceptional thriller. If you just care about reading an entertaining book, than you can do much worse than Against All Enemies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2011
I have read every Clancy novel and I have always thoroughly enjoyed them. However, this latest one is so intense in its pace and action that I feel it lacks the deep story line I am used to. It actually reads more like an adventure comic than a book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2012
saw a lot of negative reviews here which seem to be from die hard clancy fans who recognised that perhaps the co-author was over involved but from the point of view of someone whos not read clancy before it was a good read. multiple plots lots of action, interesting characters and plot twists. I admit i dont read a lot, I occasionally star books but get bored and give up so its testament to this one that after losing it, I purchased another copy to finish it off.
The only other thing ive read recently, that also happens to be of a similar ilk,is 'Worth Dying For' by Lee Childs, which was a bit bettr perhaps.
Anyway my point is this is an interesting book, i found the attention to detail regarding military paraphinalia esp guns interesting, the main characters had depth and the plot was Gripping and relavent with respect to the 'War on Terror' but not too obvious in that the mexican drug cartels are also involved in the plot. I might add that the violence described with respect to the cartels was often grotesque.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2012
very disapointing not to Tom Clancy's normal standard, to much infill drivel just to make the book thicker, started well filled in then I could not be bothered to finnish
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 July 2011
Like other reviewers I harbour some doubts about how much of this was actually written by Clancy. It is more direct than his usual meticulous plotting. Whatever, the contribution from the co-author actually makes this the best "Clancy" book since "Rainbow Six". Less prosing and right wing guff, and more action. However, the wildness of the plot makes it more akin to a series of "24" with the heroes going from one shoot out to another. So, buy if you like action novels or movies or FPS video games...not if you remember the complex brilliance of something like "Clear and Present Danger"

I would have given this a tentative 3 stars but the brief intrusion from the "Ryanverse" annoyed me too much!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2012
I don't really get all the hate for this book. While Clancy himself takes a back seat for Peter Telep he is only following a path James Paterson and Clive Cussler have already tread.
I thought it had plenty of twists and turns and the ending was a refreshing change, much better than rubbish like teeth of the tiger.
If i had a problem was too much back story, for example a boarder patrol guard called Susan has her entire life history told when she only appears in one, fairly irrelvent sceen. Cut it down!
I enjoyed it and look forward to the upcoming sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2011
A book for people who'd be happy looking at comics.
No empathy generated for any of the characters, but at least you don't care when one of them gets killed.
Poor quality writing, tedious use of 'modern' invective and boring descriptions of 'high tech' equipment.
As dull as reading gets.
There are plenty of superb thriller writers to experience as an alternative to this tosh.
Wish I'd read some reviews before buying this on the strength of Clancy's past efforts.
A couple more hours' of reading time down the drain...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2012
I have long enjoyed the Tom Clancy books especially those involving the Ryan's. I have not read many of his pseudo real life books written with others as there has been too much technical jargon. Against All Odds was supposedly an ordinary novel. It was complicated and confusing with Middle-Eastern / Asian terrorists coupled with the Mexican and Columbian Mafia / Drug types and who knows what else. I say 'Who knows what else' as for the 1st time I gave up reading a Clancy book and dumped it!
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