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Best Clancy for a long time,
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This review is from: Locked On (Hardcover)
In short, in my opinion this is the best Clancy since Executive Orders, although given the standard of some the intervening books that could be regarded as faint praise. I think it really depends on how you come to this: if you are a committed Clancy/Ryan-phile, you'll probably be keen on reading it but slightly wary given the recent books. If you are new to Clancy, and thinking of starting (and I encourage you to do), this is not the place to start, read them in publcaition order. If you are interested in a modern techno-thriller, this is OK but there are better in the genre.
In many ways this is typical Clancy, multi-stranded, densely plotted, a thick read with the usual drooling over military and spying hardware and well structured action set pieces. The characterisation is perhaps thinner than ever but that's never been the strong point of the series. It does not come close to the trio of Clear and Present Danger, Sum of all Fears and Executive Orders but overall is a stronger book that the other more recent output. It is very much a companion to Dead of Alive, I read them in quick succession and although cowritten with different co-authors, the two books make more sense together.
This books does seem a little lazy and I could not help but wish for some more and deeper political intrigue to accompany Ryan's reelection campaign. Clancy proved with the earlier books he could do politics in Russia and the USA and I did feel a bit short-changed by the lack of this. Personally I think I would have prefered Ryan jr not to be the shining knight hero of the later books and think there are other more intersting characters to have build the bokos around, whilst still in the Ryan universe. However it was nice to see Chavez and Clark get some more space.
So overall if you like the Ryan universe, this is definitely worth reading, but don't expect the high points of previous books.