Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
An OK thriller, but very uneven.
on 25 February 2005
Debt of Honour brings back Jack Ryan as National Security Adviser, just in time for a war between the US and Japan. A breakdown of relations concerning trade threatens to bring economic chaos to Japan. A new Japanese Prime Minister is elected, but is little more than a mouthpiece for an ultra-nationalist businessman who orders an attack on US warships in the Pacific, the invasion of the Mariana Islands, and the sabotage of the US economy. However, things aren't about to stop there, as Ryan learns that there's another part to the plan - a joint-Japanese/Chinese invasion of Siberia. The threat of World War III has come back. Will Ryan prevent it? What do you think?
Its more or less Red Storm Rising with Japan as the baddie. The Portagee subplot is similar to what happens with Mike Edwards on Iceland in Red Storm. There's even a Tomahawk attack on airbases.
This book is actually quite an entertaining read, but the pace is wildly uneven. It takes a long time for the plot to develop, then it kicks off big time, then it slows to a snail's pace during the really tedious economic sabotage passages, then kicks off again during some great battles - in the air, on the seas, under the seas, - and just when we think its over, something else happens, leaving us with a terrific cliffhanger of an ending.
Its not brilliant, it has a lot of flaws, but the author manages to make it work. God knows what his editors and publishing agents must have thought though when he pitched the book - "We're going to war against Japan".