Put simply, in my opinion this is Tom Clancy's best book. If you're a fan of techno-war-thrillers, this is an outstanding example of the genre.
Many tales take you to the brink of global warfare then pull back at the last moment, but this story plunges you right into the unthinkable conflict that is WWIII. It is honestly the only book I've been so engrossed in during my commute that I've missed my stop for work on the train!
As another reviewer has pointed out, this is not a Jack Ryan novel. Having no Jack Ryan means there is no single focal point, but it is precisely for this reason that I feel this is Clancy's best work - the scene shifts effortlessly from one set of characters and confrontations to the next without having to pull back to Ryan's own moral compass. You also never know who is 'indespensible' and who is not - after all, while Jack Ryan is always in trouble, you know he's not going to be killed off don't you!
Red Storm Rising is a head-spinning, exhausting epic in the truest sense of the word. I can't believe they'll ever make a film of this, the scope is too grand and the detail too rich to be effectively transferred to screen. If you're a Clancy fan who hasn't read this, what are you waiting for? If you're not a fan, you may well be after reading this.