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Operation Hell Gate (24 Declassified) Mass Market Paperback – September 27, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marc Cerasini's writing credits include The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Special Ops Forces and Heroes: U.S. Marine Corps Medal of Honor Winners and several projects for Tom Clancy, including creating the bible for the Clancy Power Play series, writing the YA action/adventure thriller The Ultimate Escape for Clancy's NetForce series, and writing a major essay on Clancy's contribution to the technothriller genre for the national bestseller The Tom Clancy Companion. Among the movie tie-in novelizations Marc has written are Wolverine: Weapon X, based on the popular X-Men series, the USA Today bestseller AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, based on the motion picture from 20th Century Fox, as well as five original novels based on the Toho Studios classic "Godzilla," and co-authored (with J.D. Lees) a nonfiction look at the film series, The Official Godzilla Compendium. Marc's other credits include the book 24: The House Special Subcommittee Investigation of CTU, which he co-authored with his wife, Alice Alfonsi, and the previous 24 Declassified novels Operation Hell Gate, Trojan Horse, and Vanishing Point.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment; English Language edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060842245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060842246
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Miller VINE VOICE on December 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Declassified: Hell Gate" takes us back in time to before the first season of "24", and tells some early stories about CTU. Make no mistake, Jack Bauer is still Jack. The TV series relies heavily on Kiefer Sutherland, and the books -- at least Tom Clancy alum Marc Cerasini's effort -- captures him believably on paper.

Most of the Season 1 CTU supporting cast, everyone except George Mason, shows up in supporting roles here. The bulk of the story, however, takes place in Brooklyn and Queens, with Jack chasing down a few overlapping terrorist plots prior to 9/11. The NYC settings are well used. You get the sense from Cerasini's writing that, minus a few days of second unit filming with Kiefer Sutherland, this entire story could still be filmed in Burbank. On the other hand, Cerasini captures mid-1990s' New York City well, with several interesting locations off the beaten path, and a large supporting cast of immigrants and ethnic New Yorkers.

The "real-time" format is also retained for the book. There are fewer cheats here than on TV, every character is able to get from Point A to Point B in sprawling Los Angeles in less than 20 minutes, and William Devane can change from orange prisoner garb into a neatly pressed $5,000 suit in 4 minutes and 20 seconds. In the book, fewer things happen, and characters vanish for whole chapters (hours) at a time. Most chapters are between 8 and 12 pages long, and that covers the whole hour. You can believe all this stuff happens in a day.

The potential for a bad TV tie-in novel is really, really high. Walk into any chain bookstore and head to the sci-fi section; you'll usually see two bookcases full of TV tie-ins.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John J. Pierce on October 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's just a coincidence, of course, that this book appeared at the very moment that there was disturbing news about an actual threat America now faces, and on which Cerasini's first 24 novelization centers.

No, I won't tell you what that is. What I will tell you is that he has distilled the essence of the TV series onto the printed page. The characters, the conspiracies, the conflicts and the betrayals, are all there -- Cerasini has them dead on. Even more important, he has the RHYTHM of 24 dead on, not just in the time stamps but in the pulse of events. If you feel your heart beating faster as you read OPERATION HELL GATE, that's because the author has done his job. There's never a dull moment, but the suspense and excitement have as much to do with the characters -- including those new to this novel -- as with the action itself.

Cerasini is no stranger to the world of 24. Three years ago, he wrote 24: THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE'S FINDINGS AT CTU. An audacious mockumentary based on the first season on the show, its release was mistimed and thus many of you may have missed it. Buy it now. And buy OPERATION HELL GATE. You're in for a great ride -- and a ride with some real thought behind it, too.

--John J. Pierce (author of Imagination and Evolution, the best history of science fiction).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Berg on January 8, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I won't analyze this book's plot or character development, I will simply say; if you are a 24 fan, this book and the other currently out, Veto Power, are awesome.

They read like the show develops. Every cliffhanger is answered minutes later, rather than having to wait for a week. I read both of these back to back in about 10 hours of reading time over a two day span.

They are excellent. I have pre-ordered the other 2 coming out this year.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sissalou on December 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The purpose of this review is not to rehash the plot which is ably done by the editorials above, but rather to give my opinion whether or not this book is worth its asking price. In this case, yes, buy this book, 24 Declassified: Operation Hell Gate.

This 24 story by Marc Cerasini is well written. The story is fast paced and exciting. Cerasini makes the reader feel just like he is watching a 24 TV episode. For 24 fans, you will enjoy this book. Even the layout of the book is reminiscent of the television show: the chapter numbers are the 24 hours countdown and each chapter starts with the familiar words, "The following takes place between the hours of X and X Eastern Daylight Time" (etc) with the action following a timed sequence. People who have never watched a 24 episode will also enjoy this book as an intense, stand-alone thriller; you don't have to be a previous 24 fan to find the book entertaining.

So you know, I am not a 24 TV fan. I've seen maybe three episodes, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Marc Cerasini and the series other book, "Veto Power" by John Whitman. Both authors do a fine job. I look forward to reading more books by each of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thom W. on December 10, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The pages turn like lightning in this first novel of a new thriller series based on the TV show 24. Federal Agent Jack Bauer faces a group of terrorists who plan to unleash a deadly flu pandemic on New York City.

Each chapter is a new hour in Jack's day. The action starts with a prologue featuring an assault at LAX that yields the first clues to the emerging threat. It is the capture of Dante Arete, an East Coast gang member with ties to Afghani terrorists and the IRA.

Jack travels to NYC for a joint FBI-CTU interrogation of the suspect when he's artfully framed for murder by a corrupt FBI agent. Thousands of miles from his Los Angeles field office, alone and hunted by the authorities and terrorists alike, Jack makes NYC his personal Ground Zero as he chases down clues in a race against the clock in a war against terror, all predating (and deftly foreshadowing) the attacks on 9/11.

Because this is a prequel, readers are treated to the return of characters from the 1st season. Even though Jack is in NYC, he relies heavily on help from Los Angeles and members of his loyal CTU team, who are given points of view throughout the novel. The old CTU gang are helping Jack at every turn: Nina Myers, Jamey, Milo, and Tony Almeida (my favorite character after Jack). Tony is given his own plotline in Los Angeles, which ties into what Jack's investigating in NYC. (Tony's forced to team up with an attractive female Marine captain, a weapons specialist with whom he's got a few beefs, to investigate the origins of a dangerous piece of advanced weapons technology.)

I liked the way the author put you in Jack's head (he's got Jack dead on). The final chapters are explosive. I'm a huge fan of 24, and I loved this book. If they're all as good as this, then I'll look forward to reading more in this new series.
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