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on October 29, 2001
Vince Flynn just gets better and better.
I can't wait for the next book! To appreciate this book as much as posible it is best to have read Transfer of Power and The Third Choice which very nicely keep us up to date with the major characters in the story.
I have even gone back and bought Term Limits which was his first book. I don't know if it is essential to go there, but this effort has been criticized by some and I am enough of a fan of the author and an aspiring writer that I would like to see for myself how the first one went.
Enough of that. This book is so good that I realy just want to say that and hope it will be enough to interest you to buy it. Nah! All the good people and some of the bad from earlier books ae moving forward with their lives. Mitch Rapp, who is certainly a very important part of Transfer of Power only continues to grow in importance as the books unfold and in this book he is at his zentih. I continue to pray that we have a Mitch Rapp in the employ of the CIA. We all should, but I suspect that the last eight to ten years have cost us dearly in that regard.
Suffice it to say that Flynn lays out all of the trip wires that are there in this day and age and very deftly manuvers around them. If you are into red, white and blue these days, you will love this book. If you are one who has reservations about what we are doing in response to 9/11, you will find instruction in this novel. If you are sitting in Bagdahd, working on weapons of mass destruction, you will pray this is just a figment of the authors imagination. In any event, this book is so worth reading that I can not recommend it enough.
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on November 5, 2001
Vince Flynn's fourth political thriller continues with the same characters introduced in his second book, Transfer of Power, and one or two from his thrilling debut, Term Limits. Like in the previous two novels, the Iron Man, Mitch Rapp, is back to destroy the enemies of the United States and find out who attempted to kill him in book three, The Third Option. Separation of Power is a cut above its predecessor due to a number of intriguing subplots concerning Rapp's attempt to catch his attempted murderer; the confirmation battle of Dr. Irene Kennedy to helm the CIA; who wants to kill Rapp's former lover/secret agent; Rapp's relationship with Anna Rielly; and a few more that Flynn puts in to keep the pot boiling. Despite the fact that this novel is part of a series (and most novels like these lose some character development in the process), Flynn has written yet another superb political/military thriller. If he can avoid writing thousand page behemoths like Tom Clancy, Flynn will no doubt be King of the Technothriller. I am eagerly awaiting his fifth pageturner.
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on January 1, 2002
One might say that Vince Flynn has been hanging around with Michael Crichton in the way this Separation of Power mirrors so much that is going on in today's world. (This reference, of course, is meant to be a reminder of how close Crichton was to predicting the issues presented in his Airframe novel.)
I began reading Flynn's fourth novel just after the events of 9/11 happened. The lines which could be drawn to the 9/11 tragedy are incredible. Needless to say, I could not put down the book until the last page was finally read.
The beginning totally captures your attention, but I do recommend reading Third Option before starting Separation of Power, due to a great deal of the storyline originated in the third book.
There is really not a middle to this book, there is a great setup for a great ending. You find yourself going to four popular sections of the globe before the book finally ends. The ending could not have been better! Flynn does it again!!!
If you are new to Flynn, read Third Option, then Separation of Power. At that point, go back and read Term Limits and Transfer of Power.
Flynn is one of my favorites and I have been a fan since I first read the Term Limits insert in a USA Today I received while traveling a few years ago.
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on November 25, 2005
Vince Flynn's massive popularity is completely justified. He's crafted some explosive and unapologetically red-white-and-blue coated patriotic nail-biting adventure stories. Recurring main character Mitch Rapp is one compelling dude - equal parts skilled tactician and modern warrior. "Separation of Power" has those elements, but takes time to build up steam. A LOT of time.

The basic storyline is as follows (don't worry, no spoilers):

1) Rapp continues the hunt to find those responsible for an attempt on his life;

2) An Iraqi nuclear program plot is fed to the CIA by Israeli intelligence and must be dealt with;

3) Rapp's in love and feeling much angst about his relationship problems.

To coin a phrase from Sesame Street: Which one is not like the others? Is the fact that a skilled assassin has diffictulty seeing eye-to-eye with a female TV reporter necessarily a problem? It didn't have to be, but Flynn examined Rapp's relationship with Anna Rielly by running through the same dysfunctional issues (they come from different worlds, they have different views, Mitch can't tell Anna absolutely everything about what he does, blah-blah-blah) on every plane ride, limo ride, walk through the park, and hot bubble bath in the book. And then Flynn looks at it from Anna's point of view. Flynn washes, rinses, and repeats. And repeats... Though relationship issues for government hired guns may be completely realistic, one ponderous self-examination would have been enough to drive the characters. And in all honesty, the intraspection sessions aren't very enlightening or interesting. There are other authors who do it much better, and that's probably not why you read Flynn's novels in the first place.

One reads Flynn's novels for the politics and the action. Whereas "Transfer of Power" skillfully balanced the behind-the-scenes politicing and decision making with the butt-kicking, this novel's bulk is devoted to back-door dealing in Washington DC. Again, the details seem to be repeated ad nauseum and could have been contracted neatly without almost chapterly recaps that retell the story from the various viewpoints of everyone involved.

After the 18th review of the Mitch/Anna relationship saga and the 27th version of the plot against Irene Kennedy, I found myself skipping pages looking for more "meat" and I'm pretty sure I didn't miss much. The exciting payoff doesn't begin until the last 20-30% of the book. It's a wonder so many stuck around for so long.

In short, Vince Flynn's done better work on both sides of this series. Here's my recommendation: Take a gander at my brief plot outline then skip to about page 300. You'll save time and still have all the fun "Separation of Power" has to offer.
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on December 17, 2002
Super-agent Mitch Rapp is back in "Separation of Power" and once again trying to save the world from those nasty evil doers. I read an earlier Rapp novel ("Transfer of Power") but did not do my research and realized shortly after I had started that "The Third Option" fell between these two "Power" books. So while I was at a bit of a loss at times, "Separation" gives you enough information to fill in some of gaps since Rapp re-claimed the White House from a gang of terrorists at the end of "Transfer."
In "Separation," Vince Flynn creates another work that is strikingly close to today's "real world" events. Rapp's latest mission, among other things, to uncover and destroy Saddam Hussein's (with help from the North Koreans no less!) secret cache of nuclear weapons. Throw in the setting of Washington DC where backstabbing, blackmail, and murder all seem part of a normal day and you have a highly readable, entertaining, and, at times, very relevant piece of fiction.
My one quibble is Rapp's love life as his relationship with Anna Reilly continues to be a weak point for me in this series. With Rapp being more James Bond than a Clancy Jack Ryan-type, it is hard to fathom him all googly-eyed in love and considering marriage. While the pair's "damsel in distress" meeting in "Transfer" held some appeal, there is simply not much to even like about Anna this time around, much of it caused by her own stubbornness and inability to understand/accept Rapp's "job." Reilly was an unnecessary third wheel in this novel, with two other female characters -- CIA director-elect Irene Kennedy and fellow spy (and Rapp's ex-lover to boot) Donatella Rahn - being far more engaging.
I will definitely be reading more Flynn is the future - hopefully he will just shelf the romance and stick with the action.
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on September 2, 2011
This is my third Vince Flynn novel and I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed Flynn's characters (mostly Mitch Rapp) and plots thus far. I enjoyed the first two so much that I went out and bought the next 4 because I knew that I'd enjoy them as well. I am not usually a person who enjoys political intrigue but Flynn captures your attention with intersting characters and great suspense. My major issue through the first 3 novels is his treatment of female characters. Irene Kennedy is a great character. Mitch Rapp's girlfriend, Anna Reilly, is a complete waist. Donatella Rahn is very interesting and fun to read, until she has to reveal her feelings for Mitch. It's this point that really makes Flynn's women hard to believe. He writes female emotions as stereotypical and immature. I'm 30 years old and married and I expect that females in their mid-thirties to not act like 5 year old brats that consistently 'fold their arms' with attitude when they don't get their way. I actually decided to write this review b/c the amount of times Anna Reilly 'folds her arms in defiance' is getting REALLY annoying. And the worst part is Mitch Rapp (who is a Super Awesome Secret Agent Bad*** Spy/Assassin) folds like a deck of cards when Anna has a fit. Don't even get me started on how Anna uses sex as a tool to get Mitch to do things (that's SO juvenile it's laughable). The thing is, I liked Anna Reilly when we first met her in Transfer of Power - she had depth and guts. Then when we moved onto The Third Option she became a flake. A woman who is inconsistent with her choices and a brat. Maybe the reason Flynn is making her so immature is to give context to Mitch's character, as he has never had a truly honest relationship that could go all the way. I guess I find it hard to believe that Mitch is such a push over when it comes to a brat. I am half way through Separation of Power and will cheer loudly if Anna decideds to end the relationship or is killed off. I guess I'll have to wait and see. And here's hoping that in the next 4 novels Vince Flynn finds a way to write women with a more mature note.

All in all, I really like what he has done and will keep reading. I just hope that as I make my way through his novels, his experience as a writer continues to grow and his females become more believable.
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on October 8, 2001
This is the latest novel with Mitch Rapp as the hero. Irene Kennedy is going through her confirmation hearings to become the first female Director of the CIA and the wolves are out in Washington! Add that to Saddam building nukes, the Mossad playing games, and Mitch's love life in chaos, you have a great thriller that you won't want to put down! I hope to see more like this soon from this excellent author!
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VINE VOICEon October 25, 2002
Vince Flynn's latest novel revisits old characters and wraps up loose plot lines from previous books. In particular, his previous novel, The Third Option, concluded with major issues unresolved; now, in this book, Senator Hank Clark, a methodical behind-the-scenes sort of villain is up to additional mechanations to satisfy his desire for the Presidency.
On the side of the good guys are Irene Kennedy, the President's nominee for the directorship of the CIA and assassin/super-soldier Mitch Rapp. They are out to find out who were the conspirators from the Third Option and at the same time counteract a nuclear threat from Iraq. Add to this complications in Rapp's love life and there is a lot going on.
Flynn writes a generally good suspenseful novel, but there are imperfections, especially with pacing. It takes a while for any real action to occur, and then the concluding acts just zip on by; the book needs a faster start and a slower finish. Nonetheless, this should satisfy Flynn's fans and spy novel fans in general.
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on November 28, 2015
Holy cow, this was a rough book to get through. I've become accustomed and addicted to Vince Flynn's style and stories, but this one was --well, not good at all. Towards the end of the book, it picks up the pace but until then, it's slow and Flynn seems to try and delve into the romance genre, and not too successfully.

I had no real opinion about Rielly in TRANSFER OF POWER, but got to really disliking her and truthfully, not wanting to read about her or even Rapp thinking about her. The relationship doesn't add anything to this storyline for me.

I hoped that Flynn would end the story with them breaking up, but I was wrong. I would have rooted for Donnatella except even that relationship and conversation was awkward and uncomfortable.

Thankfully, the books that followed this one are all great again thus far! I'm on Consent to Kill now (book 7) and am enjoying of.
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on April 9, 2013
I have been devouring Vince Flynn's books since reading my first one. This book, however, was a major disappointment. I found the relationship between Rapp and his girlfriend du jour to be petty and unrealistic. The author has spent years creating an aura around Rapp, a unique, highly talented, strong-minded and shrewd operative. I felt such dissonance seeing him succumb to a mushy relationship with a woman who was incredibly self-centered. And what a dumb idea to take her on a dangerous trip to Europe. What was he (and the author!) thinking?!

Anyway, I finished the book - because I just had to find out the ending which was more mush. And I actually thought, "Well that's the last one I'll read." Of course I lied. I am in the middle of "Protect and Defend" and I love it. Phew!
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