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Interesting Ideas, Wooden Storytelling
on April 27, 2014
Richard Clarke's Sting of the Drone is a fictionalized examination of the Obama Administration's use of remotely-piloted aircraft (commonly referred to as drones) as our preferred way to eliminate potential terrorists around the world. To Clarke's credit, he provides a fairly balanced look at the arguments in favor of and against this program, letting the reader decide whether the global war on terrorism is an end that justifies what amounts to targeted assassinations of those perceived to pose a threat to U.S. interests.
As is often the case in these types of novels, however, the characters, plot and setting seem to exist only as a way to help frame the author's arguments and showcase insider knowledge. The choppy chapters, constantly flitting between viewpoints of multiple characters, also prevent the novel from developing an effective flow and make it difficult to form a bond with any of the protagonists.
So five stars for the ideas and fascinating insider details, two stars for the storytelling, resulting in a three-star overall rating.