176 of 198 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Clancy can still deliver the goods
In his latest novel, Tom Clancy pairs up with Mark Greany to produce Threat Vector, another great installment in his techno-thriller series. Late last year these two authors released Locked On, based upon the continuing adventures of Jack Ryan Senior and Junior. The Ryans are back again in a new, high stakes cyber war, with the fate of the world in the balance. After an...
Published on December 4, 2012 by BrianB
138 of 171 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a true Clancy novel...
The last few Clancy novels haven't been quite the same as his early ones. With this one, it is very evident that the only thing that this shares with his early novels is the name. Mr. Greaney has done a decent job with the last one (Locked On) but this one has a couple of errors that are hard to ignore for die hard Clancy fans. First, it's mentioned that Jack Ryan Jr...
Published on December 11, 2012 by Amazon Customer
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176 of 198 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Clancy can still deliver the goods,
In his latest novel, Tom Clancy pairs up with Mark Greany to produce Threat Vector, another great installment in his techno-thriller series. Late last year these two authors released Locked On, based upon the continuing adventures of Jack Ryan Senior and Junior. The Ryans are back again in a new, high stakes cyber war, with the fate of the world in the balance. After an action packed beginning, the younger Ryan and his secret agency go to war against Chinese hackers, who are bent on destruction. I read this book through in one day, interrupted only by my job. Although I had planned to save it for an upcoming plane trip, I couldn't stop reading. It is that good. I cooled on Clancy for years, but this one has brought me back to fan status again.
I fell in love with Tom Clancy's writing with The Hunt for Red October, a book that kept millions of us on the edge of our seats. In the 1980's his books were unique for their combination of fast paced action, solid characters, geopolitical intrigue and amazingly realistic details about tech and weapons, all brought together in exciting adventures. Unfortunately, his novels haven't always been excellent, especially when he began working with co-writers. I feel a little disappointed whenever I see his name sharing the front cover with someone else. None of his co-written books have been as good as the original Clancy works, with the exception of his second novel, Red Storm Rising (co-written with Larry Bond).
Clancy's writing has been criticized because his characters lack depth. They make clear cut decisions that are either good or bad, and the storylines portray an unapologetic American patriotism that has gone out of style in some quarters. There is little ambiguity in the early novels, and some characters, especially Jack Ryan, seem to be completely good, without any faults. In later novels Clancy allows Jack some vices, perhaps in response to critics, but this effort did not satisfy them, and might have alienated some readers.
A writer has to change with the times, because the readers who loved his work in 1984 are different now, and we have different expectations. I have grown a lot older, and having read many books in the meanwhile, including an ever expanding list of techno thrillers, I admit that I am getting harder to please. Although I don't find Clancy's novels quite as wonderful as I used to, they are still very good. I recommend this one, but I couldn't quite give it five stars.
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could. Not. Put. It. Down.,
I grew up on the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series. I've been a loyal reader ever since the first time I picked up a copy of Hunt for the Red October, buying and reading every subsequent Tom Clancy novel. Some were definitely better than others, some dragged on and took some time to read and get through. However, reading Threat Vector reminded me of the time I first read Hunt for the Red October. It kept me on the edge of my seat, not letting me put it down, even late into the night. The characters came alive on the page and you could feel yourself staring at the same computer screen that Jack Ryan, Jr., Ding, Dom, and others were looking at, just as you could feel yourself in the submarine with Jack Ryan Senior staring down at the cook who was trying to set off a missile. Threat Vector is now one of my favorite Tom Clancy novels.
If you decide to read it - allocate some time, because you'll find yourself at 4 a.m. still gripping the book, not able to put it down. Great read!
138 of 171 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a true Clancy novel...,
The last few Clancy novels haven't been quite the same as his early ones. With this one, it is very evident that the only thing that this shares with his early novels is the name. Mr. Greaney has done a decent job with the last one (Locked On) but this one has a couple of errors that are hard to ignore for die hard Clancy fans. First, it's mentioned that Jack Ryan Jr. is the eldest child of Jack Sr. If that's the case, what happened to Sally? Also, Ding's son, Clark's grandson, was given the name John Conor Chavez in the Rainbow Six novel. In Threat Vector he's referred to as John Patrick Chavez. We should all know that Seniors middle name is Patrick (Sir John Patrick Ryan). Those simple yet huge mistakes should never have made it into the novel. It's one thing if the inconsistencies were with non-regular characters but everyone knows that Ding and now Junior are major characters in the Ryanverse.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Threat Vector - Tom Clancy,
I don't know why I keep buying Clancy's books. I guess I was spoiled by the first two which were absolutely awesome. Unfortunately it has been pretty much downhill from there. This one was no better or worse than the last half dozen. I consider these "money books" which an author pumps out to live off his great early books as long as he can. I suspect that Clancy lends his name and Greaney does most of the writing. This was a book to pass the time lying on the beach or on an airplane where you don't have to think to much. The plots are thin and often almost ridicilous and always end up the same way. Bad guys look invincible, goods guys are struggling, bad guys are blown to hell. I can see the plot for the next book already, John Clark takes over for the dead Sam Granger, Melanie comes back from making up with Dad and takes a job with "The Campus". Bad guys, maybe Iranians with nuclear bombs, threaten the world, Dom, Caruso, Jack Jr. and Melanie save the world. So I will probably buy it anyway. But if you want a really great spy/espionage series, forget Clancy, Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, read Alex Berenson or Daniel Silva or better yet Alan Furst who may be the best contemporary writer in this genre.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't go home again,
Many other reviewers have noted that this most recent work by Mr. Clancy doesn't live up to their expectations or keep them on the edge of their seat like "The Hunt for Red October" or "Clear and Present Danger". If however, one reviews this book without the nostalgia of one's youth, then I believe it stands on its own and is a very enjoyable thriller.
Realize we can't be nine years old again and watch "Star Wars" on a Sunday afternoon after church with our friends and compare every Sci-Fi movie to that experience any more than we can think back to how we felt when we first visited the Soviet submarine Red October 27 years ago and hold every Clancy novel up to that experience.
In my humble opinion, this is a good book and you will be glad you cozied up with it for a few hours.
62 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy and Greaney deliver a good story,
I pre-ordered this book because I am a Tom Clancy fan. I also don't mind that Clancy co-author's with others, I think that is good mentoring technique, or at least I like to think so.
Threat Vector is a great read, it starts out fast and picks up steam and continues on until the climax. I have enjoyed the new team of Clark, Chavez, Jack Ryan, Jr. and Dominic Caruso as well as Sam Driscoll. This team works well together and they all want the same thing, to bring the hurt to Terrorist and keep America safe. But this book starts out with them seeking a little bit of revenge, they want to give some payback for the death of Dominic's brother, Brian. They get what they want, but a whole lot more.
Jump from this to the President of China and his internal problems with the Politburo and you add another dimension to a story that will weave it's way through multiple layers of spies, multiple countries, and a bunch of government hacks that will cause you to have some serious nervousness.
This book will leave you thinking about where the world is headed and how might it end up if good men decided to sit out the next problem and let evil run it's course.
I imagine that Greaney did a major portion of the writing of this book, if that is the case then I think that he is maturing as writer and that he is delivering the goods that Clancy fans will enjoy. This is another LONG, EPIC book, like you have become use to from Clancy. But I believe you will enjoy it and not be sad that you paid a few bucks out for a good entertaining novel.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plausible and Scary,
Tom Clancy is again ahead of the curve in not only giving us a detailed plausible security threat, but also explaining it so we can understand it. You can completely visualize this happening.
I am an extremely fast reader, but I took my time with this one, about 20 hours spread over 5 days. I needed that long to take everything in and overall I really enjoyed this book. I have missed Sr., he is what got me into this series, and it is hard switching over to Jr. or at least it was.
Jr is maturing and becoming smarter. I was 16 when I started reading with Patriot Games and then I read every single book. I became disenfranchised when we got Red Rabbit in 02. Then we got Jr and Dom and it took me awhile to warm up to them, they seemed to young and naive. Now the new had rubbed off and they are good agents. The action was fairly non stop in this, there was something going all the time.
I loved being walked through the cyber element as I am interested in it, but don't know a ton. It was well laid out so you could follow it. I also liked the way all the story lines intersected.
This is a good book and I am looking forward to the next one. I will re-read this, but it is not a FAVORITE of the series. My go to TC books that I re-read all the time are: Patriot Games, Sum of All Fears, Debt of Honor and Executive Orders and Rainbow Six.
Based on the way the characters are developing I think the next one could be a 5 plus star. The last few books have been more plot driven and this one was to a large extent, but there was also some good character development, which are the books I prefer. I hope as Jack Jr gets older his character will be more developed and he will be more interesting.
I think the hardest part for me in this book is to realize the characters I grew up loving are now senior citizens :(. John is repeatedly referred to as old, and you get that impression with SR too. It was kind of depressing. Ding is in his 40's - wow!
If you are a Tom Clancy fan you should like this book. I think this book could be read with out all the back history, although that and all the interlocking relationships make it better, you can still come into it without that. If anything it will make you want to go back and read earlier works.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OK, He's back,
Like others I had lost interest in the various co-cuthored books. The "Ops Center" series was especially bad and had me wondering if Clancy had done more than put his name on the cover.
"Dead or Alive" was my first toe back in the water and while I thought it wasn't up to his older books, it was still a good read.
So I downloaded the two free preview chapters of Threat Vector to see if it was in the good camp, the great camp or the not-worth-the-money group.
The preview chapters were quite good so I bit. I recommend that you download and read them before committing to buy.
So... I finished the book about 36 hours ago and I've had some time to think about it. You can see by the 5 stars that I liked it... it is the equal of his sole author works, which may be due to the fact that his co-author has some 40 books under his belt. You can't see the parts that were written by him as was so painfully obvious in most of the other co-authored books.
My favorite Clancy book is "Red Storm Rising".... and it's still my favorite. But "Threat Vector" is in the top third. It's vintage Clancy in that there's a mix of grand strategy and technical detail and his trademark collection of problems that slowly coalesce around the Ryan tribe, while coming to a boil. Big picture to highly personal/individual, then back again.
What drives good Clancy novels is an uncanny timeliness and a thread of credibility... you are always thinking: "yeah, this could happen" and that is central to "Threat Vector". The description of a robust cyberwar and the interaction between the virtual war and the shooting war is compelling..... and enlightening.
As usual there are parts where Ryan (Jr, in this example) seems like Clark Kent but most of the story is very credible. And all our old favorites are there and their life-stories are advanced, even if some of them are largely cameo appearances.
My ultimate judgement comes down to this: I'm looking forward to the next Clancy novel.... again.
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good series on a fast downhill track,
First me say that I have been a big Jack Ryan Series fan. Several of the earlier books I have read multiple times. But that will not happen with this one. The first warning sign was the physical book itself. 835 pages with big margins and widely spaced lines. With no loss of readability this could have been a 600 page book - which makes you wonder if the publisher is 1) trying to make you think it's a more substantial book that it is, 2) give you plenty of room to write notes in the margins, or 3) thinks the Ryan readers need help with their reading skills. Then you get to the story. As usual, the basic premise is interesting - in this case a orchestrated cyber-attack on the US. The general plot wasn't too bad until the last third of the book when Thor, the Hulk, and Batman...er, I mean John Clark, Domingo Chavez, and Jack Ryan Jr carry out missions that are so implausible that the reader stops reading and thinks to themselves..."What! Are you sh...ing me!" In fact, the resolutions are so implausible, that when combined with the factual errors in being consistent with earlier novels pointed out by other reviewers, I doubt Clancy ever actually read a draft.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre book from an author past him prime,
After Clancy's last debacle of a book, I swore I'd never waste the money on another and so waited to check this one out from the library. Unfortunately, it's no better than the weak previous efforts. It's all about money at this point - Clancy puts his name on the cover, a minor talent of a co-writer pumps out the bulk of the novel and the readers get deceived that it's truly a TC novel. Although the characters will seem familiar and the plot line is well developed, it's not a book worth reading. There are better writers out there now, many of them independent authors where you can enjoy their work for 20% of the cost of something like this.
At this point, for me, even free from the library isn't going to get me to read any more of these so-called collaborations because it's not worth 3-4 days of my time.
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