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Tom Clancy Commander in Chief (A Jack Ryan Novel) Hardcover – December 1, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
Greaney has a lot of pages to fill in his third solo Tom Clancy novel (after 2014's Tom Clancy: Full Force and Effect). That he manages it without being boring shows that he's well qualified to continue the adventures of Jack Ryan and son. Jack Sr., still the U.S. president, has more of a role than in recent entries, but most of the heroics are performed by Jack Jr., who's been slowly rising in the ranks of the secret organization known as the Campus. Russian president Valeri Volodin, once again the villain, has half a dozen perfidious plots aimed at restoring Russia to its position of greatness. One threat is to plant a new super-secret Russian submarine with 120 nuclear warheads in the waters off Washington, D.C. In the best tradition of Clancy, Greaney capably lays out the groundwork for these machinations before setting them all in entertaining motion. Fans of military action thrillers will be well satisfied. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Dec.)\n
“AN A+, A TOUCHDOWN...Greaney has once again done fans proud, putting forth a thrilling plotline with the ultimate twists and turns, and some good, old-fashioned espionage to keep everyone on their toes...There have always been die-hard Clancy fans, but Mark Greaney, the fantastic writer of The Gray Man series, deserves a huge standing ovation for putting together yet another unforgettable Jack Ryan thriller!”—Suspense Magazine
“GREANEY DELIVERS a story reminiscent of the older Clancy novels...A taut storyline with familiar characters facing new challenges.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In the best tradition of Clancy...Fans of military action thrillers will be well satisfied.”—Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
As most folks know, this is not Tom Clancy's work, Tom had not written a single book in a decade before he died. This is a franchise book, and another a good one. Mark Greaney is a talented writer, which he showed in his work in the prior "Clancy" novel Support and Defend and Full Force and Effect. Greaney keeps the trend going with this book, evoking the Clancy style and keeping the franchise alive.
In this novel, the plot revolves around oil and energy and its effects on global stability and a plot to manipulate the market to strengthen the Russians. Fiction? Sounds similar to the issues going on now. Just like Greaeny did with Full Force and Effect, where the plot centered on the at-that-time issue of North Korea, these books rope in present events to make the plot fee current. Very much the plot of any classic Clancy novel.
The writing is tight and well paced. If you liked Greaney's other Clancy interpretations, you will certainly like Commander in Chief. For those who have not given Greaney a chance, you should, at least to see if you like his take on Clancy works.
On the plus side, it is very true to the Clancy formula, which has many characters and disparate plot lines developing simultaneously. I have always loved this, because even if you knew what was going to happen, you also knew the plots were going to converge in a tense, dramatic way.
But the problem here is that the convergence is completely void of suspense or any kind of tension. I'm not even sure why, because the story itself is actually good. It involves an out of control Putin-esque Russian president who is annexing former Soviet states and daring NATO to intervene. It's very much straight from the news and relevant to the times we live in ... but it's just not written in a way that's very exciting. I found much of the book to be predictable and boring, and was actually hoping for an ending reminiscent of Debt of Honor because otherwise the events in the book would be entirely forgettable.
I was also disappointed with the way a number of characters are now being written: Clark, Chavez, Dom and Ryan Jr. are more like characters from a James Bond movie than the realistic, gritty characters from an old school Tom Clancy novel. And in Commander in Chief there are also two professional assassins from Amsterdam that, if I'm being honest, felt like they were from a really bad B movie or even a no-name dark comic book series.
The plot is old school Clancy, but the characters are pseudo-Jason Bourne -- and I think that's why it fell flat for me. I will continue to read the series though, with the hope it gets back on track.