- Series: A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (June 13, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780735215863
- ISBN-13: 978-0735215863
- ASIN: 0735215863
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 608 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tom Clancy Point of Contact (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel) Hardcover – June 13, 2017
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Praise for Tom Clancy Point of Contact
“[A] taut, exciting thriller... Clancy fans can rest assured that the state of the franchise is strong."—Publishers Weekly
“[A] turbocharged narrative...With typhoons; deadly Chinese and North Korean operatives wielding bats, knives, and guns; and a weaponized thumb drive, the action reaches Clancy levels early and stays there.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[Maden] proves that he knows the ins-and-outs of an action story and can certainly take readers to the edge of their seats when it comes to thrills. It’s nice to know that Tom Clancy’s creation will have more adventures ahead.”—Suspense Magazine
“Longtime fans can rest assured, Point of Contact reads like a vintage Tom Clancy thriller...Maden takes over the Jack Ryan Junior franchise and mixes nail-biting suspense with hard-hitting action to deliver a blockbuster hit that Clancy fans will love.”— The Real Book Spy
“Sure to satisfy the legend's longtime fans.”—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
About the Author
A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.
Mike Maden grew up working in the canneries, feed mills and slaughterhouses of California’s San Joaquin Valley. A lifelong fascination with history and warfare ultimately lead to a Ph.D. in political science focused on conflict and technology in international relations. Like millions of others, he first became a Tom Clancy fan after reading The Hunt for Red October, and began his published fiction career in the same techno-thriller genre, starting with Drone and the sequels, Blue Warrior, Drone Command and Drone Threat. He’s honored to be joining “The Campus” as a writer in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Jr., series. He can be reached on social media through his website MikeMaden.com.
Top customer reviews
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And unfortunately, as I kept reading, my interest quickly abated and I ended up disappointed. Nothing about it stands out. It took me a very long time to read it. I don't believe it's Maden's fault; he's certainly a competent writer, but it's becoming increasingly clear the Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan series has run its course, especially now that Mark Greaney has left, and this book was ultimately very dull, bland, slow-going, and offered no surprises or anything new.
At this point, Jack Ryan Jr's only character traits are basically that he is perfect and flawless, and there's never any sense that he's in type of danger, and no doubt that he will effortlessly outsmart or physically best his opponents, and still keep his job at The Campus despite the fact that he constantly makes stupid and reckless decisions and disobeys orders. And he's therefore a very boring character. Again, that's not Mike Maden's fault, since he's working with what Putnam gave him. This book also made me realize that I prefer Jack jr when's just one character in a larger cast of dozens. He simply doesn't have enough personality and development to carry a novel by himself. In these Jack jr solo books, you realize just how dull and lifeless he is.
The Campus is also becoming boring, and the nature of the Campus makes it become increasingly less believable with each book, after nearly a dozen books in six years. How many high profile crimes, international incidents, and shootouts in cities around the world can the US president's son become involved in before the media/foreign spy services identify him, link him to the Campus, and by extension identify the other Campus operatives (which might actually make for a good book and break this series' formula). And how many global threats and conflicts (which basically alternate between China, Russia, and North Korea in these books) can possibly occur in one president's four year term? Isn't it about time for Jack Ryan Senior to leave office? Instead it's just book after book after book with the same boring, repetitive status quo.
Until Putnam takes this series in a new direction (how about a Rainbow Six novel with a new cast of characters?), or Mark Greaney comes back, I believe I'm done with the Tom Clancy (TM) line of generic, bland, rehashed books. Instead of ending this series on a high note, with a string of immensely entertaining, high quality novels, the Clancy Estate and Putnam are clearly going to keep putting out increasingly unoriginal and boring books for as long as Clancy's name is still marketable.
The book gets 3 stars, because 1 star is for total trash, and Mike Maden's still an intelligent and competent writer and his book doesn't deserve 2 stars.
If you really must read this book, then check out Shadow War: A Tom Locke Novel or The Fall of Moscow Station: A Novel (a Jonathan Burke/Kyra Stryker Thriller) , to compare and see what an exciting, fresh thriller with a believable, interesting protagonist looks like. Or read the Greaney Clancy books, if you haven't yet.
If you are a Clancy fan, you probably aren’t reading this review. If you are, though, you will likely enjoy the novel despite the fact that this author, good as he is, is no Tom Clancy.
*** LANGUAGE ***
As with most books these days, there are plenty of f-words.
WHY I DECIDED TO READ THIS BOOK:
I enjoy the franchise that Tom Clancy carved out with Jack Ryan. Jack Ryan Jr. is a chip off the old block and this is the first book in the series authored by Mike Maden.
The first thing you are advised to do is to not expect it to be on par with Tom Clancy. In fact, I think this would have been better if it had not been based on the franchise, but that’s just my opinion.
ESSENTIALS OF A NOVEL
ONE: The characters feel authentic. By this, I mean the dialogue feels real. Yet, the basis upon which this novel is written feels far too unauthentic, but that is only a minor issue. I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy this Action Adventure, which is what fiction is all about.
TWO: I try to be especially aware of any cliffhanger endings.
THREE: Yes, the opening sequence is riveting.
Q - How was this book obtained?
A – Bought on Amazon and on Audible.
Q - Are there a lot of typos/misspellings, grammatical errors or other editing failures?
A – No.
Q - Is this a fast, easy read or is it more of a leisure read?
Q - My biggest pleasure or disappointment?
A – The action sequences are good, even excellent, but the early chit chat between the two protagonists boss’s comes across as canned and predictable. Once I got beyond that, (to chapter 13), the story improves greatly and is first rate.
To give a feel for the editing, and the style and flow of this work, I am posting a brief excerpt below.
‘…and Dom took to the floor, Amador unrolled the leather pouch on a plastic folding chair standing near the mirrored wall. He removed three knives and carried them carefully to the men, handing one each to Martinez, Dom, and finally Jack.
“These go by many names but most commonly are called karambits. These particular knives I forged myself,” Amador explained.
Jack examined the karambit in his hand. The small knife had a razor-sharp double-edged blade that curved inwardly—almost a semicircle—and ended in a vicious point. The knife fit perfectly in his hand, was well weighted and comfortable in his grip. The form and function reminded Jack of a tiger’s claw.
The karambit also featured a large round steel finger hole on the end of the handle, and the ring hole itself featured a sharp point on the end. Jack followed Martinez’s example and put his index finger through the hole and clutched the curved handle in the palm of his hand.
“This knife is just begging me to use it,” Jack said, twisting his wrist in a circular motion.
Dom agreed. “It’s a nasty piece of business.”
“Ever used one?” Martinez asked.
Dom and Jack shook their heads.
“I’ve seen them before at the knife shop, but they’re so unusual I thought it was a gangster knife or something out of a graphic novel,” Dom said.
Martinez rolled his eyes. “More and more LEOs and service members are picking these up. They come in folders with grippier composite handles and pocket clips for concealed carry.” Martinez held up the blade Amador had given him. He admired the knife in his hand. “Me, I like the traditional ones.”
“Perhaps as you can tell from my accent,” Amador began, “I’m from the Philippines. My culture is a traditional blade culture, and in my country, just about every man on the street carries a knife. Sometimes like the one you hold in your hand.”
Amador paused as the others examined their blades again.
He continued. “Many of our fighting arts, like Kali, are all about the blade, especially the knife.” He turned to Jack. “In close-quarters combat, my favorite weapon is a twelve-gauge shotgun if I can get my hands on one.” He smiled.
“Amen, brother,” Martinez said.
Amador held out his palm and Jack carefully handed him the karambit. Amador held it up high. “But if you don’t have a shotgun, a pistol, or even a knife, how do you fight with a man who knows how to use one of these?”
That’s what Jack wanted to know, too. That momentary freeze on the oil rig after the blond killer stabbed him with the knife almost cost him his life and the lives of his team members. He was still dealing with the idea that she had fooled him, but he also needed to make sure that he was better prepared for fighting with blades.
“There are many techniques for fighting with a knife, and many techniques for defending against one.” Amador touched the side of his head. “But there is one basic idea that you must master before any of those techniques make sense. That is why I have come today.”
Jack exchanged a look with Dom. This is going to be an interesting day.
“Let’s start with the basics, okay? Because if you want to fight with the blade or against it, you must first understand the blade,” Amador said.
“Is that the idea we must master?” Jack said.
Amador shook his head. “No.” He lifted the knife up high so everyone could see it. He touched the various parts of the karambit as he spoke.
“What advantage does a knife give in combat?
Maden, Mike. Tom Clancy Point of Contact (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel) (pp. 35-37). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
I’m the first to admit that, had this not been shown as a Tom Clancy novel, I might have passed on it. Still, this is a terrific novel when it is rated on its own merits, presuming some name changes and so forth. Even so, it is a very good read. Oh, and I heartily recommend the audible version, as the narrator does a good job.
Four stars out of five.
Comments regarding your opinion of this book or of my review, whether favorable or unfavorable, are always welcome. If you buy the book based on my review and become disappointed, especially, I do want to know that and I want to understand how I can improve as a book reviewer. Just please be polite.
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