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Command Authority (Jack Ryan) Hardcover – December 3, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 3,656 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"[Clancy] has an uncanny feel for the intersection of real-world intelligence, terrorism, and fiction." -The Daily Beast

About the Author

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. Mark Greaney has a degree in international relations and political science. He is the author of the Gray Man novels, the most recent of which is Dead Eye. In his research for those novels, he has traveled to a dozen countries and trained alongside military and law enforcement in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combat tactics. 

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Product Details

  • Series: Jack Ryan (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399160477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399160479
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,656 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Command Authority is the 14th novel comprising the Jack Ryan Sr/Jack Ryan Jr franchise catalog, which began with The Hunt for Red October, published in 1984, and I have followed the series since that time. For me, Command Authority was a compelling read.

The story first takes us back 30 years, to a meeting between a GRU Special Forces Captain and a special member of the KGB. The purpose of this meeting is not fully revealed until much later as events unfold, piece by piece. Present day finds Jack Ryan Jr in London working on not military or political but financial intelligence - and a case involving Russian intelligence and criminal elements that will ultimately lead him into the upcoming fray. Meanwhile, Ryan Sr meets with a former foe and now friend (a retired SVR chief) at the White House, who warns the president that the new Russian chief-of-state seeks to return his country to the days of old - just prior to dying due to being poisoned with a radioactive isotope. In Moscow, a Croatian assassin takes the fall after pulling off a devastating bombing that takes out someone in addition to, and much more important than the "targeted" UK finance man (and former British agent) - the current head of the SVR. Thus, the stage is set for another action-packed, political/espionage thriller in this series.

The new president of Russia has what most would call skeletons (literally) in his closet and he will do anything - everything - to keep those tucked away and out of sight as he continues executing his plans (and opposition) for what he envisions as Russia's domination. He will stop at nothing to achieve his agenda, including merging the separate FSB (internal) and SVR (foreign) intelligence agencies into one, under the leadership of his chosen man.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First - to all readers and reviewers: stop comparing this book with anything else and using Clancy's name as some marker. This is not Tom Clancy's work, Tom had not written a single book in a decade prior to his untimely passing. His franchise has drawn a dozen start up writers since before 9/11 and the only author who truly improved on Tom's work is Mark Greaney. Yes, Tom set a standard for writing in the 90s and that era has been long gone and that era is where Tom's style belongs.

That said, this is Mark Greaney's work, from start to finish, not "with Mark Greaney" but Mark Greaney as the author "with Tom Clancy franchise" - is how it should be stated on the cover. Mark has no need for anyone else's name to be compared with, he is the talent in his own class. The last three novels in the Jack Ryan's series, Locked On, Threat Vector and this one are Mark Greaney's masterpieces not Tom Clancy's - get it all straight.

Mark's talent shines in this story as it has been in his own Gray Man series (the 4th one just got released, by the way) Command Authority is written much better than late Clancy could have written it, may he rest in peace. It has less filler, more substance, excellent narrative style, precise and taut logically sound writing, no worthless cliffhangers and no shifting the story from one character to another and then back again from chapter to chapter, etc.

Another Great work by Greaney!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Good bye, Mr. Clancy and good bye, Jack Ryan(s).

First the good - the book is still a page turner. The action is fast paced and you'll breeze through all 700+ pages of it.
Then the less good - the book still contains a lot of preachy propaganda. It is definitely not as evident as some of the other works in the last few years, but it's there.
Now the not so good - these collaboration projects seem to be lessening the quality of writing, to the point where it's now plain bad. There are lazy writing statements like: "She knew this was Jack and she would have to tell him the truth." Then narrative becomes sloppy - Jr. left London in a Mercedes, but they shove the Russian goon in a BMW. Then it slips from earlier novels - I distinctly remember Clark and Chavez being fluent in Russian to the point where I think they had "St. Petersburg accent" in one of the earlier novels, and now they just understand it enough. Then, thankfully, the book was over otherwise Jr. would rip off his shirt, display a giant red-white-and-blue S, and fly off into space to fight some alien threat.
There were many other minor annoyances as things did not develop - they just conveniently appear when they were needed, be that Ospreys, machine guns, or documents, but despite all of that - the book is still a page turner. That being said, it's over and had it ended any other way, I don't think I would have spent money on any further Jack Ryan novels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On October 1, 2013, author Tom Clancy passed away at the age of 66. His last novel, Command Authority, co-written with Mark Greaney, was published by Putnam on December 2.

The author gained immediate recognition with the publication of The Hunt for Red October in 1984. The Cold War-era novel was claimed by then-President Ronald Regan as “unputdownable” and soon made Clancy a household name. Several of his Jack Ryan novels, and the stand-alone work Red Storm Rising, owed much to the threat and paranoia of communism and told tales of US spies versus KGB agents and military heroes battling Russian enemies. As policies shifted following the fall of the Iron Curtain, Clancy adapted and responded to the new threats against American sovereignty: the war on drugs and the Columbian and Mexican cartels (Clear and Present Danger, and more recently in Against All Enemies), nuclear proliferation and dirty bombs exploded on US territory, trade wars turned into shooting wars, potential hostilities from Asian forces, and the frightening possibility of suicide bombing via hijacked airliners (a premonition in 1994′s Debt of Honor that was ultimately realized by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001).

However, in the wake of 9/11, it seemed that Clancy may have been lost in the new world order of terrorism. His 2003 novel, The Teeth of the Tiger, was a reaction to the shift toward non-state enemies and established a new hero, Jack Ryan, Jr., and the covert mission of The Campus, which operated independently of government oversight and gleaned intel by spying on the country’s establish spying agencies. But after that book, Clancy’s output dried up until 2010′s release of Dead or Alive (which I reviewed here).
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