Tag Archives: Jack Ryan

“Command Authority”, By Tom Clancy With Mark Greaney

There is nothing better than Tom Clancy when you are looking for a fast paced thriller and “Command Authority” does serve the purpose. This is the last book by the author and was published after his death. In some of his previous Jack Ryan books, the author had moved from projecting Russia as prime enemy of United States to China and terrorism. In this book he returns back to old school of United States versus Russia.

The story revolves around power struggle in Russia that has deep roots in last days of communist rule. Some of the old characters have come back to power in Russia and are now using war, propaganda and deception to bring the country back to its lost glory. Ukraine becomes the symbol of this struggle with forces pulling it in both directions. There is also lot more focus on international financial crimes and how it aids war, corrupt governments and businessmen.

As with the past few books, now there are two Jack Ryan’s (father and son) fighting the enemy in their own different ways. I really liked the part where Jack Ryan Jr is researching the world of International finance and how his research leads him to information in unravelling the plot and provides his father a key to fight the enemy.

As with other Tom Clancy books, the story here is current with world events even though it is a work of fiction. Most importantly, he has stuck with his main characters of Jack Ryan, his family, his security team, his cabinet and the members of campus. While reading the story you do not feel that the author was writing it as his last book. It feels that he would have gone on with these characters for more amazing stories. We will never know now what those stories were. It is truly an end of an era of Tom Clancy’s books.

I chose to write about this book since I read it recently but I will come back with more on some of the earlier books as well.

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“The Bear And The Dragon”, By Tom Clancy; Jack Ryan Series

This is another of Tom Clancy’s political thriller with the main character as Jack Ryan. The scale of this book was enormous and almost presenting the evolving power equations in the world. The books by Tom Clancy even though fictional are written with such details and plausibility that you almost forget that it is fiction.They almost read as war room scenarios that some experts are sitting and predicting based on the data that they have today and trying to figure out how situations will evolve.

“The Bear and the Dragon”, presents a similar scenario where Russia is coming out of economic crisis by the discovery of oil and gold deposits in Siberia and is becoming increasing closer to US, but China is developing imperialistic plans to handle its own economic crisis and is clinging to communism more strongly than ever. Eventually, it results in war between China and Russia with US and NATO forces helping Russia. It also shows the threat of nuclear war and use of ICBMs. The book is usually fast paced and I have always liked the character of Jack Ryan who is shown as President of United States in this book.

There are some other interesting sub-plots. One is about strict enforcement of one-child rule in China and how it results in violence. In another sub-plot an US spy befriends secretary of Chinese political leaders and is able to provide crucial information back home. Even though I have liked his books for the kind of detailed information they provide, I have also felt that it is very heavily biased by the western view of world.

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“Patriot Games” By Tom Clancy; Jack Ryan Series

I was in mood for some fast paced action thriller and what better than Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series books. I became his fan after reading “Executive Orders” where Jack Ryan becomes US president. Patriot Games is chronologically the first book in this series even before “The Hunt for the Red October”. In this book the fight is against Irish terrorist group who tries to kidnap British Royals and Ryan manages to save them. Now the terrorist group  is after Ryan and his family and strike against him twice in US.

In this book there is less of intelligence work shown by Ryan and there is more of fight sequence where he directly gets involved in terrorist operation. In later books he is shown to be doing more of intelligence analyst work. The story is more on predictable lines with lot of details about plans, police work, intelligence gathering and fight sequence. In the end Ryan manages to escape and saves the Royal family again and all the terrorists are arrested and are put on trial.

I liked the sequence where Ryan’s interaction with Royals is shown. When he is interacting with Queen then he is a different character but when he is interacting with Prince, he actually talks to him man to man and helps the Prince to come out of gloom. Another important aspect is details on policing and investigating work. Sometimes police gets lucky with some information but then they do real comprehensive work to nail the culprits.

I got to know that even this book was made into a movie. I wonder how that movie will be.

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“The Hunt For Red October” By Tom Clancy

After I hooked on to books by Tom Clancy, I wanted to go back and start from the first one and “The Hunt For Red October” is the first book in that series. It is one of the best thrillers I have read which also teaches you lot of stuff. The author’s ability to get into details while maintaining the plot is amazing.

This book is about a new type of Russian Submarine, whose captain Marco Ramius decides to defect to United States along with his soldiers and the vessel. He does it in style by actually declaring it in a letter which reaches the authorities after he leaves with the ship and is in international waters. The Soviets launch a massive hunt to capture the vessel and captain. On the other hand Jack Ryan who is a CIA analyst works on this case and is able to understand the intent of Russian captain and helps him to get to United States.

This book was a real piece of information on Submarines and their warfare strategies. I had read about them before but never in so much detail. I had heard about Sonar as well but did not know what all technology is used in making a submarine silent and how it is detected through Sonar.

I had read about character of “Jack Ryan” from the “Executive Orders” that I had read first and this books starts his role in Tom Clancy’s novels from the beginning. Later on I watched the movie as well which was very well made despite the difficult topic. Even though I liked Jack Ryan much more than Marco Ramius in the book; In the movie it is Sean Connery as Marco who scores above everybody else.


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