I know there are some Clancy fans other than myself on the Weinerboard. I wanted to know if anyone else had read this book. I read it just a few days ago and I was really disappointed, to say the least.
Number one, to me Clancy has never been able to write decent dialogue for any of the young characters in his book. I mentioned in an earlier thread that Ive always hated the way he made junior enlisted military people sound. But it wasnt too much of a problem because with the exception of Ding Chavez and Ron Jones he stuck to politicans and senior officers for his books. But in this book his three main characters, Jack Ryan Jr and his cousins are all guys in their mid-20's and its painfully obvious to me that CLancy has no clue how 20ish guys think act or talk.
I also didnt like the way he just shoved Jack to the side to bring on his kid as the new hero. I mean if you read the previous books Jack Jr was barely mentioned, he was only like 10 in Executive Orders when he got any action at all. So now were supposed to accept him as the hero? Why not another book about Clark and Chavez? The concept Of the RAINBOW team fits in with the whole globar war on Terror this book centers on. At least Chavez if Clark was too old. And what about the rest of the characters? The Foleys? Dan Murray? It was insulting that he gave one sentence explanations for all these characters that the whole Jack Ryan series had centered on for 20 years. And his worse crime in my eyes was killing off Robbie Jackson. Totally inexcusable. And Ed Kealty as President??? It would have been better to have Jack at least guide his son as he tries to save the world like his dad did. A book with Jack passing the torch to Jack Jr wouldve been more respectful to the fans and to the characters.
Most of all Clancys biggest mistake with this book is he incorporated real world events into the Ryan universe. And by that I mean 9/11. There are so many problems with this I barely know where to begin. FIrst off, Clancy has never been clear with the Timeline in his books. He never mentions the years in which the early books take place. Until Executive Orders when he acknowledges Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as past Presidents and the first Persian Gulf War. And thats where it gets confusing because since he makes those events happen in the Ryan universe it has to compress the events of ALL the other books in the series other than "Red October" and "Cardinal of the Kremlin" into the nine years between Bush losing in 1992 and 9-11. To make it even crazier, "RAINBOW Six" takes place in 2000 because the team goes to Sydney for the 2000 Olympics. And Jack at that time is still new in the president role. AND "Bear and the Dragon" which takes place AFTER "RAINBOW" mentions Jack's run for reelection, but "Teeth" confirms that Jack was only president for four years. BUT on Sept 11th 2001 Ed Kealty is President. Confusing aint it??
Also, why did he feel the need to mention 9/11 at all? In the Clancy universe the attack on 9/11 wouldve been a slow news day compared to what the people have already been thru. I mean in the Clancy universe 9/11 wouldve happened after terrorists had used a damn nuclear bomb to blow up the Superbowl, after a war with Japan where they caused a catastrophic stock market crash, after a pilot flew a airliner into the US capitol killing the president and almost the entire government, after Terrorists tried to kidnap President Jacks youngest daughter, after those same terrorists unleashed an Biological attack on the US killing a few thousand people, then we had a ground war with the combined Iraqi-Iranian Armies, and then a war with China where a Nuclear missile nearly exploded over Washington DC. And then after ALL that 9/11 happens then the government gets all panicky about terrorism? It simply doesnt make sense. Especially since in the series, peace was established in the middle east between Isreal and the Arabs and we didnt even have a base in Saudi Arabia that would piss off any terrorists. Plus the Russians are now insanely rich with Oil and gold.
Not having read any of the Jack Ryan books in a while, you're comments on the continuity do little to make me want to jump back in.
It sounds to me like by making Jack Ryan Jr. the protagonist (and a twenty-something protagonist, at that), and by incorporating 9/11 into the Clancy-verse, he's trying to make his stories Hollywood friendly. This way, when the movie comes along, people can't complain about Ben Affleck assuming a role previously played by Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin, and the average movie goer will understand what's going on politically, since they are familiar with 9/11, but not with most of the major events of Tom Clancy's world.
For what its worth, he should have just restarted another *world*, as it were. But I can understand not wanting to lose the 'Jack Ryan' name. At any rate, I won't be reading this any time soon.
I'll tape and watch just to see some mid-air collisions....here's an article about Slamball from today's NY Times Bouncing to Extremes: Introducing SlamBall By LIZ ROBBINS Instant hops. Instant air. Instant gratification.