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Book Review - Tom Clancy's "Full Force and Effect" by Mark Greaney

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the far right sidebar.

9780399173356_p0_v2_s260x420Tom Clancy’s Full Force And Effect by Mark Greaney keeps the Jack Ryan legacy alive.  The characters of the Campus organization are still fighting evil, evoking the Clancy style.  The classic trademarks and cast include, Jack Ryan Jr., his cousin Dom, John Clark, and Adam Yao, who are alive and well within the plot twists, a great espionage story, and well-written action scenes.  There are some technical details but not quite so many as to overburden the plot. 

The author noted to about continuing the series, “Clancy died in October 2013.  Within a couple of weeks I was told by Putnam they wanted to contract with me to continue his books.  I am blown away and happy that the book is being so well received by fans. His writing influenced me since I was such a fan.  Being a reader I knew what fans want from these books.  I tried to stay true to the characters, such as continuing to write Jack Ryan as a normal American. From having written with Tom, I certainly know the voices of the different characters. Once I began this novel, I told myself not to do anything differently from when we collaborated, except this time, I would be solely taking the entire project all the way through. Working with him gave me the confidence to take this project on, and write an aggressive story. I did create some characters.  For example, the logistics coordinator Adara Sherman was someone who I came up with and expanded her role.”

The storyline includes an attempted assassination of US President Jack Ryan, North Korea attempting to buy ICBM missiles to enhance their nuclear capabilities, rogue FBI agents working with the Koreans, and the murder of a CIA officer in Vietnam. Greaney intertwines these brilliantly and is able to mimic many of the real life situations of this region.  Especially when President Ryan challenges North Korea’s effort to extract trillions of dollars worth of rare minerals that would allow them to buy nuclear weapons and influence.  Readers can connect the fictional Choi Ji-Hoon with the real-life ruler, Kim Jong-Un, including the actions taken against his uncle. The storyline is insightful and relevant considering North Korea was in the headlines with the hacking of the Sony Corporation.  Putnam and Greaney might be wary or they too might end up in the crosshairs.

Greaney commented, “When I was up in New York this summer people said they would not be surprised if North Korea came back into the headlines.  I do not think anyone could imagine the magnitude of what they did.  There is a small coincidence.  Columbia Pictures, a part of Sony, is developing a film based on my own first book, The Gray Man. Some of the hacked emails were from the directors assigned to my film.  The comic world websites recognized that my directors are also the directors of “Captain America” and “The Avengers” movies.  They briefly spoke about The Gray Man in their hacked emails.”

Full Force And Effect shows that Greaney can carry the torch of Clancy’s books.  Readers should be happy that he was contracted to continue writing this marvelous series, especially since Jack Ryan Sr. and his supporting cast are allowed to continue to battle the evil powers that exist around the world.

He also gave a heads up about his next books.  The Clancy book will be out next Christmas and might continue the plot of Command Authority, where Russia and Putin will be highlighted as a major threat.  He is also writing the fifth book of his own The Gray Man series, about an operative burned by the CIA.