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Sting of the Drone

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  360 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
In Washington, the Kill Committee gathers in the White House's Situation Room topick the next targets for the United States drone program.At an airbase just outside Las Vegas, a team of pilots, military personneland intelligence officers follow through on the committee's orders, finding the menwho have been deemed a threat to national security and sentenced to death. On th ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
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This book featured some very intelligent insight on drones and the current state of military warfare and politics, and seemed to be fairly balanced in its assertions, and I would recommend it for those interested in these current events hot-button topics. But as a fictional thriller, this fell a bit flat, as the characters were not developed well enough for me to fully connect with them.

This novel did have a very funny segment relating to nicknames, acronyms and government public messaging:
May 05, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
I won a copy of "Sting of the Drone" by Richard A. Clarke through the Goodreads Giveaway Contest. This novel is a piece of fiction that looks at of the use of remotely-piloted aircraft, or "Drones", as a way to eliminate potential terrorists around the world, told in a story setting. The characters, and plot seem to exist in order to show the author's extensive knowledge of this topic. As there are arguments in favor of and against this program, Clarke lets us form our own opinion.

Americans are
Jennifer Boyce
May 20, 2014 Jennifer Boyce rated it really liked it
This book, while dealing with an important issue, is also a great, action-packed thriller.

The plot of this book is really great. The story revolves around multiple sub-plots that all come together at the very end. This book kept me on the edge of my seat right up until the very end, waiting to see what would happen next.

This book deals with the issue of drones, although at times it is hard to tell whether the author is in support of drones or not. Sting of the Drone presents the issue from both
Carlo Ruggiero
Apr 16, 2014 Carlo Ruggiero rated it liked it
Received an Advanced Reader's Edition through GoodReads Giveaways and the generosity of St. Martin's Press.

In case anyone from the publisher is checking the reviews, I found a few glaring typos - one on the dedication page ("Dedicated too"); the other on page 77 ("I am pleased toady," instead of today).

I am familiar with Richard Clarke through the reading of CyberWar: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It - a rather scary account of how unprepared the United States seems
Sep 01, 2014 Tim rated it liked it
After providing an entertaining read throughout, Richard Clarke blows the ending by letting his paranoia wastefully knock off the main characters. Its a shame because he didn't need to do that to prove his point that drones are a necessary evil for destroying terrorists. 6 of 10 stars
Apr 09, 2016 Akosei rated it really liked it
Great book! The pacing was good, the plot was interesting and the technical descriptions were great without being overwhelming. Plus it really made me think about drones in a different way and that was good too.

The action/political/thriller genre is one of my favorites. Despite that I was prepared to feel a little disturbed by the book because I have a negative view of drones. Turns out, I was disturbed by finding myself cheering for drone success! Clarke did a very good job of including various
Chris  Carroll
I leaked my little secret about these types of books a few months ago and when I opened the package and saw this title in there, my heart started pounding. I have heard of Richard A. Clarke but had never had the opportunity to read one of his books prior to this. With his background in governmental service, I knew that this book would be realistic and exciting to listen to. I was not disappointed.

The author tells a tale based on the US drone program. What is truth and what is fiction is anyone’s
Nicolas Carrillo
Sep 08, 2014 Nicolas Carrillo rated it it was amazing
The book entitled Sting of the Drone, written by Richard A. Clarke, may belong to the category of fiction, but deals with a topic that has been widely discussed in academic, legal and military circles for the last years given its impact and relevance: that of unmanned air vehicles used in operations that involve the use of force. As an international law scholar, I must confess that I find the format very appropriate and welcome, because purely legal texts, given their abstraction and theoretical ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Jack rated it really liked it
...although a fiction novel, "Sting of the Drone" is based upon the modern day use of drone warfare. As a novel, it could use some improvement. The characters are never quite fleshed out, and most are broad-strokes. For example, Bruce Duggan is primarily there to represent the media. It frequently jumps around and never spends enough time at one particular area, other than perhaps Creech Air Force Base in Nevada where the book frequently returns to, to develop the locale's atmosphere and ambienc ...more
Russell Atkinson
Jun 17, 2014 Russell Atkinson rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I gave 5 stars to a book, but this one had me eager to turn the next page all the way through. As the title and reviews indicate, it is themed entirely on drones, in particular, military drones, although a few civilian ones play a role.

Of course, drones are a controversial topic, with objectors conjuring up visions of Big Brother and an oppressive surveillance society, while supporters, apparently including the author, are glad the U.S. finally has an effective weapon
Marilyn Rondeau
May 31, 2014 Marilyn Rondeau rated it it was amazing
There resides in Washington a Kill Committee which gathers in the White House’s Situation room whose job it is to pick out targets for the United States drone program. The pilots who control these drones along with military and intelligence officers reside at an airbase just outside of Las Vegas who act on the orders that come down from Washington.

Somewhere in Eastern Europe in the mountains where the drones find and bring death to their prey, is an enemy that is planning to fight back. Not jus
Maurynne  Maxwell
May 13, 2014 Maurynne Maxwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: are
Worth the Buzz

Sting of the Drone presents an insider’s view of the Predator program, politics, procedure, and philosophy, all while laying out a scenario that puts our heroes not just trying to prevent another 9/11, but trying to figure out if one is planned. Kinda like reality, really. The Cold War has morphed into the War on Terror—attempting to bring the age of Remote War—through technology like drones. But Mr. Clarke shows us that war does not remain remote—that short of genocide, the reason
May 12, 2014 SarahSmith rated it liked it
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

First off I have to say this story had so much promise and I was very interested to read it. I have heard great things about Richard A. Clarke, even though I have not yet read anything by him, and was very eager to read one of his works. That said I can only give this 3 stars (2.5 if this was allowed). The idea of the story was very interesting and relevant and hooked me from the excerpt, unfortunately the narrative style and
May 06, 2014 Debbi rated it really liked it
Richard A. Clarke's new book Sting of the Drones is an eye opening, thought provoking, scary read!

Imagine the US drone program, chugging away day after day, targeting bad guys around the world who want t hard Americans. Imagine the difficult decisions those running the program need to make, and the guilt when innocents are injured or killed. Now image that the bad guys start to fight back....

Sting of the Drone takes you inside the command centers, next to the pilots who fly the drones and the fo
I most especially liked this fictionalized account of the controversial drone program in the fight against global terrorism. Written by an extremely knowledgeable Washington insider Richard A. Clarke, who served in the administrations of three consecutive presidents as Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs, Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace, and National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism. Prior to those positions he held a number of roles in the State D ...more
Richard A Clarke has written a dandy novel that describes the inside happenings of the US Drone program.

The drones have had such success against the terrorists and Arabs planning attacks that a meeting is called. It is with the Qazzani Cartel and their leader. They want to strike back and devise a plan where bombs would be placed in US cities, in addition, there would be a team to attack drone pilots and destroy drones one the ground.

Clarke details the successes of the drones but also describes
Jul 02, 2014 Vicki rated it liked it

Fiction with the feel of reality is what Richard A. Clarke delivers with Sting of the Drone. His pre-author background is all about government service, including stints in Security and Counter-Terrorism, so his plot and character development seem to have a ring of truth pretty closely intertwined with his imagination.

The plot of this fast moving thriller presents the US federal government, multiple agencies and acronyms abounding, as the good guys working to decide who they are justified in "tak
Vicky Hunt
May 11, 2015 Vicky Hunt rated it liked it
A difficult to review book, because it is the type of novel that deals with a "zero day" topic and therefore is composed of an argument built around the skeleton of a plot... or perhaps it's a plot built around a skeleton of an argument. Either way, you get the point. I've gotten the feeling with some spiritual novels for example, that the author was "preaching" rather than telling a story. Sometimes that can be interesting, but usually the story should do the talking. In this book, the plot cov ...more
May 25, 2014 Christian rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I won this copy through Goodreads giveaways but would most likely have bought it anyway.
I typically enjoy Richard A. clarke's technology thrillers for the very simple reason that next to a well written fictional plot, he infuses the text with sufficient technical information to offer plenty of food for thought.

this time we follow the dealings of the US drone attack group, the process on how targets are chosen and how little regard niceties such as international law play part in this decision pro
War, whether battled behind closed doors, on the ground or from unmanned drones, terrorism, the ultimate weapon against the United States. What happens when terrorists fight back against one of America’s most advanced weapons? Told from the seasoned and wizened eye of a governmental insider, Sting of the Drone tells of a realistic, yet fictional inside look at the people responsible for the power and might of the Drone program when the enemy decides to fight back, through death and treachery des ...more
Jenn S.
Jun 28, 2014 Jenn S. rated it it was ok
Shelves: review-requested
I read the first couple chapters before i decided this was definitely going to be a DNF book, so I passed it along to a good friend who loves this sort of book. Here is what he had to say: "I was less than even mildly pleased while reading this book. I found it difficult to believe the author is knowledgable concerning the military. The writing is pretty basic for the most part so nearly any reader could understand the words. People do not have conversations so simple. They read like a children' ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Mei rated it it was ok
Reading this felt like watching television -- entertaining and informative but, compared to spy novels by Ken Follett, not deeply engaging. The chapters are very short and the narrative style is simple. Worthwhile if you're in the mood for action/thriller and a breezy read.
Fast paced, all-too-real fight against terrorism. Very relevant.>
This book threw me into the thick of the drama at the very beginning. A high velocity thriller with all the technology anyone could hope for, especially if they don't like someone! This is the world of Drones. I had no idea there were so many sizes, types, outfitted, unarmed drones nor how connected they were to space. If we thought our skies were getting crowded, just imagine this mostly-invisible and sometimes disguised fleet
Eric Orkin
Jun 04, 2014 Eric Orkin rated it really liked it
Clarke does a terrific job weaving a fast-moving story together with a discussion of the moral ambiguities of drone use. Without my taking a stand in a book review, suffice it to say that Clarke gives you a lot to chew on. My major criticism is the overuse of characters holding forth to lay out one side or another of an argument. It is like one frequently encounters in books that are weaving together a fictional story with very real and current issues.

That being said, I never lost interest and h
Apr 29, 2014 Snik rated it really liked it
I received a physical Advance Readers’ Edition of this book for free on LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

Implementing new technology, especially that of a controversial nature, can be very tricky. People often do not understand the whole picture when they form opinions and make decisions about the technology. Even if those in power understand the whole picture, the “best” or “right” thing to do is not necessarily an easy, clear-cut decision, particularly when ethics are a factor. Pl
John Johnstone
May 19, 2014 John Johnstone rated it really liked it
We have all seen the news footage of the strikes against the terrorist Taliban but don't really know much more. Richard A Clarke brings a thrilling and frightening clarity to the drone operations of the US Government. He details the fight against the terrorists in many guises, and how the programme has to continually evolve to stay ahead of the continually evolving terror groups. Using his extensive knowledge the author leads us through the policy, the procedures and reality of operating remotel ...more
Jay Williams
May 13, 2014 Jay Williams rated it it was amazing
A great spy thriller enmeshed into the latest technology, Sting of the Drone had me emotionally hooked after 6 pages. All of the characters are very real, and remind me so much of people I have known in Government. The story is a chilling reminder of the troubled times we are living in, and sparks concerns well beyond the immediate story. I have seldom had a book keep coming back into mind after I put it down as this one has. The advanced technical features of modern warfare mix with the all-too ...more
Apr 19, 2015 VLT rated it liked it
Not brilliant writing, but an interesting window into the world of drones written by a guy who was on the inside for a long time...
James Korsmo
May 16, 2014 James Korsmo rated it liked it
Richard Clarke is uniquely positioned to really understand the ever-increasing use of unmanned areal vehicles in espionage and war. They are a remarkable technology filled with promise, but that amazing potential also brings with it a lot of questions about how and when drones should be used, and also the unintended costs of this type of warfare may entail. In The Sting of the Drone, Clarke confronts all of these questions head on through a fictional tale of US drone warfare. We are taken into t ...more
Ned Frederick
Jun 28, 2014 Ned Frederick rated it really liked it
What saves this book from B-grade thriller status is the drones. In all their variations with an unheard of ( to me anyhow) array of sensors and weapons they take on Clancy-esque character status, projecting a powerful presence. I also liked the way Clarke was able to lay out the ethical and geopolitical dilemmas of drone use without getting preachy. There are no easy solutions to these dilemmas and seemingly no way to step back from their escalating use without putting our security at risk. And ...more
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Richard Alan Clarke was a U.S. government employee for 30 years, 1973–2003. He worked for the State Department during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to chair the Counter-terrorism Security Group and to a seat on the United States National Security Council. President Bill Clinton retained Clarke and in 1998 promoted him to be the National Coordina ...more
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