Sojourner's Reviews > Command Authority

Command Authority by Tom Clancy
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it was amazing
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Jack Ryan, a former CIA agent, is now into his second term as the president of United States. His son, Jack Ryan Jr. is in England working as a financial analyst. When Russia seized the oil company of a Scottish billionaire on account of non-payment of taxes, Jack Jr. knew that something fishy was going on. Though advised not to pursue the matter, Jack Jr. decides to investigate and get to the bottom of it.

During a luncheon with President Ryan, a Russian friend and former FSB agent is poisoned by a radioactive agent. Though a clear set up, Russia accused the CIA’s hand in the poisoning and started rolling its war tanks and planes. When NATO forces foiled Russia’s bid to conquer Estonia, Russia turned south to the Ukraine and the autonomous territory of Crimea, with the plan to go as far as Kiev. Valeri Volodin, the Russian president is determined to restore the past glory of the nation, and put Russia in the forefront of the nations of the world. The Russian president wields enormous clout and is bent on upstaging the United States. With the money earned from gas and oil export being funneled into various shady organizations, he is also keen to steer Russia back to the Old Way. Roman Talanov, the head of the Russian secret service FSB, is the right-hand man of President Valeri. They are determined to establish Russian hegemony in the region.

President Ryan knows that the US cannot intervene as Ukraine is not a NATO member. And Russia would face little opposition from the small Ukrainian forces. He must find a way to stop the Russian invasion, and time is running out. In the course of his investigation Jack Jr. stumbles onto a decades old case. It was a case President Ryan investigated thirty years ago when he was a CIA operative in London. It is a startling connection, a case that involves a KGB assassin, code-named Zenith. Jack Jr. is determined to unearth the mystery as it will enable President Ryan to counter President Valeri Volodin, without resorting to violent means avoiding a global conflict.

Command Authority by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney is a full-throttle all-action political adventure-thriller which is highly entertaining. It commands your attention, and though you have an idea of how it is going to end you keep on holding tight. Clancy, in a way, is brutal with his characters. He is not afraid to toss them out, however important they may be, except Ryan. His creativity is quite a marvel. One of the most important factors that contributed to the success of his books is his painstaking and meticulous research of his subjects. His attention to details, which are without errors, is impeccable. His characters are well defined, the actions thick and fast and the dialogues engaging. Clancy has managed to reach out to all strata of society with his brand of books.


It is hard to imagine that we will no more read from Tom Clancy, who died Tuesday, October 1, 2013 of an undisclosed illness in his hometown of Baltimore. Command Authority, which you are holding in your hands, is his last gift to us his devoted fans worldwide. His untimely demise is an irreparable loss. He will be missed!

His rise to fame was not an easy one. It was a path strewn with obstacles and rejections. Yet, he rose like the proverbial phoenix, shining brightly among the stars to become one among the few to hit #1 with all his 17 books on the New York Times bestseller list.

Yet, when it all began in 1984, Clancy couldn’t find any established publisher. He had to settle for the small and hitherto unknown Naval Institute Press to publish his cold war thriller “The Hunt For Red October,” which was the first fiction they published. He was paid a meager $5000 for the book. Clancy’s gripping plot and mastery of technical details made it a massive bestseller. It was made into a smash hit movie starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. He went on to write 17 others, several of which were also made into blockbuster movies.

Tom Clancy may be no more but he will continue to live on through the characters he created, especially Jack Ryan, and the books he wrote. He gave the world a genre called techno-thriller, of which he was the undisputed king, and his name will live on as long as the genre lives.

It is difficult to say goodbye to someone who gave you so much thrill and entertainment for the past nearly-thirty years. But it must be said! Goodbye, and adieu – Thomas Leo “Tom” Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) R.I.P.
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Reading Progress

November 23, 2013 – Shelved
November 27, 2013 – Started Reading
December 3, 2013 – Finished Reading

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