Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review of "Tom Clancy: Power and Empire," by Marc Cameron

Review of

Tom Clancy: Power and Empire, by Marc Cameron ISBN 9780735215894

Five out of five stars

 There are two largely distinct threads in this novel featuring Jack Ryan Senior as President of the United States and Jack Ryan Junior as a major player in the shadowy special ops realm. The first is based on a major power play unfolding within the leadership of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the second is based on a shadowy network of human traffickers that prey on early teen girls from Central America.

 A faction of the PRC leadership engages in a series of terrorist style actions that are seemingly easily traced to the current PRC leader; a man named Zhao. They are designed to push the PRC and the United States under the leadership of Jack Ryan to the brink of war. The faction demonstrates that they are completely ruthless in the achievement of their goals.

 The network of human traffickers are even more ruthless, they use agents to acquire girls in their early teens by making the usual promises of a better life via high-paying work. Sometimes, their parents simply sell the girl. The work they do in the United States results in a lot of money changing hands, but as a beaten and terrified sex worker, they get nothing. One of the traffickers is a man that conducts an online auction of the girls and if they do not bring enough money, they are the “star” of a film where they are brutally and slowly killed.

 The action and dialog is complicated and fast, and the two threads do have some intersection, although most of the players are isolated on their track. Of the two threads, the one about human trafficking is the most engaging, largely because it is based on the most truth. The high promises used to lure girls out of their misery of poverty is a real thing, as is the reality of where so many end up. Even those that survive long enough to get out of their situation are generally broken and no better off than if they had never left their childhood location.

 This is a book worthy of the Tom Clancy genre; it keeps your attention and I never really put it down. It fell out of my hands when I fell asleep while reading it.

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