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Reading the Tom Clancy books in order always brings confusions to many people because, while there are several different series in the Tom Clancy Universe, they are more or less interconnected. For example, in Power and Empire, the president Jack Ryan is present, along with the old John Clark, and the Campus group as well.
So where do you really place this book, because each group had something going on in Power and Empire?
As usual in the Tom Clancy books, here different storylines intersect once again, all leading to a conclusion full of climax.
A Chinese oil tanker, the CGSL Orion, loaded with lots of containers, explodes in the Strait of Juan de Fuca leaving several dead behind and a few survivors, all more or less injured.
Meanwhile, Jack Ryan holds several meetings in the White House, all around the current Chinese president. Jack feels the Chinese president is involved in shady businesses, but he can’t prove any of it. This is quite concerning since the G20 negotiations are to be held quite soon. So the Campus team, along with Jack Ryan Jr heads off into a new mission to discover what is going on.
At the same time, during a routine traffic stop, a young girl is rescued from the inside of a car, and it turns out that she is an underage prostitute held against her will. Not only that, but she claims that she has a flash drive that will be quite beneficial to the police. And, she mentions the name of a friend of hers, who has been taken to another place and is forced to do despicable things. She also drops the name Eddie Feng, who is apparently the owner of said thumb drive.
Soon, everyone is on Feng’s tail, especially when a connection is found between him and the exploding Orion tanker.
Next, we have John Clark who, despite his more advanced age, is still in his prime in doing what he knows to do best: kill and rescue. While he is the leader of the Campus team, in this book he begins his own investigation into the disappearance of the underage girl who was sold into prostitution.
From all the intersecting storylines, the one about John Clark was the best in my opinion. The efficiency with which he tracked down the baddies, worked out the various plans according to what the situations called for, killed those that needed killing, and rescued the girls was phenomenal. I was on the edge of my seat all the time.
When he sneaked into the home of a suspect to find the missing girl, only to be confronted by the heavy-set girlfriend of said guy, the fight that ensued was top notch. Clark has an affinity towards the water lingering from his old days as a Navy SEAL, so he had no troubles when the woman dragged him with her into the swimming pool. He was in his element. This scene was worthy of Tom Clancy’s tradition alone!
I also enjoyed the very human side of Jack Ryan, the president who was shown in his weaker moments as well. He is plagued by plantar fasciitis, a heel pain which hinders him from walking normally. There were some moments at the White House that, despite all the adventures going on all around, still brought me a few chuckled and helped ease that built-up tension. I forgot just how much I missed Jack.
Marc Cameron did his research when it came to the Tom Clancy Universe. He portrayed all the characters in a way that did Tom Clancy’s legacy justice. He was able to filter each character down to their most basic traits. The action was full of suspense, there was not a dull moment in the book, and often I found myself forgetting that this was not a book written by Tom Clancy, but by someone else.
I haven’t read yet a Marc Cameron book, but after Power and Empire, I will pick up his solo work as well.
Tom Clancy Power and Empire by Marc Cameron
Series: Jack Ryan Universe #24
Published by Putnam Adult
Genres: Military Thriller, Spy Thriller, Thriller