Tom Clancy Month #4: Debt of Honor, Executive Orders

Debt of Honor

Debt of Honor by Tom Clancy is a fictional novel, based on a Japanese invasion of America. The story evolves through the eyes of Jack Ryan, who is the National Security Advisor to the president of the USA. The island of Japan has risen in power and wants to challenge the US. Japan chalks out a series of plans, crippling the military assets and orchestrating a crash in the American stock market. Jack Ryan guides the US back to dominance with a series of nerve-wracking decisions. The seventh book in the Jack Ryan series, it has the power to keep the adrenalin flowing.

The book is a masterpiece on leadership qualities and no one better suits the role than the dynamic and witty Jack Ryan. High profile diplomatic negotiations, the thrill of nations going to war, the rise of nationalism and dramatic political events, make this an action-packed novel, till the very end. The action moves fast and the whole story is sliced well into meaningful chapters. Coherent and easy to read, it is a nice addition to the “Fictional War” genre.

Tom Clancy has developed a unique niche in describing the technical aspects of the machines of war, like bombers, submarines, missiles, aircraft carriers etc. The book is filled with these mean machines of war, which adds volume to the plot.

However, it becomes a bit stereotypical and racist at times. Japan is shown as an unstable, rogue nation expounding with nationalism. The plot is filled with some far-fetched sub-plots, that makes gives it an unrealistic feel. But if you can ignore these minor things, and read it with an open mind you are bound to fall in love with this book. Give it a try, without fail, if the genre of war excites you.

Book Title – Executive Orders

The eighth child of the Jack Ryan series, Executive Orders has touched a new high, yet dipped a new low. The plot continues off from where the last book ended. A Japanese pilot crashed a Jumbo jet into the Capitol, killing almost all members of the Supreme Court and the Congress .Jack Ryan is the only person capable enough to take on the role of the President of the USA, in such a dark time. Meanwhile, in the Middle East Iran has invaded Iraq and plans to invade the oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Although a fiction, the plot has shifted a little too much, over to the fantasy side. It seems the degree of realism is touching new lows with each new novel in the series. The same clichés still exist and there are only a few new styles to expect, in this 1300+ page novel.

But, within the realm of being a classic Tom Clancy novel, this is a true pinnacle. Peerless for the aura it creates, Executive Orders has the right balance of intriguing politics, military actions, and intelligent mind games. It is wrapped in a shawl of enjoyable complexity, yet remains simple in narration; a perfect signature of Clancy that earned him such a great fan base with enduring loyalty.

If you are new to the Jack Ryan series, read the earlier ones first, as this novel can be a spoiler to earlier ones. Moreover, to truly enjoy this amazing novel, you need to know the personality of Jack Ryan built throughout the series.


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