Top positive review
"Point of Contact;" Excellent Action-Adventure, Though Not Up to Tom Clancy Standards; Enjoyed the Audible Version Immensely
Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2017
FIRST POINTS FIRST
If you are a Clancy fan, you probably aren’t reading this review. If you are, though, you will likely enjoy the novel despite the fact that this author, good as he is, is no Tom Clancy.
*** LANGUAGE ***
As with most books these days, there are plenty of f-words.
WHY I DECIDED TO READ THIS BOOK:
I enjoy the franchise that Tom Clancy carved out with Jack Ryan. Jack Ryan Jr. is a chip off the old block and this is the first book in the series authored by Mike Maden.
The first thing you are advised to do is to not expect it to be on par with Tom Clancy. In fact, I think this would have been better if it had not been based on the franchise, but that’s just my opinion.
ESSENTIALS OF A NOVEL
ONE: The characters feel authentic. By this, I mean the dialogue feels real. Yet, the basis upon which this novel is written feels far too unauthentic, but that is only a minor issue. I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy this Action Adventure, which is what fiction is all about.
TWO: I try to be especially aware of any cliffhanger endings.
THREE: Yes, the opening sequence is riveting.
Q - How was this book obtained?
A – Bought on Amazon and on Audible.
Q - Are there a lot of typos/misspellings, grammatical errors or other editing failures?
A – No.
Q - Is this a fast, easy read or is it more of a leisure read?
Q - My biggest pleasure or disappointment?
A – The action sequences are good, even excellent, but the early chit chat between the two protagonists boss’s comes across as canned and predictable. Once I got beyond that, (to chapter 13), the story improves greatly and is first rate.
To give a feel for the editing, and the style and flow of this work, I am posting a brief excerpt below.
‘…and Dom took to the floor, Amador unrolled the leather pouch on a plastic folding chair standing near the mirrored wall. He removed three knives and carried them carefully to the men, handing one each to Martinez, Dom, and finally Jack.
“These go by many names but most commonly are called karambits. These particular knives I forged myself,” Amador explained.
Jack examined the karambit in his hand. The small knife had a razor-sharp double-edged blade that curved inwardly—almost a semicircle—and ended in a vicious point. The knife fit perfectly in his hand, was well weighted and comfortable in his grip. The form and function reminded Jack of a tiger’s claw.
The karambit also featured a large round steel finger hole on the end of the handle, and the ring hole itself featured a sharp point on the end. Jack followed Martinez’s example and put his index finger through the hole and clutched the curved handle in the palm of his hand.
“This knife is just begging me to use it,” Jack said, twisting his wrist in a circular motion.
Dom agreed. “It’s a nasty piece of business.”
“Ever used one?” Martinez asked.
Dom and Jack shook their heads.
“I’ve seen them before at the knife shop, but they’re so unusual I thought it was a gangster knife or something out of a graphic novel,” Dom said.
Martinez rolled his eyes. “More and more LEOs and service members are picking these up. They come in folders with grippier composite handles and pocket clips for concealed carry.” Martinez held up the blade Amador had given him. He admired the knife in his hand. “Me, I like the traditional ones.”
“Perhaps as you can tell from my accent,” Amador began, “I’m from the Philippines. My culture is a traditional blade culture, and in my country, just about every man on the street carries a knife. Sometimes like the one you hold in your hand.”
Amador paused as the others examined their blades again.
He continued. “Many of our fighting arts, like Kali, are all about the blade, especially the knife.” He turned to Jack. “In close-quarters combat, my favorite weapon is a twelve-gauge shotgun if I can get my hands on one.” He smiled.
“Amen, brother,” Martinez said.
Amador held out his palm and Jack carefully handed him the karambit. Amador held it up high. “But if you don’t have a shotgun, a pistol, or even a knife, how do you fight with a man who knows how to use one of these?”
That’s what Jack wanted to know, too. That momentary freeze on the oil rig after the blond killer stabbed him with the knife almost cost him his life and the lives of his team members. He was still dealing with the idea that she had fooled him, but he also needed to make sure that he was better prepared for fighting with blades.
“There are many techniques for fighting with a knife, and many techniques for defending against one.” Amador touched the side of his head. “But there is one basic idea that you must master before any of those techniques make sense. That is why I have come today.”
Jack exchanged a look with Dom. This is going to be an interesting day.
“Let’s start with the basics, okay? Because if you want to fight with the blade or against it, you must first understand the blade,” Amador said.
“Is that the idea we must master?” Jack said.
Amador shook his head. “No.” He lifted the knife up high so everyone could see it. He touched the various parts of the karambit as he spoke.
“What advantage does a knife give in combat?
Maden, Mike. Tom Clancy Point of Contact (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel) (pp. 35-37). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
I’m the first to admit that, had this not been shown as a Tom Clancy novel, I might have passed on it. Still, this is a terrific novel when it is rated on its own merits, presuming some name changes and so forth. Even so, it is a very good read. Oh, and I heartily recommend the audible version, as the narrator does a good job.
Four stars out of five.
Comments regarding your opinion of this book or of my review, whether favorable or unfavorable, are always welcome. If you buy the book based on my review and become disappointed, especially, I do want to know that and I want to understand how I can improve as a book reviewer. Just please be polite.