Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People's Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China's ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missiles endanger the US Navy's plans to protect the island. Meanwhile, Chinese cyber warfare experts have launched a devastating attack on American infrastructure. It's a new combat arena, but it's every bit as deadly as any that has gone before. Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus may be just the wild card that his father needs to stack the deck. There's just one problem: someone knows about the off-the-books intelligence agency and threatens to blow their cover sky high.
I am an extremely fast reader, but I took my time with this one, about 20 hours spread over 5 days. I needed that long to take everything in and overall I really enjoyed this book. I have missed Sr., he is what got me into this series, and it is hard switching over to Jr. or at least it was.
Jr is maturing and becoming smarter. I was 16 when I started reading with Patriot Games and then I read every single book. I became disenfranchised when we got Red Rabbit in 02. Then we got Jr and Dom and it took me awhile to warm up to them, they seemed to young and naive. Now the new had rubbed off and they are good agents. The action was fairly non stop in this, there was something going all the time.
I loved being walked through the cyber element as I am interested in it, but don't know a ton. It was well laid out so you could follow it. I also liked the way all the story lines intersected.
This is a good book and I am looking forward to the next one. I will re-read this, but it is not a FAVORITE of the series. My go to TC books that I re-read all the time are: Patriot Games, Sum of All Fears, Debt of Honor and Executive Orders and Rainbow Six.
Based on the way the characters are developing I think the next one could be a 5 plus star. The last few books have been more plot driven and this one was to a large extent, but there was also some good character development, which are the books I prefer. I hope as Jack Jr gets older his character will be more developed and he will be more interesting.
I think the hardest part for me in this book is to realize the characters I grew up loving are now senior citizens :(. John is repeatedly referred to as old, and you get that impression with SR too. It was kind of depressing. Ding is in his 40's - wow!
If you are a Tom Clancy fan you should like this book. I think this book could be read with out all the back history, although that and all the interlocking relationships make it better, you can still come into it without that. If anything it will make you want to go back and read earlier works.
Generally, with Threat Vector you will get everything that you would expect from a Clancy novel. As usual, there is the conflict between two superpowers, the involvement of the Russians, and a lot of background on military tactics and data. To my mind, however, this novel does not quite live up to the quality of former novels in the Jack Ryan series as I found some parts to be quite tedious and just read along to get to more thrilling parts. Still, the topic of cyberwarfare and the consequences of an ever-growing importance of modern technology makes this book quite interesting to read. As always, I think Clancy could have done with less pages. On the whole, 3 stars.