Another turbocharged, take-no-prisoners Ryan yarn.

TOM CLANCY POWER AND EMPIRE

As Cameron grabs the Clancyworld helm (True Faith and Allegiance, 2016, etc. ), Jack Ryan Jr., hero version 2.0, hunts bad guys while his father, Jack Ryan Sr., president of the United States, copes with spillover from nefarious elements within the Chinese government.

Junior’s an analyst for the Campus, a privatized CIA under the umbrella of the financial arbitrage group Hendley Associates. Operations chief John Clark has led his Campus A-team—including Junior, Ding Chavez, and Midas Jankowski—to Dallas to surveil controversial Taiwanese blogger Eddie Feng. Feng has inside dope on Chinese mainland activities, which makes it surprising he’s found in the company of killers from the Sun Ye On triad and Tres Equis cell of the Sinaloa Cartel who are now running a child sex-slavery ring. Concurrently, Ryan Senior is dealing with Chinese president Zhao Chengzhi without realizing Zhao has deadly enemies within his government. Ryans young and old remain commendably heroic, spurred on by new characters like Kelsey Callahan, the female FBI agent in charge of crimes against children, who “sometimes [feels] like a typist with a Glock”; Monzaki Yukiko, a female Japanese covert agent; and Magdalena Rojas, an indomitable Costa Rican teen sold into prostitution by her mother. The book has a hard-charging, straight-as-a-desert-road plot sans twists or turns, with minimal character development to obscure 500 pages of action ranging from pirates targeting yachts to armed smack downs of pimp hideaways from Texas to Argentina to Tokyo, among other locales. Cameron, a former SWAT officer and U.S. marshal specializing in "dignitary protection," enters Clancyworld with the chops to allow the formidable Clark and the president-we-wish-we-had Ryan to save the world once again.

Another turbocharged, take-no-prisoners Ryan yarn.

Pub Date: Nov. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7352-1589-4

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 47

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more