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January 1, 2021

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan is Back in Marc Cameron's SHADOW OF THE DRAGON

by Donna Huber


When I finished college I no longer knew what I liked to read. What I had read as a young adult in high school no longer held my interest and the only reading I did in college was classics and academic reading. So I browsed the bookshelves in my parents' house and I came across Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series. I had seen the movies - The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Executive Orders - so I picked up Cardinal in the Kremlin and fell in love with Cold War-era espionage. I read every book I could find and eagerly awaited new books in the series. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Shadow of the Dragon
November 2020; G.P. Putnam's Sons; 978-0593188095
audio, ebook, print (512 pages); thriller
Then Clancy died and I moved on from the series. However, I recently started going through the audiobooks by the authors who have taken up the reins. They mostly focus on the next generation - Jack Jr and the team from The Campus. Jack Sr. would make an appearance usually; after all, he is the president and the father of Jack Jr. And as the spy trade has changed - now more focused on cyberspying and financial tracking - the stories haven't held quite the same level of interest to me.

Yet, when I saw Shadow of the Dragon, I couldn't pass it up. And I'm glad I didn't. One, it was great to read a Jack Ryan book again (as opposed to listening to the audiobook). Two, Jack Sr. has a bigger role in this book than I've seen lately. John Clark is also pretty prominently featured and not just as a trainer or administrator of The Campus. Three, the plot has the flavor of the old-fashion spycraft. 

As some of the old faces are brought to the forefront there are the inevitable moments of nostalgia. There are also subtle nods to the stories during Jack Sr's time with the CIA. As a long time fan of the series, I loved this little sprinkling of parallels. For example, there is a possible foreign submarine disabled under the ice near Alaska. While there might not be a CARDINAL in the Kremlin, there is a VICAR in Russia.

I loved seeing all the different plot threads coming together. Shadow of the Dragon is such a fun story and I couldn't wait to sit down with it each day. Log-time fans won't be disappointed and new readers can easily pick up the book without having read any of the others.

Buy Shadow of the Dragon at Amazon
 
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.



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