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Tom Clancy s newest novel set in the Ryanverse (the Jack Ryan universe) is a departure from each of the preceding novels. The difference is that the focus is no longer on Jack Ryan or John Clark. When we last saw Jack Ryan in The Bear and the Dragon , he was the President of the United States. Jack Ryan is no longer President, though it is not clear if he served out his term or if he resigned after the murder of his best friend, Vice President Robbie Jackson (I am assuming you have read the previous novels, if not, I apologize for that spoiler). John Clark is still the head of the Rainbow anti-terrorism group, which is as much as The Teeth of the Tiger tells us about Clark. Jack Ryan does not appear in this novel, but rather he is only referred to. The same goes for John Clark. The focus of this novel is on three men. Two men are brothers, Dominic and Brian Caruso, nephews of Jack Ryan. The other man is Jack Ryan, Jr, the son of the former president.

There is an organization known only as The Campus . The Campus is a secret organization set up by former President Ryan with the purpose of countering terrorism. The Campus is authorized to take the initiative to act against terrorists without the oversight of Congress or the government. Officially, the Campus does not exist. There are covert CIA operations that are considered black operations that do not officially exist but still exist in the framework of the CIA. The Campus does not exist. There is no government funding or unofficial acceptance, and only a small handful of people outside The Campus know that it exists.

The Campus is recruiting new operatives. The Caruso twins are from the FBI and the Marines and are rising stars in their respective jobs. The Campus recruits them, and trains them, and though they still officially work for the FBI and the Marine Corps, they have a new role in defending America from its enemies. Jack Ryan, Jr has recruited himself when he figures out the Campus is something other than what it seems and he is hired as an analyst (similar to what Jack Ryan, Sr s role was for the CIA, only lower ranking).

While Clancy spends time establishing the Campus and our new protagonists, he also builds the actions of the potential terrorists, setting up their large scale attack (exactly what it is, I will not spoil). While Clancy tends to present things as a case of black and white, good guys and bad guys, he does a good job of establishing what is going to happen even as he uses an abundance of detail. As the time gets closer to the event, Clancy s writing seems to speed up with shorter sections in each chapter with snippets revealing events unfolding. The second half of the novel is the reaction to the event.

There is good, and there is bad in this novel. I felt that one particular section involved large scale coincidence, but other than that, I was okay with what all went down. Clancy builds us up, releases with some action (making this book so much more satisfying than Red Rabbit ), and continues with the novel. I understand that Tom Clancy admitted in an interview that he was only going to write two more novels in the Ryanverse. Red Rabbit was the first (the interview was before the publication of Red Rabbit ), and that would make The Teeth of the Tiger the last Ryanverse novel. The problem with that is that this book felt like a bit of setup for future novels featuring Jack Ryan, Jr, and the Caruso twins. There is also still room in the universe for another book, perhaps featuring Ding Chavez. The only problem with this is that The Teeth of the Tiger is presumably set either in the present day, or somewhat in the future. Clancy would have to slow down his pace of writing if he intends to keep novels in the present or just in the future, otherwise he will then enter into a speculative future if he continues the series with an aging Jack Ryan, Jr.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed this book much more than Red Rabbit, and I appreciated that it was a slimmer volume (after the thousand page Bear and the Dragon ) for a change. There was less depth in this book, but it was an entertaining read and a nice return to quality for Tom Clancy. I can only hope that he continues with this series and finishes his return to form.

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I agree. I am a huge TC fan and love Jack Ryan. I just wish there were more on John Kelly/Clark. He is my favorite character of the series.
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It looks like I will have to pick up that book with my gift card from Barnes and Nobles this weekend!

Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler and Stepehen King are tied at the top as my favorite authors.
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