Monday, November 20, 2023

[Review] — "Tom Clancy's Weapons Grade" is a Thrill-a-Minute Read

The most recent Jack Ryan Jr. thriller, Tom Clancy's Weapons Grade, illustrates the terrifying possibilities of technological hacking. Author Don Bentley explores "what" may occur if the wrong kind of technology falls into the hands of pure evil through the deployment of observation balloons and the advancement of unmanned supersonic bombers.

This time, the prose feels more like Lee Child and less like Tom Clancy. In a way, Jack Ryan Jr. feels a little too similar to Jack Reacher. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy the Jack Reacher novels, but Jack Ryan Jr. should not be portraying Reacher. I wonder whether the Bentley was under a time constraint to complete Weapons Grade

For those interested, the storyline is as follows: Jack Ryan, Jr., is sent on a course toward global devastation following the aftermath of a startling crime. The noises of screeching brakes, crumpling metal, and—most terrifying of all—rapid shooting break the serenity of a Texas night. What Jack Ryan Jr. believed to be a car crash was a professional hit. Even though it might be too late to help the victim, he will not stand by and allow the perpetrators to get away with their crimes. 

Jack finds himself entangled in the cold case of a college student and the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town. There are only a few questions left for Jack. Who wants to believe that the victim was intoxicated? Why would someone want to murder a defenseless witness? Most importantly, what is the purpose of a group of hitmen from South Africa in the Lone Star State? Jack's search for answers may endanger his life, leading him from a peaceful Texas road into the center of a global conspiracy.

Tom Clancy's Weapons Grade—available to buy on *Hardcover and *Kindle (* paid link)—had enough substance to keep me turning pages, even if it's not quite as captivating as the previous Jack Ryan Jr. adventure, Flash Point. The novel has two plots that come together at the conclusion. Even if I, as a reader, don't always require explanations, story aspects could've been resolved more effectively.

Call it what you will: exciting, captivating, and amusing. Despite a few issues, Tom Clancy's Weapons Grade is a thrill-a-minute read. ╌★★★★✰

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