I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I first discovered Tom Clancy's writing in high school, when a friend gave me his paperback copy of The Hunt for Red October to read. In spite of the fact that I damn near needed a spreadsheet to keep track of all the US ships and submarines, the USSR's ships and submarines, and all the sailors on them, I stuck it out and became absolutely absorbed in the book. It was a thrill ride, but that's about all it was for me.
I was one of those teenagers: relatively privileged, well-educated and oh my, opinionated. I knew how it should all work; all you had to do was ask me. Then at some point between high school and university, I picked up Patriot Games and it quite frankly changed the way I viewed the world. Clancy was able to let me into the heads of terrorists (Irish, in this case) and the government officials that chased them. He was able to show me through the power of prose, in a way I don't think any teacher or professor would have ever been able to do, that nothing is black and white. The motivations of people both good and bad are layered and complicated.
Suffice it to say that I became a fan; I devoured everything in the Jack Ryan series and a couple of his non-fiction books. Yes, I did – and for the most part still do – share his political leanings (to a point) but most of all for me? These books were my version of genre fantasy. The kind of fantasy where the genuinely good guys always triumph, the bad guys always receive swift and deadly justice and the politicians are left looking like the narcissistic asshats most of them are.
The realisation that these books are my version of fantasy came to me just recently, as I suddenly felt like re-reading The Teeth of the Tiger and found myself comparing it to Anne Bishop's Written in Red and Murder of Crows. Unorthodox comparison, yes, but both appealed to me for similar reasons.
Teeth of the Tiger is the ultimate fantasy; turning the tables on the terrorists and using their own tactics against them. What could you accomplish if incorruptible men had a license to hunt terrorists, unlimited funds and no government oversight? Fantasy, indeed.
I've read Teeth of the Tiger several times and truthfully, it's a 4 star rating from me because of my love of the characters and the series as a whole. This book feels like it's more about being a mouthpiece for Clancy's personal views than a good story. Yes, all of his books are mouthpieces, more or less, but this one is more soap box-y than most. Still a ripping good story, but I found myself skimming a lot of the internal dialogue and not a few sections of actual conversation between characters. If I'd been reading this for the first time, I'd probably give it more of a 3 star rating.
I forgot it ends not on a cliffhanger, exactly, but the reader is definitely left hanging to a degree, so now I'm re-reading Dead or Alive.