If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor... Sep 17, 2007
Even as a new Tom Clancy fan, I was EXTREMELY disappointed in this book. In fact, I fell asleep every time I tried to finish it. As an adventure-suspense-thriller, it is markedly lacking in adventure, suspense and thrills. The biggest moment of suspense is waiting for Jack Ryan to find a decent cup of coffee and the biggest thrill, the crossing of the Yugoslavian border in a shipping crate.
The plot is very straightforward which is the only plus I see in the book. The KGB plans to murder the Pope, which disgusts a communications officer who decides to defect in order to clear his conscience.
My biggest problem with the book is the the fact that it takes so long to tell the story. He makes the mistake of telling the characters repeating thoughts over and over. The characters are generally lacking of any kind of individuality which makes it difficult to differentiate between the characters. In my opinion the book could have been good, and the storyline wasn't bad, but the way the book was written and the length makes reading it a daunting task.