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📚🚁 Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley

Not a Book Report

I enjoy reflecting on the movies, TV, books and other media that I consume. I’m notoriously sentimental. This series documents the books that I read. These aren’t reviews or recommendations. Just a list. For me. Mostly so that I can page through what I read, where I was, and when.

Why did I read it?

One of the longest flights that you can take inside of Europe is the direct between Lisbon and Stockholm. The flight clocks in at a little over four hours. While this would be mundane for most Americans, within Europe this is long haul.

However, because flights inside of Europe tend to be so short the planes still lack many of the same amenities as the domestic fleet inside of the US. They don’t have TVs, leg space is tight, and most dreadful of all - they lack Internet connectivity. This is all fine if you are flying for 45 minutes between Lisbon and Madrid, but rough for four hours.

I was visiting my parents in Stockholm a couple weeks ago (they were touring the Nordics for the first time) and on the way to the Stockholm airport I dropped into the book store at the central train station to grab something to fill the time. I found a Tom Clancy book and nearly finished it on the plan.

I love Tom Clancy books and think they do not deserve the shade that is thrown their way. Tom Clancy books show up and play exactly the part that you expect of them. They are fun, they are fast, they are filled with geeky detail about military tactics and technology that intrigue keyboard warriors like me.

They also aren’t really “Tom Clancy” books - he passed away and the series of Jack Ryan novels he wrote have now evolved into the “Tom Clancy Universe” written by new authors which extends to his son, Jack Ryan, Jr. This book was about Jack Ryan, Jr.

What is it?

Category Value
Title Tom Clancy Zero Hour
Author Don Bentley
Year Published 2022
Format Paperback
Pages 481
ISBN 978-1-4087-2771-3

Zero Hour

How did I read it?

Category Value
Date Started June 25, 2023
Date Finished July 8, 2023
Places Read TAP Flights
Alps Hiking Trip
Friends’ wedding weekend

Notes - No Spoilers

  • Extending the universe to include new authors feels odd for a “book” but is par for the course of comic books, which made me think this is a lot more like that genre of media. Different authors enter the picture and can now take their turn writing stories about this group of characters.
  • Tom Clancy books need a clear bad guy. The Hunt for Red October featured the Soviet Union during the middle of the Cold War, but you also had some fascinating characters inside of the Soviet Navy who made the stakes more interesting. This novel’s big bad, North Korea, is probably one of the easier regimes to paint as the bad guy in the modern era. Hard to argue with it. Still, the “bad guys” lacked some of the same depth as those in Red October or Patriot Games - like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Tom Clancy Universe thrives when bad guys are fascinating.
  • This has made me want to buy a Kindle, which I have avoided doing for years due to a long-held animosity towards Amazon, but all I want to read now is the next one of these Tom Clancy Universe novels and getting my hands on a physical one inside of Lisbon is very hard.

Published Jul 8, 2023

Austinite in Lisbon. VP of Product at Cloudflare.