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Entertaining, but a bit too many themes.

Tom Clancy Power and Empire (A Jack Ryan Novel) - Marc Cameron

Power and Empire (Jack Ryan Universe #24), Marc Cameron, author; Scott Brick, narrator

Absent the excellent narrator, I might not have enjoyed this book as much. Scott Brick added excitement and clarity with his presentation. The story, however, seemed overly detailed and overly dramatic, as many are today. Every time it seemed as if something was going to be revealed, the author introduced a tangent to increase the sense of mystery. However, frequently, in many ways, It seemed unnecessary and lacked credibility.

Like other novels attributed to Tom Clancy, this one had multiple themes. It starts out with what appears to be an unrelated incident that is eventually tied in, late in the narrative. There is an explosion on the the flagship of China Global Shipping Lines, Orion. Fingers are pointed at different actors, China and America, as the culprits.

From there it goes into drug deals and sex trafficking. A dangerous Chinese gang called the Triad is actively involved. John Clark, the head of The Campus, becomes deeply engaged in the search for the girls captured because of his own personal pain and memories. The FBI becomes involved, as well.

There is apparently also an attempt by “the gang of four”, men in high positions in the Chinese government, colluding with others, to overthrow Joe, the Chinese leader, while setting up America to take the blame for the chaos through the staging of various terrorist incidents, among them, the attack on the Orion.

On a separate level there may also be plans to assassinate the sitting President of the United States, Jack Ryan, Sr., at an upcoming meeting in Japan.

Subtly, other themes are introduced, such as, gun rights, treason, spying, and gang activity. There is a great deal of subterfuge as cartels and the powerful work their mischief.  

Finally, an additional theme is introduced when Jack Ryan and a Japanese agent pursue the bad guys together and a romance blossoms between them.

In the end, all of the ideas presented in the search for those engaged in illegal sex trafficking, committing acts of terror, treason and/or espionage are knitted together. It is up to the reader to decide if it is plausible.