Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

The first book I got a hold of after discovering it on library shelves; and after the video game previews aired on television. This book was mentioned somewhere at the start of my review from Operation Barracuda. Even though I haven't played a single installment of the series I'm still intrigued by it.

School was in the mix when this book was discovered but managed to carve out some time to read through its pages. The intro scene is interesting as well as straight forward. Almost immediately you are introduced to one of the main characters:

Sam Fisher.

He's a covert operative known simply as a splinter cell [see Operation Barracuda for my definition]. Their objective: complete assigned missions, whether in advance or on the fly, as quickly and as discretely  as possible without getting captured. Fisher does this quite well to the point of making young folk look out of shape in comparison.

Within the start of the book, Fisher is actively engaged in a mission where stealth is high priority. The way he stays out of sight while still being in sight is amazing; this means he is hiding but still has a chance to be seen. He has to retrieve some information but forgets to do something vital to keep eyes from coming upon him.

Despite the whoopsy-daisy he still manages to get out of the sticky situation without getting captured. The story carries out and follows Fisher, along with those close to him, in the normal run of their lives. There are twists and turns that leave more questions than answers with the top one centering on compromised intelligence info.

There were some ups and downs in the story but its still a good read.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Follow Up

Recently did a follow up on reviewing books. Wrote a book review for the first book known simply by the title Splinter Cell. For more on this click explore [removed from site].

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Operation Barracuda

Overview

I must say that I surprised myself with this book. From front to back I read this book in its entirety. This was a shock in itself since I couldn't get through book one simply titled Splinter Cell. The book series overall is addressed as Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.

Now, the novel is based off of the video game that debuted prior by the same title. I'm big on video games since they have been part of my growing up; which opted a change in career choices even though I was still in middle school. There are several books in the Splinter Cell series and several installments to the Splinter Cell game franchise.


So, the book. This is book two of the series, Operation: Barracuda. The story is a continuation from the first release. Only half way through the first one and had to stop; couldn't continue.


With this installment, however, I couldn't put the book down. Overall, the story is like a mystery of sorts where its difficult to tell who is who and what is what. Top it off with action with some humor and you have a pretty good story.


Personal copy of book on top of a black leather jacket.


Introducing: Sam Fisher AKA Heart Throb
Okay, maybe the heart throb bit was a bit much. Any who, Sam Fisher is one of the focal characters in the series that the spotlight falls on. His line of work tags him as a Splinter Cell.

Definition

A Splinter Cell is someone of whom you DO NOT want after you for anything nor any reason. They will always see you before you see them.

Mr. Fisher is a highly skilled and well trained individual. He has a little girl (young adult) and used to be married (a widower). His character is said to be in his 50s but is in a heck of lot better shape than me. He takes his job very seriously and hates it when people target those close to him.


He's the go to person for special missions that require stealth, infiltration and whatever else is needed. He has some of the coolest gear which includes but isn't limited to a hidden mic and earpiece. Fisher has a good amount of humor, sarcasm along with the ability to think quickly on his feet.


Summary

*No Spoilers I Hope*
He manages to find some information but not enough to target a single person that could be located from within his organization. As the story progresses he makes new allies and finally succumbs to his pushy semi-stalker's advances; she's not really a stalker but thinks Fisher is a stud-muffin. Another mission comes up and he has to go overseas to look into this guy of interest. As a result, he meets his match in the form of the guy's actual wife who knows how to hold her own and won't hesitate to use a firearm.


He survives the encounter and goes on a break. In the middle of this break he is called in to find one of his comrades that hasn't checked in. The comrade in found but not as he would like. Unfortunately he can't go without getting shot at while at select locations.
From the time proceeding his comrades discovery and going to aid in an interrogation, he loses his new love and a co-worker; at this point he is at the end of his tether. He arrives at the interrogation to get information out of someone who happens to be the mole. The mole goes for bad until Fisher enters the room. Of course the mole says the wrong thing and gets put in a hurt locker.


Another mission surfaces and Sam leaves to take part; with extra baggage. They find who they're looking for but rather than wait for assistance he takes matters into his own hands; at the expense of property damage that wasn't limited to the limo he borrowed. He meets up with an ally that helps him out but winds up getting bested because the enemy had a trick up their sleeve. Some how he survived the encounter and manages to befriend (surprisingly) a crime boss.


He continues with the initial mission but winds up getting captured and imprisoned. Torture, bad food, restraints and repeat. His people couldn't come for him because of the location but help comes in the coolest form. He makes it out and is reunited with his organization who tries to put him on bed rest.


An emergency surfaces and they need experts to help. Still having an axe to grind he wishes to join despite current injuries. Later Fisher is transported to a carrier that I called his name sake. Unfortunately for the cadets they had to train him how to use equipment, that they were trained to use in the past 6 months, within a 10 minute time frame.


He goes with the crew, being the oldest in the bunch, in search of their targets. They find their targets and disable them. Again, Fisher is caught in a dangerous situation where he receives, at this point, another injury; this is why he exercises folks. He's finally put on bed rest successfully. As an added bonus, his supervisor arranges a surprise for him: a visit from his little girl.


This summary wasn't easy. Cut me some slack.


The Review

I must say this is one of those rare gems that has kept my attention from start to finish. Action novels are preferred and this one didn't disappoint. Being based on a video game franchise sweetened the deal. Despite the novel itself being by a secondary author, he does an incredible job capturing the essence of Tom Clancy's writing prowess.

Action aside, there is wonderful story telling as well as mystery; another favorite genre. The identity of those involved with the leak of information is unknown. Those involved with the investigations are left piecing together a never ending puzzle that is constantly having pieces adding to the mix. There is romance present within however it is nothing like the romancey novels that I can't stand.


The romance here is done in a way that actually makes sense. Makes sense as in fitting into the storyline and not thrown in for the sake of being thrown in. Like that terrible boogeyman movie installment that had a romance scene that just didn't belong in there; your lives are on the line and some how you find time for mushy stuff?


Anyway this book became a favorite and I just had to keep renewing it till I was able to finish the book. I give this a 5 out of 5. I began reading book number three in the series but couldn't finish; lots of stuff kept coming up and distracting me.


Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy is an interesting author that has written lots of books. On top of that, there have been individuals that have written books based on his ideas. I first got introduced, official, to Tom Clancy's work through The Hunt for Red October. Had no idea the movie was based on a book of the same name; I was little at the time.

The actual book I read, even though it was based on his writings, were the Netforce series. Not the book Netforce just in case you got confused. The series I'm speaking of was geared toward Young Adult readers; I was directed to the area they were in because my reading level was pretty advanced for the grade I was in.


Key books that standout, and possibly due to their VG [video game] counterparts are: Rainbow Six and .... Rainbow Six. Wow. Guess it was just the one.


The Splinter Cell Series

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
The book that started it all. I literally read half the book. The introductory scene was well worth the re-reads.

Operation Barracuda
A well balanced read. Just remember that this is a book and not a movie. So try not to pick up the remote to do a rewind. Like the first, there is action at the start. Mr Fisher does a little recap of what took place prior and explains what is going on in reference to the on going case. Everyone is still searching for the culprits involved with the leaks of confidential information. Investigations on going and dangerous missions back to back. He is also taking a martial arts class taught by a female that he just can't deter from liking him; he doesn't mind that she likes him but doesn't want her to be placed in harm's way by way of his profession.

Checkmate
The one I started...