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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful: decent novel, Clancy has written better, September 7, 2003 Reviewer: Ryan Cragun from Cincinnati, Ohio United States Summary: 'Executive Orders' opens with Jack Ryan, the hero of numerous Clancy novels, having suddenly found himself President of the United States as the result of a terrorist attack that killed most of Congress and the President that appointed Ryan as his vice-president. He is immediately launched into several crises as a terrorist organization, sponsored by the Iranian government, brings the e-bola virus to the U.S., introducing an outbreak. At the same time, the Iranian government, who is in cahoots with India, China, and Japan, is also taking over Iraq after having assassinated the leader. The world is on the cusp of major problems and the leader of the most powerful nation, arriving there without having been elected, has to answer the call. But, what's more, the former vice-president, who resigned because of a sex scandal, now claims that he should technically be the vice-president. Jack Ryan holds up under the pressure, but in order to bring the U.S. under control he has to enact martial law, closing down numerous major cities to prevent the spread of e-bola. He also sends John Clark and some other members of Rainbow Six into Iran to assassinate the person running the show. When everything comes to a close, e-bola is contained, the quasi-hostile takeover of Iraq is stopped, and everything returns to normal. My Comments: The book wasn't too bad, but I really didn't see why the takeover of Iraq by Iran was such a big deal. Sure, international politics are sensitive and tricky, but considering the stability of the Iranian government, as opposed to the Iraqi government, I can't see how it's so bad that the government fell (maybe I'm naive, I don't claim expertise on international politics). There is also a lack of focus on Jack Ryan, as most of these later books have done. Ryan disappears from the foreground into the mix of characters and doesn't really appear to be the primary focus of the novel. The novel also jumps around from character to character, introducing one for just a scene or a chapter, then never really returning to them. Most of these problems may be addressed in the actual novel, which is quite lengthy. But the abridged, CD version, which is the one I listened to, just doesn't give this story the depth that it really needs. As is the case with most of these later novels (which I happened to listen to one right after another, but in the reverse order), the CD versions were just not as well-developed as a good novel should be. You'll have to look for a different review on the actual novel, but I definitely wouldn't recommend the CD version - it just doesn't give a very good version of the story. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition