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Black Ops (A Presidential Agent Novel) [Kindle Edition]

W.E.B. Griffin
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 11.50
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Sold by: Penguin Group USA
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Product Description


"The Castillo novels offer timely plots and enough firepower to keep the action-adventure crowd happy" Booklist on The Hunters "Griffin just keeps on getting better with a formula that... is exciting and great fun" Library Journal on The Hostage "Plenty of action, high-level intrigue, interesting characters, flip dialog, romance, and a whole lot of drinking and other carrying on... Recommended for most popular fiction collections" Library Journal on By Order of the President"

Product Description

W.E.B. Griffin always hits the target-right at the top of the bestseller lists...

W.E.B. Griffin's explosive Presidential Agent novels have gained worldwide acclaim for "leaving satisfied thriller readers hankering for more."

Now, in Griffin's latest #1 New York Times bestseller, the Russian bear is stirring after many years of hibernation-and it is hungry.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1503 KB
  • Print Length: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; Reprint edition (Dec 17 2008)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001652HT0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,420 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars black ops March 23 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
th author keeps recapping too much from the previous books. not enough suspence leding to the present novel. i cant say i enjoy these books as much as clancy
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Nov. 19 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To much recaps of previous books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  212 reviews
69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of the series Jan. 3 2009
By Michael T Kennedy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the last of the Presidential Agent series which began with the story of the hijacked airliner. It starts slowly and I think Griffin may not have written the first few chapters. About a quarter of the way in, when I was getting impatient with all the exposition of back story and the rather wooden character development, the pace picks up and it seems Griffin is back. I suspect his son may have done the early chapters. If you are familiar with the other books of the series, skim those early chapters. The writing picks up and the plot gets going when Russian SVR agents contact Castillo and tell him he is set up for assassination. From that point on, we are back with the WEB Griffin skills in plot and character development that have kept us reading his novels for 25 years.

The plot pulls together all the seemingly unconnected threads of the other stories and explains the various characters and their relationships. Griffin is teaching us more Russian history, including the current Russian leadership about which he has strong opinions. I don't know how accurate his information is, for example he has another theory about Ivan the Terrible than I have read, but he has been right before. He has sources of information that don't write books. Anyway, after a slow start (for which I subtract one star), the novel gets going and is a great example of Griffin's story telling.

The ending, which others have complained about, actually opens a new chapter and may promise more books with Charley Castillo and his band of warriors. I had actually wondered how Griffin was going to handle the changes in Washington. The President in the series is obviously Bush and the other cabinet officers are recognizable. That will change so a Presidential Agent may now become the agent of the shadowy group of patriots that appears at the end. This novel also introduces what may be the real romance in Charlie's life and I can see more books with this theme, as well.

I recommend it for those who have read the other books in the series and, as far as I am concerned, Griffin hasn't lost his touch. Alexander Dumas had a writing team that composed large sections of his novels. Those novels have stood the test of time and these will too.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only stuck with it out of loyalty to the series. Jan. 18 2009
By Jason Gibson - Published on
I really was a big fan of this series but the fifth and assumed final book is in my opinion a disappointment as a read. I was grabbed by the novels early on and the action and intrigue but I felt this version was pure boredom and just a recap of most of the things that I'd read in the previous novels. At one point I kind of cared about Castillo as a character and was willing to suspend the fantasy of his lifetime because the variety of circumstances in life seemed to help the story but even the protagonist became a just another of the lame tired group of characters, all constatly cracking wise, all the best at what they do but not appreciated by the system and all miraculously able to outwit the other 6 billion people on the planet trying to stop them. This book probably could've been condensed down to 100 pages easily without losing anything of value from the story to those of us that have been along since the start--was it necessary for Castillo to give Dick Miller the back story at one point? Did Miller (Castillo's sidekick from go) suddenly forget all that had happened in the previous 6 months? Castillo finally finds the woman of his dreams but I never took the bait as there'd been other woman of his dreams that appeared and disappeared suddenly in the past. Honestly about the only part of the book that I felt was compelling was Castillo's son finding out the truth but even that was done away with quickly so we could get back to the formula of Delchamps calling Charlie "Ace", somebody new being brought into the circle of hundreds that are given full disclosure of the Top Secret Presidential finding, and Charlie trying to squeeze in saving the world when he isn't having sex.

Loyalty to the series which really had moments of enjoyment give it two stars but I'm not sure it deserves more than one.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!! Jan. 4 2010
By K. Ferriter - Published on
I've read all of the books in this series. They have been entertaining. I simply can't explain this one. It is absolutely awful. There is no action in the book. Most of the pages are devoted to conversations or back story. That wouldn't be so bad, but, the writing was that of an adolescent boy. It was full of attempts at sex scenes that could have only been written by a 14 year old. It was full of repetitive jokes from the same 14 year old. The plot was non-existent. What little plot that was there didn't make any sense and didn't have any suspense. This was one of the worst books that I ever read. I unfortunately finish the books that I start. I'm always hopeful that it will come around. This one never did. It only got worse. After having read multiple books by WEB Griffin, I can only assume this wasn't written by him at all. He simply put his name on the cover and accepted a check.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Presidential Agent - jumped the shark? Dec 31 2008
By M. Lavigne - Published on
First off, I've read every book W.E.B. Griffin has written - all of the series books, anyway - and I always anxiously anticipate the release of the latest installments.

However, if you notice, most of them follow the same formula. The protagonist is filthy rich, or associates with those who are. They are all officers, or ultimately end up that way, relegating the "enlisted men" to supporting cast members, or comic relief.

Even with this in mind, I enjoy his writing style, even if his perspective on military service (even the stories set in the modern era) are quite dated.

I've enjoyed this series so far, even if the last book felt like one long lead-in - and until the final 20 pages, this book was headed up that path.

But - without giving the ending away, of course - this installment will be my last. I feel like it really "jumped the shark," moving from something that might be plausible with a small suspension of belief to something completely crazy. Not giving away details, but any fan of this series may be disappointed with the ending, as it takes away some of the charm of our lead character.

Too bad... I guess I'll have to pine away for "Brotherhood of War" to continue someday. Here's hoping the Philadelphia police series continues better than this. By the way, did anyone notice that the last Badge of Honor book jumped 30 years in reality in the space of one book?
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst W.E.B. Griffin book I've ever read - and I've read 33 of them. March 3 2009
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on
Time was when I would look forward to the release of a new W.E.B. Griffin series with great anticipation and snatch it up as soon as it hit the shelves, knowing that a long night or two of pleasureful, suspenseful reading lay ahead.

But the last several novels, several written with his son, have been increasingly disappointing, lacking the strong characters and plots of earlier efforts.

"Black Ops" is simply awful.

It is a travelogue without purpose as the story traverses 17 locations - with essentially no action taking place. Instead it is a narrative of how the already boring character of Lieutenant Colonel "Charley" Castillo, the head of a mythical secret unit reporting to the President, spends his time eating well, drinking a lot and bedding exotic women. Griffin, by the way, has little talent for writing sex scenes which is probably why he stayed away from them or so many decades.

The story is minimal. In short order, several people are murdered around the world. Of course, they are all connected to Castillo's glorious past in some tenuous way. Castillo is the wealthy scion of a German woman whose one-night stand with an American Army helicopter pilot produced him. She just happened to inherit a newspaper publishing empire in Europe. His father, killed in Vietnam turns out to a Medal Of Honor recipient and, as you might expect, heir to an oil and ranching empire. In other words, Castillo is filthy rich which helps when he needs to charter a Gulfstream on short notice.

Griffin has used this plot device to good effect in many other books. Here it simply falls flat - along with everything else.

Without wanting to spoil the lack of fun for anyone, everything in this book turns on coincidences - absolutely unbelievable coincidences. Castillo travels from one city to another on a Gulstream until one of his companions, cut from thin paper, demands they travel by train for the benefit of a dog whose appearance in most of the book is strange. Of course, taking the train results in a coincidence which drives the rest of this boring novel.

The scene shifts from Europe to South America, where we meet more uninteresting, predictable and dull characters. There are many meals. There are many drinks poured. There are many boring pages filled with details of boring meals and drinking sessions.

Castillo learns of a nasty plot against humanity brewing in Africa. A team is dispatched. Castillo doesn't go - some other people do and all we learn is that they were successful. Predictably so.

W.E.B. Griffin is in his late seventies or early eighties. He has provided millions across the world with earthy, gritty stories of the military for decades. As I noted, I am a fan and have read and reread his five military series. I respect that at an age where many would be pursuing other activities, Griffin is still writing.

The difficulty is that what he is writing today is not as compelling and interesting as what he wrote yesterday.

Over the last several Griffin novels, the quality and excitement has been trending down. This is the the worst. "Black Ops" is boring, the characters hollow, the plot entirely predictable and the storytelling flat.

I don't think I'll even bother with the next Griffin book - and I am sorry to say that. Rereading the old ones is more enjoyable.

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