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Sea of Fire: Op-Center 10 Mass Market Paperback – Jun 24 2003

2.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 24 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425190919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425190913
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #467,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Clancy was the author of eighteen #1 New York Times-bestselling novels. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the bestseller list after President Ronald Reagan pronounced it �the perfect yarn.� Clancy was the undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He died in October 2013.


Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
Among the countless and careless errors throughout this book, as attested to by several other reviewers, the one that bothers me the most is the author's horrendous misunderstanding of the terms "contamination" and "radiation." Being an ex nuclear submariner and nuclear engineer, I have always been impressed by the accuracy of Tom Clancy's research, whether it was the details of nuclear submarine operations or his insights regarding interactions among members of the officers and crew. Tom Clancy was a meticulous researcher. Tom Clancy understood the difference between "contamination" and "radiation" and never would have written a book based on such a misapplication of science.
Lee Tong, the "radiation man" who sets off the entire story, conceivably could have been irradiated by gamma rays from the nuclear cargo on his target ship but that exposure, no matter how intense, would in no way have made him radioactive. There would be no need for a lead shield as described in his hospital room. If on the other hand he became contaminated with radioactive material from the target boat as a result of the explosion, then the target ship and many of its crew members would also have been contaminated. But they weren't. You can walk away from a radiation source, but if you are contaminated with radioactive particles, it goes with you.
For those of us who have been conditioned to read anything with Tom Clancy's name on it, and who do so because we have learned to trust the authenticity of his work, this book is extremely disappointing. We used to read Clancy because we trusted him and because of this trust we had confidence that the technology described in the story was accurate, not science fiction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I reached page 50 I realised this author had confined his research on Australia (the setting for much of the action) to a Sydney Street Directory. Yes, you can see the Sydney Opera House from the Park Hyatt Hotel and that's the limit of his accuracy.
The protagonist travelled from Sydney to Darwin in 116 minutes? Not in a P3 Orion he didn't (unless it is unique among propellor driven aircraft in that it can travel at Mach 2. Maybe it was a Concorde in disguise.) The distance is more than 2000 miles (about equivalent of LA to Miami or New York to Phoenix). The offending yacht travelled from the Celebes Sea to Cairns (well over 2000 miles) in 30 hours. Australia's P3s are owned by the Air Force, not the Navy. In the RAN, a Warrant Officer is not a senior officer. A wommera is not a means of throwing darts, it is a means Aborigines used for throwing spears (it applies extra leverage as an extension to the length of the arm). In itself, a wommera would be about as useful a weapon as any other thin stick and it is hard to imagine why anyone would carry one, especially as that character was supposed to be half Aboriginal..
A willing suspension of disbelief in the interests of a good yarn is one thing, lamentable research and gross (easily checkable) error is quite another. Don't waste money on this dog.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hmm. I normally like Tom Clancz - even in this spin-off series. However, this book is a dog of the first water. Why? Simple. It is written by someone who hasn't bothered to do even the most basic research on ... well, on *anything*. Basic things - like Australian politics, the Australian Military and its ranks and organization, and even, damnit, *geography*. In the book, for example, we have a Singaporean patrol boat in the sea off the Celebes (what it's doing in Indonesian waters is not obvious -but it's *way* to hell and gone off course and out of the area it has any business being in) and the action then, within the space of a few hours, moves it from there to the *east* Queensland Coast off the Great Barrier Reef. Bzzt. Sorry. No. Unless Singaporean Patrol Boats are capable of supersonic flight, this simply isn't gonna happen. Not to put too fine a point on it, it is simply impossible. To those readers who are (like the writer, one presumes) Americans, this may not be obvious ... though looking at something as basic as an atlas should have clued the author in... but it is bleeding obvious to an Aussie.
The story is sort of OK, but, frankly, the background flaws are of such an order of magnitude I simply couldn't rate this as anything other than poorly written crap.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoy action/thriller books, and the Op-Center series is consistently first-rate. Indeed, these books are the most true to the quality and fast pace of Clancy's early books Red Storm Rising and The Hunt for Red October. Sea of Fire is a good, solid read, and typical of the Op-Center books well thought out and nicely detailed.
Like the last Op Center, Sea of Fire uses geo-political events as a backdrop. This time, it is the Pacific Rim and nuclear smuggling. Lowell Coffey, the Op Center lawyer, finds himself in the middle of a rapidly unfolding crisis while attending a conference in Australia. This was a surprising twist, since Coffey has been a behind-the-scenes-player in the other books. Also of interest, wheelchair bound Bob Herbert makes his first appearance in the field since being maimed by a terrorist bombing. The use of these two, more human characters in lead field roles was refreshing -- always good to see lead characters that well, are frankly, more like you and me.
As usual author Jeff Rovin did his homework. You'll gain a lot of useful and discomforting information about the nuclear smuggling trade and how much needs to be done to secure these dangerous materials. I noticed that Rovin went so far as to ensure he had the correct title for members of the Australian Fire Brigade. It's the small touches that sets this apart from the pack of other action-thrillers.
Anyway, this is a great, quick read. Take it on the plane or train, and finish it on the beach. Well worth the time and much fun.
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