Right off the bat, I'm annoyed at the marketing of this book. They have Tom Clancy's name in very large type at the top of the cover, and on the spine. The actual author's name is small, non-descript, and at the bottom, under the "Created by" credits. It's thoroughly underhanded and despicable.
Similarly, I'm not sure who came up with the title, but it really isn't much about a dotcom outfit. It's nominally about whether or not encryption is a "weapon." But that's merely a plot device. It could just have well been any widget that the two companies were competing on. The plot is really about corporate espionage gone too far.
This author tried to follow the Clancy formula of jumping between settings all around the world. But somehow it didn't work as well as in Clancy's novels. I guess mostly the situations felt more contrived. A lot of, "...and then he realized what was about to happen." just before someone got killed. It just felt really awkward.
I guess part of the problem was that this was one of those books that I read in a few long-separated sessions, so I lost track of who some of the characters were. I had a really hard time figuring out whether the good guy big shot really was a good guy. How he was connected to the government officials. And how far he'd go to protect himself. And the motivations of some of the other characters never felt clear to me.
And the love story felt contrived, too. The author didn't do a very good job of showing whether the guy was completely cynical, or if he'd developed feelings for her. By his actions, he must have. But it never felt clear.
The thug bad guys were pretty simpleton. They were supposed to be part of some larger gang, or organization, but it seemed to be the same few characters over and over. Sort of like Hollyweird using the same characters for multiple roles. I understand the expediency of doing that, but it really seems to dilute characterization when it's used.
Basically, this book just never felt real to me. I managed to push all the way through, but mostly felt dissatisfied through the entire second half.
On Mighty's Total Book Value Scale, Half Price. Not a Tom Clancy book, like the cover implies. The style is reminiscent, but not as good.
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