Black Ops by W.E.B Griffin
Black Ops by W.E.B Griffin
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The Russian bear is stirring--and it's hungry--in the thrilling fifth novel of the Presidential Agent series. Could sabers be rattling for a new Cold War--or worse? Lieutenant Colonel Charley Castillo is about to find out as the Delta Force operative investigates the disappearances and deaths of covert U.S. intelligence assets working for a variety of agencies.
|Publication Date:||December 30, 2008|
|Product Length:||9.3 inches|
|Product Width:||6.41 inches|
|Product Height:||1.5 inches|
|Product Weight:||1.49 pounds|
|Package Length:||9.13 inches|
|Package Width:||6.14 inches|
|Package Height:||1.73 inches|
|Package Weight:||1.5 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 129 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 129 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 63 found the following review helpful:
The end of the series Jan 03, 2009
By Michael T Kennedy
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.
22 of 25 found the following review helpful:
Only stuck with it out of loyalty to the series. Jan 19, 2009
By Jason Gibson
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.
27 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Presidential Agent - jumped the shark? Jan 01, 2009
By M. Lavigne
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?
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Slack Schlops Apr 06, 2009
Please do not consider this an action story. 99% of action is in the opening scenes, which does initiate the tale with some dynamic, and then goes south fast. The vast majority of pages are either description of what happened in the past to some one or some situation. So by the end you have a book full of background and enough story to barely fill 10 - 20 pages AT BEST. It's more like a male soap opera and it is certainly not an action story. The history mentioned by another reviewer is Castillo's new squeeze recanting some story about the descendants through the centuries and their humble role today. It was actually barely a page and a half, including the filler dialogue that dominates this hardcover specimen. This is my very first book by this author, and I am so beyond glad that I never read anything else here. 100% Honest statement: At the half way point, I stopped reading the book in sessions, and saved it at bedside for when middle-of-the night insomnia struck, and for this the book was effective. So I may just buy another of this ilk as it is proving it's reliability as a non-pharma sedative. Even where Castillo appears to think with his unit (take it both ways) is blandly described. The ending is perfunctory at best. There is zero suspense in this book. Persons being liquidated are revealed in the past tense by parties twice removed - Yawn.....zzz.. Why is creativity becoming scarcer in such so-called action books? Geeeez!
Certainly appears that most of the 5 star reviews are out of either blind loyalty or an unwillingness to suspend disbelief that perhaps a formerly respectable reading cycle has come to an ugly conclusion at not exactly the top of the author's game. To the future five star reviewers: "I got scammed by this hardbound debacle and so should you!" Hey, but if he can wring a few more checks out of this tired old tripe, happy retirement pal!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Awful!! Jan 05, 2010
By K. Ferriter
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.
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