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Sting of the Drone by Richard A. Clarke
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Sting of the Drone

by Richard A. Clarke

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Fast paced, all-too-real fight against terrorism. Very relevant.
This book threw me into the thick of the drama at the very beginning. A high velocity thriller with all the technology anyone could hope for, especially if they don't like someone! This is the world of Drones. I had no idea there were so many sizes, types, outfitted, unarmed drones nor how connected they were to space. If we thought our skies were getting crowded, just imagine this mostly-invisible and sometimes disguised fleet flying around from almost all countries, zipping around all our regular aircraft. Talk about an eye-opener!

These usually silent assassins are directed by an elite group of select pilots who actually "fly" the drones from thousands of miles away. This is their story. The action is not completely non-stop, often it is a wait, assess, check and double-check for innocent non-targets--possibility of "collateral damage" in range--to determine whether action will be taken. What I like, action aside, is the stories presented throughout the book, the personal backgrounds, the lives they lead outside of work. The personalities and back-stories possibly based on real people and events although the book is fictional.

But wait! The book takes a turn-around and it becomes even closer to non-fiction as the terrorists learn from their losses and change their tactics. Now we see the world tipping on it's axis as collateral damage piles up, many victims children. This book is adrenaline full-steam and keeps on escalating. Richard A. Clarke knows what he's writing about. A well-written book of our times. Adventure, terror, a high-tech thriller at it's best. ( )
  readerbynight | Jan 24, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an OK read, not wonderful, but OK. I think that Mr. Clarke's forte is not story telling; it seemed to me he was just trying to show how much he knows about "inside" stuff and drones in particular. But I appreciated the ARC copy just the same and wish I could have raved about the book. But I can't. ( )
  MissJessie | Dec 12, 2014 |
A fast-paced novel about drone attacks, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the ongoing War on Terror and what happens when the terrorists get the drones and use them on the United States. Clarke appears to be addressing the morality of the weapon by showing what would happen if it was used in the U.S., but I'm not sure if it works. Clearly if "the enemy" used drone technology to hit people to are not thought to be warriors (does running a job for the Department of Defense and the CIA make you a warrior? or does it make you a highly qualified army bureaucrat?) would only feed the anger that drives us to war, but is it equal to what we are doing in "rogue states?"

And does this novel actually tell us that if a foreign country did to us what we're doing to them, the foreign country would only be creating an enemy, and not winning a war?

Or am I just reading too much into a mediocre suspense novel? ( )
  minxcr1964 | Jul 20, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sting of the Drone offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of modern drone warfare with a depth of knowledge that couldn't come from any other author. The plot is interesting and realistic and touches on the fears of real Americans in a way that makes for an exciting read.

However, characterization is poor which can detract from the story when things are supposed to get personal, which they do frequently in the story. I also felt that Clarke's writing style could use some work. Dialogue was predictable and repetitive so it almost felt like a TV transcript where they have to spell everything out for inattentive viewers. The action sequences alternated between thrilling and muddled and it seems like Clarke loses track of his characters at times.

Overall, an exciting and interesting story, but nothing in the way of literature. ( )
  samlives2 | Jul 18, 2014 |
Fiction with the feel of reality is what Richard A. Clarke delivers with Sting of the Drone. His pre-author background is all about government service, including stints in Security and Counter-Terrorism, so his plot and character development seem to have a ring of truth pretty closely intertwined with his imagination.

The plot of this fast moving thriller presents the US federal government, multiple agencies and acronyms abounding, as the good guys working to decide who they are justified in "taking out," with the remote controlled drones which make up the most effective arsenal of weapons ever. The drones can see, record, even sense tunnels between buildings, not to mention direct devastating bombs into the places where the bad guys have gathered. To be targeted, the bad guys mist rise to the level of being an actual threat to American lives, but sometimes the validity of the threat is vigorously second-guessed by the politicians with the authority to nix the drone program if it becomes a drag on their next election chances. The agencies represented in the Kill Committee don't always agree either.

But that is not the worst of the worries of the pilots who operate the drones from thousands of miles from the front lines of the War on Terror. What if the bad guys decide to fight back? In this case one of the Pakistanis, not actually a member of any of the Al Quada-derivative groups, realizes that the plan to take out bus and train stations in Europe can be modified and moved to the USA. At the same time a westernized Afghan has had a very effective business set up moving drugs into Europe, but redirects his interests when his father is killed by an American drone. He decides to use his Ukrainian hacker team to find out more about the drones and the people who operate them. Both are hired by the Qazzani group, a Pakistani crime cartel, to work this daring plan.

Hackers are a dangerous and devious bunch, but the good news is the good guys have one on their side too. The battle quickly proves dangerous and deadly to both sides, and the "players" don't always know who the enemy is or where he is coming from.

Lots of technology utilized in this thriller, and I am trusting that it is all very real. A fast and enjoyable read...check it out! ( )
  vcg610 | Jul 2, 2014 |
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"In Washington, the Kill Committee gathers in the White House's Situation Room to pick the next targets for the United States drone program. At an airbase just outside Las Vegas, a team of pilots, military personnel and intelligence officers follow through on the committee's orders, finding the men who have been deemed a threat to national security and sentenced to death. On the other side of the world, in the mountains where the drones hunt their prey, someone has decided to fight back. And not just against the umanned planes that circle their skies, but against the Americans at home who control them. Clarke not only remains an active and respected presence within the national security community but also appears regularly as an expert commentator for ABC and other media. His insider's expertise is on full display in this breathtakingly realistic novel set within America's contentious drone program"--… (more)

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