High-Tech Horrors and Chaos in Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Games of State
Games of State is a high-tech, high-action thriller filled with detail. From the well fleshed-out characters to the rapid pace, it shifts from continent to continent and keeps the reader on their toes throughout. As always, recurring characters evolve with each book in the series, and new characters are cleverly introduced complete with backgrounds. Although the facts seem clear from the start, the writers leave enough mystery to keep the reader interested. As the plot unfolds, the characters emerge in even more detail. Just like we have no real idea what to expect from people in real life, the characters in Games of State come with a few surprises.
Operation: International Turmoil
As always, the Op-Center is in the middle of an international crisis that has to be averted. Games of State revolves around a newly merged Germany during the Chaos Days. Neo-Nazi factions are gathering with the goal of inciting violence and resurrecting the old nightmares of a terrible era. This time, however, the focus is not on Germany alone. The plans are to destabilize the whole of Europe and wreak havoc as far as the United States. The Op-Center team, led by Paul Hood, happen to be in Germany buying hardware and software for a new regional center. They become entangled in the developing crisis and make a shocking discovery about a high-tech Nazi group that uses state-of-the-art devices to promote hatred and exert influence on international events.
Loaded with technical jargon, the reader will have to be a fan of detailed tech-driven writing along with complex characters and several sub-plots flying from one page to the next. Talk about flying, the action in Games of State is next level, even though it’s a Clancy book. There’s an air-chase scene where there’s a chopper-to-chopper extraction that could have skeptics scoff, but it was written quite well so it leaves anyone with a bit of an imagination pondering about whether it’s actually possible, even long after they’ve put the book down. The ending was a bit abrupt and maybe not too well thought out in comparison to some of the other books in the series, but it certainly leaves the reader ready for the next installment.
Expertly imagined by Tom Clancy and cleverly crafted together with Steve Pieczenik and Jeff Rovin, Games of State may play off at a slower pace, but Clancy fans will still enjoy it. A clunky read, but it still moves down the same critical path as the previous two Op-Center books. Yes, it has a few more twists and turns than what was really necessary, but it is still worth the read, especially if you’re following the series. Another good thing about Games of State is that it’s yet another Clancy-created novel that makes one wonder how close we are from fiction becoming fact. With all the outrageous things happening in the world these days, who knows?