How to read Jack Ryan books in order

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    If you’ve fallen in love with the Jack Ryan universe watching the movies, consider reading the Jack Ryan books in order. Here is the ultimate guide.

    From his first book outing in 1984’s The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy’s book series featuring former marine Jack Ryan has achieved massive success. But with so many novels continuing to be released, reading the Jack Ryan books in order can be challenging, so let’s explore how to read the Jack Ryan books in order.

    Jack Ryan series overview

    The Jack Ryan series refers to a collection of techno-thriller novels started and written predominately by Tom Clancy, centered around the character Jack Ryan. Ryan is a former Marine turned history professor and later, an intelligence officer for the CIA. Over the course of the series, he rises through the ranks, even becoming President of the United States, and confronts various global threats, from Cold War tensions and terrorism to cyber warfare and geopolitical conflicts. Clancy’s intricate plotting, attention to technical detail, and focus on political intrigue have made the series immensely popular.

    The Jack Ryan franchise beyond the books

    The Jack Ryan franchise, inspired by Tom Clancy’s intricate novels, stands as a testament to the character’s enduring appeal in the realm of action-thriller narratives. Over the years, different interpretations and creative liberties have been taken with Jack Ryan’s story, as seen in the varying film and television adaptations.

    How the Jack Ryan films differ from the book series

    Notably, the Jack Ryan films played with the chronological order established in Clancy’s books. For example, while Patriot Games predates The Hunt for Red October in the written series, the film versions reversed this order. The Sum of All Fears, another installment, altered the storyline’s timeframe, changing the backdrop from the post-Cold War era of 1991 to the more contemporary setting of 2002. The franchise’s malleability was further demonstrated with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, a 2014 reboot that was meant to usher in a new series of films.

    The Jack Ryan TV series

    Although a direct sequel to the latest Jack Ryan film never materialized, the character’s journey was far from over. Prime Video’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan took the titular character into the world of streaming television, where John Krasinski continues to captivate audiences as Jack Ryan.

    About the authors of the Jack Ryan series

    The Jack Ryan series was primarily penned by the acclaimed author Tom Clancy. Clancy, who debuted the character Jack Ryan in his 1984 novel The Hunt for Red October was known for his meticulous research and his ability to weave intricate, realistic plots that often touched upon international political and military tensions.

    However, following Clancy’s passing in 2013, the Jack Ryan series was continued by several authors, including Mark Greaney, who collaborated with Clancy on a few novels before his death and then took over the primary writing duties. These successor authors, including Grant Blackwood, Mike Maden, Marc Cameron, Don Bentley, Brian Andrews, and Jeffrey Wilson, have worked to maintain the essence and legacy of the Jack Ryan character, ensuring his continued relevance in the world of modern thrillers.

    Jack Ryan books in publishing order

    Presented in their publishing sequence, the Jack Ryan books offer a thrilling progression of geopolitical tension, intricate plots, and the evolution of its titular character. Here are the Jack Ryan novels in publication order:

    1. The Hunt for Red October (1984): The first book was an instant international bestseller. Russian submarine Red October is heading west in a nail-biting clash with the American navy.
    2. Patriot Games (1987): A vacation in London turns deadly, as CIA analyst Jack Ryan faces some lethal terrorists.
    3. The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988): During the height of the Cold War, Jack Ryan visits Russia to save U.S. Kremlin spy Colonel Mikhail Filtov.
    4. Clear and Present Danger (1989): Ryan must investigate the assassination of the head of the FBI and the U.S. ambassador by Colombian drug lords.
    5. The Sum of All Fears (1991): Middle East peace efforts fall into disarray as a group of terrorists attempt to rekindle the Cold War. Deputy CIA Director Jack Ryan must find a solution fast and help the President of the United States.
    6. Without Remorse (1993): The sixth book in the Jack Ryan series focuses on John Kelly, an ordinary citizen who travels into a world of terror and crime to become CIA legend Mr. Clark.
    7. Debt of Honor (1994): Jack Ryan, the new National Security Advisor, must step in to stop tensions between Japan and the U.S. from escalating into an all-out war.
    8. Executive Orders (1996): Following the killing of the American President and several members of Congress, Jack Ryan takes office. Right from the start, the new President must face down multiple foes.
    9. Rainbow Six (1998): John Clark heads up an international anti-terrorism squad in the fight against a new kind of lethal threat.
    10. The Bear and the Dragon (2000): President Jack Ryan tasked John Clark with uncovering an assassination plot against the President of Russia. Failure is not an option, as the three superpowers face off.
    11. Red Rabbit (2002): Novice CIA analyst Jack Ryan needs all his powers to halt a deadly chain of events kickstarted by a papal letter.
    12. The Teeth of the Tiger (2003): Jack Ryan Jr. must live up to his father’s legacy and become a valuable member of an anti-terrorist agency.
    13. Dead or Alive (2010, written with Grant Blackwood): Jack Ryan Jr. and The Campus must eliminate the vicious threat posed by Emir, a mastermind of terrorism.
    14. Locked On (2011, written with Mark Greaney): While Jack Ryan Sr. campaigns for re-election, Jack Ryan Jr. and his Campus associates get embroiled in a battle with Middle Eastern and Pakistani terrorists.
    15. Threat Vector (2012, written with Mark Greaney): In this New York Times bestseller, America faces off against China over Taiwan, and only The Campus can prevent disaster.
    16. Command Authority (2013, written with Mark Greaney): Father and son join forces to fight against the dangerous new President of Russia.
    17. Support and Defend (2014, written by Mark Greaney): Only Dominic Caruso can stop U.S. intelligence from falling into enemy hands.
    18. Full Force and Effect (2014, written by Mark Greaney): Jack Jr. and Jack Sr. must thwart the deadly ambitions of a new North Korean dictator.
    19. Under Fire (2015, written by Grant Blackwood): While in Teheran, Jack Ryan Jr. runs into an old friend who delivers a secret message but mysteriously disappears the following day.
    20. Commander-in-Chief (2015, written by Mark Greaney): Only U.S. President Jack Ryan is gutsy enough to face up to the President of Russia. But his opposition puts him in danger, and only The Campus can save the day.
    21. Duty and Honor (2016, written by Grant Blackwood): After his ousting from The Campus, Jack Jr. must uncover the evil plot of a famous philanthropist and human rights campaigner.
    22. True Faith and Allegiance (2016, written by Mark Greaney): This Tom Clancy book is another New York Times bestseller. President Ryan must track down hackers before it’s too late.
    23. Point of Contact (2017, written by Mike Maden): Jack Ryan Jr. must stop an all-out global disaster and defeat a mob of cybercriminals and assassins.
    24. Power and Empire (2017, written by Marc Cameron): President Ryan must prevent global war after tensions between America and China boil over.
    25. Line of Sight (2018, written by Mike Maden): Jack Ryan Jr. must navigate Balkan blood feuds to prevent World War III from breaking out.
    26. Oath of Office (2018, written by Marc Cameron): President Ryan faces deadly challenges from multiple fronts: Iran, a lethal flu strain, a corrupt senator, and Russian nuclear missiles.
    27. Enemy Contact (2019, written by Mike Maden): Jack Jr. must eliminate a global intelligence conspiracy and face down the perpetrators.
    28. Code of Honor (2019, written by Marc Cameron): Jack Ryan Sr is caught between a rock and a hard place as he tries to defend an old friend without offending the Indonesian government.
    29. Firing Point (2020, written by Mike Maden): While in Barcelona, Jack Jr.’s friend dies in a terrorist attack. Hell-bent on revenge, Jack discovers that she may have kept dark secrets.
    30. Shadow of the Dragon (2020, written by Marc Cameron): In the 30th book of Tom Clancy’s bestselling series, President Ryan faces serious intelligence security issues and strange noises beneath the Artic sea.
    31. Target Acquired (2021, written by Don Bentley): While filling in on a job for old friend Ding in Israel, Jack Jr. becomes the target of vicious killers.
    32. Chain of Command (2021, written by Marc Cameron): An evil mastermind and billionaire has his sight set on President Ryan. His first job: kidnap the First Lady.
    33. Zero Hour (2022, written by Don Bentley): Only Jack Ryan Jr. can prevent another Korean war.
    34. Red Winter (2022, written by Marc Cameron): This is a throwback and prequel introducing a young Jack Ryan navigating the perils of the Cold War.
    35. Flash Point (2023, written by Don Bentley): Ryan Jr. must avert World War III in the South China sea after a midair collision threatens to ignite regional tensions.
    36. Weapons Grade (2023, written by Don Bentley): After witnessing a staged accident turned professional hit in Texas, Jack Ryan Jr. delves into a small town’s cold case, risking his life for answers.
    37. Command and Control (Coming in November of 2023, written by Marc Cameron): President Jack Ryan faces a dangerous coup in Panama, finding himself trapped in a deadly game of politics and assassination.
    38. Act of Defiance (Coming in 2024, written by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson): Katie Ryan, President Jack Ryan’s astute youngest daughter, uncovers a covert Russian plan, challenging global security dynamics.

    A chronological order of Jack Ryan books

    Diving into the Jack Ryan books in chronological sequence allows readers to journey alongside Jack Ryan from his early career days to his ascent into the highest echelons of power. Here is a list of the books in strict chronological order.

    Note: Red Storm Rising and Against All Enemies, which, although in the same universe, do not primarily feature Jack Ryan nor the non-fiction offering Marine, are included in this list.

    1. Without Remorse
    2. Patriot Games
    3. Red Rabbit
    4. The Hunt for Red October
    5. Red Winter
    6. The Cardinal of the Kremlin
    7. Clear and Present Danger     
    8. The Sum of All Fears     
    9. Debt of Honor     
    10. Executive Orders     
    11. Rainbow Six     
    12. The Bear and the Dragon 
    13. The Teeth of the Tiger     
    14. Dead or Alive   
    15. Locked On
    16. Threat Vector
    17. Command Authority
    18. Support and Defend
    19. Full Force and Effect
    20. Under Fire
    21. Commander-in-Chief
    22. Duty and Honor
    23. True Faith and Allegiance
    24. Point of Contact  
    25. Power and Empire
    26. Line of Sight
    27. Oath of Office
    28. Enemy Contact
    29. Code of Honor
    30. Firing Point
    31. Shadow of the Dragon
    32. Target Acquired
    33. Chain of Command
    34. Zero Hour
    35. Flash Point
    36. Weapons Grade
    37. Command and Control
    38. Act of Defiance

    How to watch the Jack Ryan films in order

    If you loved the Jack Ryan books, as we mentioned previously, you can dive into the film and TV adaptions of the beloved series. Although the movies veer from the order of the books, here is how to watch them in order:

    1. The Hunt for Red October (March 2, 1990): Alec Baldwin plays Jack Ryan in this film.
    2. Patriot Games (June 5, 1992): Harrison Ford takes on the role of Jack Ryan in this movie.
    3. Clear and Present Danger (August 3, 1994): Harrison Ford continues his role as Jack Ryan in this thriller.
    4. The Sum of All Fears (May 31, 2002): In this film, Ben Affleck portrays a younger Jack Ryan.
    5. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (January 17, 2014): Chris Pine plays Jack Ryan in this film series reboot.

    Find Jack Ryan audiobooks on Speechify Audiobooks

    Discover the thrilling world of Jack Ryan through Speechify Audiobooks, where you can access a captivating collection of audiobooks featuring the iconic character created by Tom Clancy. Immerse yourself in pulse-pounding espionage, intricate political intrigue, and high-stakes military drama as you listen to the adventures of Jack Ryan, brought to life by talented narrators. With Speechify Audiobooks, you can experience the suspense, action, and intelligence operations of Jack Ryan in a convenient and immersive audio format that will keep you engaged for hours on end. Additionally, with audiobooks in every genre, including Amazon bestsellers, you’ll never run out of thrilling listens. Sign up for Speechify Audiobooks for free today and get your first premium audiobook for free.

    FAQ

    Which Jack Ryan should I read first?

    Read The Hunt for Red October if you’re new to Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and follow the chronological order if you’re re-reading the page-turners.

    What genre are the Jack Ryan books?

    The Tom Clancy bestselling series fall into the genre of political thrillers.

    Is it necessary to read Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series in order?

    Each book is designed to stand alone, which means that readers can pick up any novel and still enjoy the story. However, by reading them in either publication or chronological order, one can appreciate the nuances of Jack Ryan’s evolution.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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