I had hesitated to read Red Storm Rising novel for quite some time. The main reason behind this thinking was that it is was completely separate from the "Jack Ryan" universe - where I was trying to move my way forward. As it turns out, after a few years of stalling, and despite the fact that the US-Soviet conflict is no longer a fresh topic, I was pleasantly surprised.
Being that the book is quite long, the story was simple. One of Russia's oil refineries is destroyed by a Muslim terrorist group. Facing an oil shortage - their country would be exposed to economic and political disasters. So the Russian leaders decide to take back oil from the Muslims - in the Persian Gulf. They instigate a ground war that takes NATO - and the U.S. - by surprise.
The entirety of the novel is a long detailed battle plan - of the air, sea, and land war, with a little bit of diplomacy involved in the middle.
Red Storm Rising is clearly written for the techno-military buffs - while I am not one. With that being said, the novel - and the ensuing action - was very easy to follow.
This is not a book that is meant to develop any characters. There are some military personnel we do get to know, as well as some high ranking Soviets in the Politburo.
The ending was very exciting despite the slow build-up.
So again, if you really do not know much about Tom Clancy books - and are not a military enthusiast - Red Storm Rising may not be for you and is definitely not the place to start. For anyone else - especially Jack Ryan fans who fear a book without Jack Ryan - you will not be disappointed.