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In the lead-up to the upcoming third season of Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, and the brand-new novel Tom Clancy Red Winter, we thought we’d give you a quick introduction to Jack Ryan himself.

Please note that Jack Ryan is a fictional character created by author Tom Clancy and has no connection to real-life individuals or organizations.

Who is Jack Ryan?

Jack Ryan is the main character in the Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy. His first appearance was in Tom Clancy’s debut novel, The Hunt for Red October, but Ryan quickly became one of his most popular characters and inspired a long series of books covering his career and even the adventures of his son, Jack Ryan Jr.

Ryan is most well-known for being a member of the CIA as an analyst after leaving the US Marine Corps following a helicopter crash that left him severely injured. Climbing through the ranks at the CIA, the novels follow his adventures as he becomes a reluctant field agent and beyond, as the President of the United States.

Tom Clancy

Where might you have seen him before?

The name Jack Ryan might sound familiar because he has been depicted in five films and portrayed by famous actors such as Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. He is also played by John Krasinski in the latest book-to-screen adaptation of a TV series on Amazon Prime, called Jack Ryan.

The TV show has quickly become a favourite amongst action-adventure watchers, and the third season of the show premieres on Amazon Prime on December 21.

If Tom Clancy's name rings a bell, you may know him from the smash hit video game series Tom Clancy: Ghost Recon and Tom Clancy: Rainbow Six.

Which book should you read first?

There are a total of 21 novels that feature Jack Ryan, mostly written by Tom Clancy. Clancy wrote most of the novels until 2010 when they were then co-written and after his death in 2013, were taken over by a select few authors including Marc Cameron and Mark Greaney.

Since there are quite a few novels, unless you really want to read the books in chronological order, you can start with any book in the series. The latest release of the Jack Ryan series, Tom Clancy Red Winter by Marc Cameron comes out on December 13 and features a never-before-seen Jack Ryan at the beginning of his career. This might just be the perfect book to start with, to get a better idea of who he was before he was swept up in being a CIA deputy director or the President of the United States.  

No matter which book you choose to read first, you’re bound to enjoy the action-packed storylines and meeting beloved characters that continue to feature in the novels such as Ding Chavez, whom Ryan works with when they headed the anti-terrorist force Rainbow Six in England.

Read the Latest Jack Ryan Novel: Tom Clancy Red Winter

Just in time for the twenty-year anniversary of Tom Clancy’s classic novel, Red Rabbit, this Jack Ryan prequel set in 1985 is a must-read for long-time readers and new fans who seek to meet Jack Ryan at the beginning of his career.


  • Tom Clancy Red Winter - Marc Cameron

    For the twenty-year anniversary of Tom Clancy's classic novel Red Rabbit, this is a white-knuckle prequel set in 1985, introducing a never-before-seen Jack Ryan at the beginning of his career.

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