Well, this has been a disappointment. I absolutely loved the first book in this series and was expecting more of the same in its sequel. But I have been let down by the tack this story took.
I never was a fan of the storyline into Haydn's personal life and especially his romantic intentions. Even in the first book I found it an awkward portion of the book and this installment just makes it worse.
On top of that are the many parts of the story that just drag on interminably. The Shakespeare play to start, while amusing, was just a ploy to make Haydn's romantic life seem less forgettable and only succeeded in making the non-naval section of the tale far too long. The golf game for the next, a strange interlude that left me thinking the author had conjured up some interesting facts about golfing and was determined to put them in the story, no matter how inappropriate. Also moving the 18 pounders, did this seriously have to take 60 pages?? And the French women component just seems forced in for added drama.
Other than that I have just a couple more irritating items. Haydn doesn't need to be angry all the time, I need him to act like a master and commander that really wants to be a captain and isn't always lipping off his superiors. And since when does the captain discuss every decision with his officers, it's too surreal to have an 18th century British captain acting like his ship is a democracy?
I wouldn't normally be so critical but I was really looking forward to this book and I was a bit upset. Now, this may be a lot of negative but it was not really that large a portion of the story and the rest was really good. Everything you would expect from naval fiction is there and it's good but the annoying bits are enough to take this down to a 3 star.
I have never read a Napoleonic sea story, but I love adventure and this is a stellar example of great adventure. The dangerous and/or humorous personal interludes of Hayden reveal the different aspects of his personality in action, which is one of this author’s strengths. Interesting and realistic historical details give the book immediacy. I loved the description of the golf game with Rev. Smosh! This sea story has wide-ranging appeal and is a page-turner. Stands well on its own. I haven’t read Under Enemy Colors.
Wow - what a great blend of historical fact and fiction. Truly in the same class as Patrick O'brien's Master and Commander series (all 20 of which I have read).
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