The Ionian Mission (Aubrey & Maturin #8)
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now senior captain commanding a line-of-battleship in the Royal Navy's blockage of toulon, and this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate action of his early day ...more
Our hero British naval officer Captain Jack Aubrey needs to get out of dodge and takes a boring a blockade assignment that turns into something a bit more touchy in the diplomatic line, very volatile politics indeed.
Intrigue simmers in the background. A double-cross heats things ...more
fearnaught screen: thick felt used to cover hatches during battle.
felucca (n): a small Spanish sailing vessel, but also a kind of fishing boat formerly used in the SF Bay Area.
houario (n): "A French lug-rigged boat of the chasse-marée type," according to King.
levinflash (n): lightning flash. "Levin" is apparently an archaic term for lightning, from Middle English.
mastic ( ...more
I liked the story well enough, but I have a big problem with Simon Vance's narration. He did the non-dialogue stuff in a way that kept my attention - Patrick Tull's slower pace tends to lose me at times in O'Brian's long sentences - but I absolutely LOATHE Vance's voices for Jack and Stephen. Ugh! Jack is the same booris ...more
But on this reread of the entire series, when I came to this book I became aware of something I hadn't noticed ...more
I can't wait to get the next book...
Not much happens, really. But in true O'Brian fashion, the entire time they spend on blockade duty in the Ionian Sea is in fact NOT the mission you think. Only towards the last half of the last 1/3 of the book is the true mission.
My favorite par ...more
I fell in love with the series from the opening scene of Master and Commander, and went on to read all 20 Aubrey-Maturin novels. The characters of Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin were initialized in that opening scene, and grew through the entire series. This is the best historical fiction I have read. In the series, I learned about British, French, Dutch, and Spanish naval operations during the Napoleonic wars. I also first learned of Napoleon's command and espionage structu ...more
After a full book focused very much on Stephen Maturin, this one returns more to Captain Jack....
Treachery and bad luck begin to plague Aubrey, and Stephen Maturin is sadly taken in by some of the treason, resulting in some troubled times for the two. This book has some of the most hilarious moments in the entire series and despite the ominous clouds on the ...more
Reading Aubrey is much tougher than listening to it - you lose the ability to let the minutiae of Age of Sail terms flow into your wake. This is one of those times that a hypertext edition, with links to pictures of the various ship bits, would help. Links to the Aubrey Mapping Project (http://www.cannonade.net/) wouldn't be amiss either.
The major problem ...more
The humour in these books is as imperative as any other element. I've heard POB's humour described as "dry" - I disagree. It achieves all levels: dry wit, sarcasm, punning, low humour, di ...more
After a break from Aubrey and Maturin for a few months--mostly to take care of some nonfiction reading and reviewing--I finally have time to dive back into the continuing story. I went into Book 8, The Ionian Mission, with a bit of fear, however. Why? Because the last time I tried to read through O'Brian's series, this is the point at which I fizzled out and stopped the series. (This was partly because at that time I couldn't find a copy of Book 7, and it was difficult to get back into the serie...more
Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin are by now old friends of mine, even as they are old friends of each other. They are veterans of many battles and have come far since the early days of their association when they ser ...more
Set in the ...more