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
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.
I absolutely love this stuff! Here we find Captain Jack Aubrey struggling to use his wits for once, instead of his might and skill at naval warfare, to unravel a tricky situation amongst three minor rulers in the eastern Mediterranean. Will he or won't he choose wisely, side with...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
After a full book focused very much on Stephen Maturin, this one returns more to Captain Jack....
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
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
Early in the Ionian Mission I was impressed with how O'Brian eases the reader back into the situations and characters of the series. A deft reminder here. A tasteful recap there. This is excellent stuff for someone like me, who is working through the books at around one per year.
However, O'Brian goes on to over-use his...more
That Patrick O'Brian chose to place his characters on the sea in the not so distant past just raised the hurdle I had to leap to get to know this wonderful author.
I had never been enamored with sea stories, didn't much care for European history, and yet was wonderfully taken with this series. The sea is a major character, but history is not greatly illuminated, almost a backdrop to the specific circumstance the characters find themselves in. Which perhaps reflects t...more
'The Ionian Mission' is less about adventures on the high sea or intrigue on land and more concerned with coming...more
This is the of a couple plots that involve land-based diplomacy. The book starts off with Jack on blockade duty commanding the Worcester, a terribly-built British ship that doesn't last a weather-beaten chase of the French armada up the channel. The ship is condemned, but Jack is put onto the Surprise once more on a diplomatic mission in which both Maturin and Professor Graham are very interested.
The crux of the situation in the...more
Unfortunately, the book did...more
Set in the...more