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Mission Auf Kostroma (Lt. Leary / RCN #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  3,946 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Daniel Leary is a Cinnabar Navy lieutenant with no money and no prospects, and so is scholar Adele Mundy after her family was massacred. When diplomacy fails to keep wealthy planet Kostroma safe from competing powers of Cinnabar and the Alliance, only Daniel, Adele, and a scratch crew stand in the way, from palace corridors to seas and jungles.
Paperback, 477 pages
Published March 31st 2007 by Heyne Verlag (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jacob Proffitt
I picked this up because Eric Raymond mentioned the series in his review of the latest addition. He said:
Drake’s sources are no mystery to anyone who has read Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey-Maturin series; Daniel Leary and his companion-in-arms Adele Mundy are obvious takes on the bumptious Jack Aubrey and physician/naturalist/spy Stephen Maturin. Drake expends great ingenuity in justifying a near-clone of the Napoleonic-era British Navy in a far future with FTL drives.

Well, I'm a fan of the Patrick
Aubrey and Maturin go into space. I really liked how he built his universe so that the jargon of the age of sail was able to fit into space travel. And I also really liked that while one of the main characters was a woman, she was able to be friends with the male protagonist without a hint of romance. How refreshing! Another point in the book's favor was that there were no gender-defined roles. The bosun is a woman--Maturin is a woman, for that matter--and good guys and bad guys are a mix of bot ...more
Per Gunnar
What a load of crap! I’m wondering if I read the same book as those other people giving it 4 and 5 stars. The first third (at least) is downright boring. A good chunk of the book is dedicated to binge drinking, disorderly behavior and vomiting. That includes the “hero”. The rest is not much better. When they are not drinking themselves senseless it’s mostly politics. The behavior of the navy personnel, including the officers, is so utterly non-professional that it’s unbelievable.

There’s a ship i
I don't think I've enjoyed a book this much since Lois McMaster Bujold gave Miles Vorkosigan a rest and went full-time into fantasy. I've been aware of David Drake for years, since "Hammer's Slammers," and I've read a number of the Patrick O'Brien books that Drake says he patterned Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy after, so in retrospect it was no real surprise that I enjoyed "With the Lightnings."

Although the antecedents of Leary and Mundy (Aubrey and Maturin) are fairly clear if you've read O'Brie
After reading the first 50 or so pages 18 months ago, I relegated this book to my "started-deferred" shelf. It seemed to me that this was a story about seagoing ships and sailors that had merely been tweaked to reflect a futuristic setting. More recently, having run out of other books I decided to give it another try and this time "got over the hump" and ended up enjoying the book a fair bit. Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy are interesting characters that will take a long time to get to know well. ...more
I have no idea what part of this was inspired by Patrick O'Brian (other than the spaceships acting like real sailing ships), but that's a good thing. When I first heard this series pitched as 'Aubrey/Maturin IN SPACE, oh but Stephen has become a girl' I was skeptical. I figured it was one of those things where the author couldn't handle Jack and Stephen's closeness and had to flop one of the genders in order to make it okay.

Nope. I couldn't recognize very many traits from the inspiration in any
This book is supposedly a classic in that it is the start of a military SF series by David Drake which had a decent following a dozen years ago.
The series is still ongoing as the 10th book is due next year.

I did however not enjoy it much for two reasons :
- Nothing happens much for during the first half of the book. It's expected that the author needs time to describe the setting and the world in a new series but still I have expectations that something (anything!) happens or it gets dead boring
Daniel Shellenbarger
I approached "With the Lightnings" as a contemporary of David Weber's Honor Harrington books, expecting something in the same vein: a Napoleonic space warfare adventure. Given the premise, focused on a young space navy officer without political connections cast into a complicated political and military situation, this confusion on my part is understandable, but I'm afraid that confusion marred my enjoyment of the book. In fact, the book takes place almost entirely on the surface of a planet and ...more
Woosh! That went quickly. I started reading this late on Thursday night and at first I was disappointed as I found the rapid introduction of (and chop between) the characters a little scatter-shot and confusing, although that may have been my tired brain.

I put the book down after a few pages to get to sleep and didn't pick it up again until Friday night. As it happens, I must have chosen the exact point at which the character intro's finished and the action began, because it felt like I had pick
I was put off from reading this for a full eight years mainly due to the horrible cover, but also some misgivings about David Drake. While I loved his Hammer’s Slammers, his writing has often been a bit wooden. The blurb just didn’t do it for me either. Well, I’m so happy to be proven wrong. “With the Lighnings” is quality military SciFi. The RCN series has been likened to the Hornblower books, However Drake himself says they are actually based on the Aubrey/Maturin books. Since those are in the ...more
Oh... my... GOD! This was just a damn chore to read! I did not care for the prose or the world/galaxy setting. I didn't care about the characters at all & by the time I was at page 200, I realized nothing was really going on. It's as if this novel was just a set up for the rest of the novels & a poor one at that.

I will give Drake credit for not making this a thousand page novel like Peter Hamilton or Weber (though Weber writes fantastic Military Science Fiction). He kept, short--
I really wanted to like this, given the words of the author stating that he was influenced by Patrick O'Brian. But, unfortunately, the influence seemed to be restricted to strangely sailor-like descriptions of the spaceship crew (who were surprisingly good at carpentry etc. stuff that you would not expect to be amongst the skills of a space-going men) and the fact that the spaceships had all sorts of masts. The main protagonists, although perhaps modelled slightly after Aubrey and Maturin were d ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Roberta rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Roberta by: David Broussard
Shelves: sciencefiction
I didn't like this book to start with it. It started slow with a lot of world building, and I thought that Leary was a bit of foppish cad and Adele was a cold bitch. As the book moved on, I started liking them a bit more, and the action really lit up in the last 200 pages (400 pages over all).

Not the best SF I've read, but enjoyable. I liked the book enough to read the second one. I won't put Drake up there with Moon, Ringo, Weber, Shepherd, or Bujold because his action just isn't at their leve
Dave Musicant
I got to page 100 or so and just gave up. Wow, this book is boring. From looking at the reviews, I see that they bifurcate into two categories: those that say "it was slow to warm up, but it eventually kicked in" and those who say "I got tired of waiting for it to get good, and I quit." I'm clearly in the latter camp. 100 pages of nearly no plot. The male protagonist is a smiling idiot. The female protagonist is dull and unable to get anything done herself. It's military science fiction, but see ...more
Julie Johnson

So sorry to give a book one star but the truth is I couldn't get into this book AT ALL...I really wanted to, I loved the premise of an action packed space opera...I started it...and very patiently waited for said action to start...YAWN! I just couldnt wait anymore so I tried flipping forward a few pages...still nothing much going on, nope...took so long to introduce characters and the political background and the political high went on too long for me and I had to give the book up.

I s
D. Jason
Completely enjoyable first installment in Drake's space-opera take on Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series.

The combination of jaunty high adventure with Drake's usual unblinking presentation of brutality works much better for me than his usual straight military SF. The moments of amusement and fun are a good respite from the bleak results of violence.

Drake also makes the very interesting decision to make one of the viewpoint characters a sociopath who knows, more or less, what she is, and tr
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
How could I not like this book? It's a homage to the best book series of all time--Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey–Maturin series; it's military science-fiction; and it's written by David Drake, my favorite military SF novelist.

Other book in this series aren't as good. The characters start to become static and it becomes just one adventure after the other. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not that engaging either. The first few books are quite good. I'll be re-reading more of them in the comi
David George
Re-reading this book as I put the series aside for years and now want to resume and finish it. It is as good as I remember it being. Drake's chosen the Aubrey/Maturin series of O'Brien as his model and he manages to capture that feel while transposing things convincingly to a science fiction setting. What I love about this writer (especially in contrast to many others characterized as "military SF" is that he conveys the sense of chaos, the feeling that events are spinning out of control of the ...more
When I was a preteen (late 50's) I would have loved this series. War heroes with a female co-lead, doing battle and overcoming limitations. Lots of potential because he's always gung-ho, and she's always smartest (as a librarian and a computer geek). This first book could easily be about WWII in the Pacific Theater, with English 1800's type social structure. They're products of wealthy families. Now he is disowned and she is last survivor of a conspiracy against the government.

The best part of
From Publishers Weekly

Veteran military SF author Drake (the Hammer's Slammers series) launches an unlikely pair of star warriors at the far-future and evil Alliance of Free Stars, which is locked in mortal combat with the Republic of Cinnabar over the wealthy trading world of Kostroma. Cheeky young Cinnabaran Lt. Cassian Daniels has quarreled with his powerful and merciless father, who has tossed him out and left him to his own slim devices. Spunky young librarian Adele Mundy is the sole survi

A great start to one of my favorite series. I love military sci fi space opera. This one delivers with a light touch. The writing and plotting are clear and the characters while familiar are a little something different. Daniel with his sort of endearing womanizing and his extra pound or two and Adele which her tack sharp mind and her inability to really relate emotionally to the world around her.
I struggled through 200 pages of With the Lightnings before giving up. I kept reading in hopes of finding redeeming qualities within the characters and/or the civilizations depicted. I kept hoping that basic human decency would show up, but it never did. I guess such a trait is a luxury and, perhaps, a failing in the universe of this book. I found that disappointing and disheartening.
Joaquin Garza
En ciencia ficción el pastiche de la novela náutica napoleónica es equivalente al pastiche tolkieniano en fantasía. La gran diferencia, empero, es que el segundo llegó a niveles extraordinariamente trillados y el primero desde sus inicios sonó muy forzado, búsquese donde se busque. De cualquier modo, pese a esta precondición, el pastiche napoleónico puede llegar a ser una novela disfrutable y hasta casi rayar en lo buena, como lo atestigua mi reseña de Midshipman’s Hope.

Éste no es el caso. El s
This full-length sci fi novel is pretty much Aubrey-Maturin in space (see Patrick O'Brien if you don't catch the reference) and for the most part it's a great story. But the author opened the book with the two characters on the ground, first meeting, establishing the circumstances, and while he's a good action writer, David Drake isn't PoB. The psychological interaction just isn't there.

Once past that first 33%, though, the action picks up and Drake's story comes into its own. It's great and the
Bj Norton
The book starts very slowly, and it was only at the end that there was any naval action. The author's note at the beginning says he is trying to recreate the Aubrey/Maturin series but in space-I'm sorry, but the book completely fails to do so. The author tries so hard to match the beauty of imagining a 17th century sailing vessel that he comes up with needing sails, masts, and riggers in a time where man kind can enter alternate universes-it doesn't make sense. I tried the second in the series h ...more
The first volume of the adventures of Lieutenant Daniel Leary of Bantry, Royal Cinnabar Navy.
Leary is an engaging protagonist, good-natured, on the outs with his powerful family, and capable of brilliant, unorthodox tactics and audacity in action. He's likeable and gutsy and I found myself cheering for him early on. He's not perfect, however, and his dangerous, checkered-past servant, Hogg, helps keep things from getting too goodie-two-shoesy.

Cinnabarian society is reminiscent of the British and
The start of a series I shall now hunt down, With the Lightnings is military sci-fi (sort of--mostly an unexpected commando operation set against a broader backdrop which I expect to come into play later) built upon character. In this case, two main characters: a charming and slightly underbaked lieutenant and the exiled librarian he falls in with (or vice versa). In fairness to David Weber, his books had more characterization back before all his developed characters were spread one or two to a ...more
Robert H
With the Lightnings is the first book in the Leary series by David Drake, and is something I picked up as I'd liked the Hammers Slammers series by the same author. The book revolves around Lieutenant Daniel Leary, a junior officer of the Republic of Cinnabar Navy on a diplomatic mission to the planet Kostroma. It's in exploring the planet that Leary meets Adele Mundy, a scholar who has been essentially exiled from Cinnabar for many years since her family's implication in conspiring against Cinna ...more
Ever since I met David Drake at World Fantasy 2009 in San Jose, I’ve been meaning to read one of his books. I must say, I picked a good one. With the Lightnings is the first book in his RCN Series, which is basically David Drake’s take on Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels. Think Napoleon-era naval battles and political intrigue … in space.

Does it sound good already? Yeah, I thought so.

I was a little surprised at first, because the first chapter started with a bunch of info dumps. It took u
Total rating: Two Stars
Why? Because my first reading was so poor I gave it one star [and I stand by that review], whereas my second one was much better Three Stars[having read from where I left off, which you could argue make this one reading - I don't, but whatever].

Anyway, my thoughts on the book having now read it for a second time.

Characters: 1.5 Stars
I stand by my opinion in the review below that these characters were so bloody poor, however I grant you that they were a marked improvement
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David Drake is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the major authors of the military science fiction genre.
More about David Drake...

Other Books in the Series

Lt. Leary / RCN (10 books)
  • Lt. Leary, Commanding (Lt. Leary, #2)
  • The Far Side of the Stars (Lt. Leary, #3)
  • The Way to Glory (Lt. Leary, #4)
  • Some Golden Harbor (Lt. Leary, #5)
  • When the Tide Rises (Lt. Leary, #6)
  • In the Stormy Red Sky (Lt. Leary, #7)
  • What Distant Deeps (Lt. Leary, #8)
  • The Road of Danger (Lt. Leary, #9)
  • The Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary, #10)

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