Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8)” as Want to Read:
The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Ionian Mission (Aubrey & Maturin #8)

by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  4,814 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But a sudden turn of events takes them off on a hazardous mission to the Greek isles, where they are soon involved in fierce and thrilling action.
Audio CD, Unabridged, 300 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ionian Mission, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ionian Mission

Courage by Robert    CarterMaster and Commander by Patrick O'BrianPost Captain by Patrick O'BrianH.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'BrianHornblower and the Hotspur by C.S. Forester
Historical Naval Fiction
7th out of 115 books — 91 voters
Taking Chances by Christina PaulMaster and Commander by Patrick O'BrianLiberty or Death by David        CookThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
Napoleonic War fiction
22nd out of 82 books — 91 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ken-ichi
Seriously, these books are like crack. Some choice terms and quotes (defs mostly from King's invaluable A Sea of Words):

Words
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
Jason Koivu
Political intrigue in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars as seen through the eyes of a Royal Navy captain. The Ionian Mission is yet another strong showing in the long Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.

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
Webster Bull
If you’ve thought about jumping aboard Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series, which follows a British ship’s captain and doctor through the Napoleonic Wars, it would be logical to start with the first volume, Master and Commander (1970), which gave its name to a Russell Crowe–starring film adaptation in 2003. But if I were going to recommend one of the twenty books in the amazing thirty-year series that best shows off the mastery of O’Brian, I’d say you might consider volume 8, The Ionian Miss ...more
Karla
A pretty slow-building tale, but the finale is action-packed. Yeah, I had a huge sad when my precious Pullings got knocked down, but Jack was right there to protect his peeps. ;)

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
Wealhtheow
The eighth in the adventures of Captain Aubrey and Dr.Maturin. After a peak into their respective home lives (Maturin's is my particular favorite: he and Diana have homes of their own because their lives are so different--plus he needs privacy for all his intelligence work--but he visits often for shared breakfast in bed and dinner parties), they ship off to support the blockade against the French. It's a long, boring period for them, made more troubling by the leadership. One of Aubrey's old co ...more
Sherwood Smith
In this latest installment in the Aubrey/Maturin roman fleuve, Patrick O'Brian does some interesting things. As always on my first read I galloped through it, loving the adventure, the descriptions, the diving bell and the naturalist explorations, far travels, vivid descriptions, various cultures, and exciting battles. O’Brian doesn’t let the reader down, with the expected comedic bits.

But on this reread of the entire series, when I came to this book I became aware of something I hadn't noticed
...more
Susan
I really enjoyed this chapter in the Jack Aubrey stories. We got to meet up with a few old friends, listened to Jack's valet cry of dismay whenever Aubrey abused his clothes, was on board during a high wind and felt the rise and fall of the waves and heard the pounding sea on the ship to the point where I wondered how all these ships stayed in one piece (thanks to the wonderful storytelling by Mr. O'Brian), and finally got a battle at sea. No long land scenes, no Sophie, children or Diana Villie ...more
Gilly McGillicuddy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Aug 22, 2007 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history nuts in particular
I've been a bit slow in getting back to the Aubrey/Maturin series, but I have no idea why- this book reminded me how much I love them. The characters still have their witty and pithy comments, the nautical knowledge is omnipresent but does not impede the storytelling, and I was completely enthralled with the story. I'm so glad Jack seems to have his luck back!

I can't wait to get the next book...
Christopher H.
I really enjoyed reading The Ionian Mission, the eighth episode in the twenty-volume canon of Patrick O'Brian's brilliant 'Aubreyiad.' This had a bit of it all too: affairs with 'hearth and home' in London and at Ashgrove Cottage; doings with Sophie Aubrey and Diana Villiers Maturin; Stephen Maturin's intelligence activities against the French ashore and afloat; and some fascinating sea-faring adventuring in the Mediterranean Sea. It was wonderful to watch Jack and Stephen have the opportunity t ...more
Nelson
In which O'Brian enlarges his cast of characters yet again. Heretofore Aubrey and Maturin have tried their hand primarily at Hummel, Cherubini and Scarlatti. Here for the first time, they have a crack at 'London' Bach's dad, Johann hisself. Interesting how the music is made to serve the moods of the characters at the time. In this and perhaps the last novel, O'Brian has gotten beyond his earlier habit of working variations on the main characters. One has the sense that he has decided at this poi ...more
Wendy
Another delightful, if not slightly boring chapter in the life of Jack and Stephen. But the same wit and puns, the same shameless use of all sorts of nautical terms, and of course a wonderful peek into the life of a British navy sailor in a sailing ship.

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
Daniel
a great story and well written . This is the first of O'brian's books that I've read due to availability in our local library,but I plan on buying the entire series of his books on the fighting ships of the British Royal Navy during the years of Napoleon.I would highly recommend these novels to anyone who has an interest in the sea. O'brian is a technical author so be prepared for an in depth word parade of ship terminology,but also prepare yourself to get lost in a completely different time. If ...more
Chris
Another book down in Patrick O'Brian's great series about a British captain fighting the French in the Napoleanic wars. As usual, O'Brian does a fantastic job of mixing great character development, dialogue, humor and action while conveying in intricate detail the realities of naval warfare and politics. All that said, this has not proved to be my favorite book in the series. It's a bit slow and doesn't deliver nearly as much excitement as some of the others. Still a worthy read and I'm looking ...more
Duncan Mandel
SUMMARY: Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But a sudden turn of events takes them off on a hazardous mission to the Greek isles, where they are soon involved in fierce and thrilling action. EDITORIAL REVIEW: Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master ...more
Rob Welch
Once again, a very good seafaring tale. I particularly enjoyed seeing the character of Aubrey deepen even further... for the first time we see him truly doubt himself, and see his tortured reaction to seeing even trusted seaman look askance at him, wondering if he has lost that "Lucky Jack" edge.

After a full book focused very much on Stephen Maturin, this one returns more to Captain Jack....
Cinzia
Questo episodio della serie mi è piaciuto leggermente di meno dei precedenti, l'ho trovato un po' lento e il crescendo di tensione che porta allo scontro finale è stato abbastanza telefonato. Probabilmente la lentezza e l'accenno di noia sono effetti voluti, dovuti al blocco navale di Tolone e all'assenza di scontri degni di nota; tuttavia mi aspettavo che il ritorno nel Mediterraneo, dopo Primo Comando, potesse essere un po' più divertente. Jack ha le mani legate praticamente per l'80% del roma ...more
Dan
Having been gifted with a full set of "dead tree edition" Aubrey books, I have resumed my trek through the Napoleonic Wars (Nautical Edition).

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
Anna
‘The Ionian Mission’ successfully cheered me up after the emotional trauma of The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia. As ever with the Aubery & Maturin series, there are exciting sea battles and political machinations, but the highlights are bickering between characters, instances of perfect comic timing, and cameos from wild animals. Of especial note, the exercising of the rhino, Babbington’s adventure with Lesbians, Jack snuffling about with a cold and missing Stephen, the younger ...more
Neil

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
Randy
I believe I'm on my fourth trip through the Aubrey-Maturin series although this might have been my fifth reading of The Ionian Mission. The great thing about this book is that O'Brian has managed to bring together all of our favorite crew members: Pullings, Jack's protege, eager to win the next step in his career, Mowat, like pullings and Babbington, all mid-shipmen in the first book of the series (Master and Commander), Bonden, Aubrey's invaluable coxswain and Killick, his crabby steward, Joe P ...more
Richard
There is a lot of spying and diplomatic intrigue in this book. Captain Jack Aubrey gets command of the "H.M.S. Worcester", and Stephen Maturin, ships' surgeon and undercover agent, is surreptitiously delivered to Spain and France to engage with anti-Bonapartist factions. The former assignment occurs when Captain Jack is part of the Royal Navy's Toulon blockade of the French navy. A reunification occurs with Jack's faithful lieutenant, William Babington, when "Worcester" joins "H.M.S. Dryad", und ...more
Matthew
So, as usual, a note first about the narrator(s) of this series. Patrick O'Brian wrote 20 (and a half) Aubrey/Matchurin books before his death, and only 2 men have narrated all 20, Patrick Tull, and Simon Vance. I listened to Tull narrating the first 5 books of the series, because those were the versions my library had. For Desolation Island, I could only get a hold of the Simon Vance version. He is a highly capable narrator, but has no concept of the characters in this particular series (and hi ...more
Dorothy
I love reading series, returning again and again to visit with characters that I've come to know and value. There are few series that I enjoy more than Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin British Royal Navy seafaring adventures set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic War.

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
Rob
Difficult to rate this one compared to the first seven Aubrey-Maturin books. It was a slight let-down compared to the rest of the series, but still top-notch historical fiction.

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
EJD Dignan
Repeated from review of Book 1

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
James Titterton
'The Ionian Mission' sees O'Brian exploring a facet of naval life in this period that he wisely avoided in previous books - the tedium of the blockade. Jack Aubrey no longer commands a dashing sloop or frigate but the leaky, lumbering 'Worcester' which serves as a metaphor for his career. Has 'Lucky' Jack lost his magic touch? Is it time for him to stand aside for younger, keener men?

'The Ionian Mission' is less about adventures on the high sea or intrigue on land and more concerned with coming
...more
Rob
I just finished this book in July on my 2nd way through the series.

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
Julia
This, the 8th installment of the Aubrey/Maturin series of naval adventures set during the Napoleonic wars, felt slightly different than many of its predecessors. The middle, say, 50% of the book was s l o w, but arguably that is as it should be since it's about holding a blockade against the French and Jack is in a long-term terrible mood (for good reason) and nothing much happened. It was a bit dampening of the spirits to read, especially after the beginning of the novel with Stephen and Diana ...more
Angela
It is perhaps indicative of how little impact The Ionian Mission had on me that, writing this review several weeks after I actually read the novel, I can barely remember what happened in it. Which isn't really fair to the novel or Mr. O'Brian's writing, to be sure, since this is after all an Aubrey-Maturin novel and by definition comes with a certain default level of Awesome. Also, a lot of the events in this book naturally inform what comes next in Treason's Harbour.

Unfortunately, the book did
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lieutenant Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #2)
  • A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian
  • Sharpe's Fortress (Sharpe, #3)
  • Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels
  • Patrick O'Brian's Navy
  • Ramage (The Lord Ramage Novels, #1)
5600
Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).

Set in the
...more
More about Patrick O'Brian...
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1) H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey/Maturin, #3) Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin, #2) The Mauritius Command (Aubrey/Maturin, #4) Desolation Island (Aubrey/Maturin, #5)

Share This Book

“Because, sir, teaching young gentlemen has a dismal effect upon the soul.It exemplifies the badness of established, artificial authority. The pedagogue has almost absolute authority over pupils: he often beats them and insensibly he loses the sense of respect due to them as fellow human beings.He does them harm, but the harm they do him is far greater. He may easily become the all-knowing tyrant, always right, always virtuous; in any event he perpetually associates with his inferiors, the king of his company; and in a surprising short time alas this brands him with the mark of Cain. Have you ever known a schoolmaster fit to associate with grown men?” 12 likes
“Well, damme, William, I am sorry: I am very sorry, indeed I am. But injustice is a rule of the service, as you know very well; and since you have to have a good deal of undeserved abuse, you might just as well have it from your friends.” 6 likes
More quotes…