DNF. Nothing in particular against this book. The plot is ok, but the writing isn't enough to hold my interest over the absurd amount of time it took...moreDNF. Nothing in particular against this book. The plot is ok, but the writing isn't enough to hold my interest over the absurd amount of time it took me to get as far as I did. Sluggish reading paces and lack of book-reading time blows. If I kept plodding along, I'd be joining these two.
It's not you, it's me. I couldn't even muster myself up to page 70. Not through any fault of yours, I'm sure, but because my ey...moreDear Book Loaned To Me,
It's not you, it's me. I couldn't even muster myself up to page 70. Not through any fault of yours, I'm sure, but because my eyes and brain weren't talking to each other and didn't care to process what I saw. Your writing was quite adequate, and there was nothing that had happened as yet to turn me off. So I am at a loss here.
You have lots of Bodice Ripping stuff that I know I should love in any format, but it simply didn't work out this time. Go back to your loving owner, and I will think about acquainting myself with one of your identical siblings somewhere out there in OP land in the future.
The last time I read (well, listened) to this book, I loved it but didn't LOVE it.
This time, as the closing sentence was uttered in Patrick Tull's mel...moreThe last time I read (well, listened) to this book, I loved it but didn't LOVE it.
This time, as the closing sentence was uttered in Patrick Tull's mellifluous voice, with Jack Aubrey's court martial ending in his favor (as it must!), I sighed a happy, contented sigh. And immediately scrolled to the next book in the series on the iPod.
I love Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. It's such a bromance. I daresay the best bromance ever written. Both men are so fully-dimensional in their casual asides and serious interactions with each other and those around them. A highlight was Stephen's conversations with James Dillon, co-member in the Society of United Irishmen. Their special (though not entirely affectionate) tie allows them talk without formality and illuminate so many parts of the plot: Irish vs. English, rivalry within the officer class aboard ship, sailor superstitions and prejudices (the ship's Jonah , the act of sodomy), and a wealth of other things.
There are many laugh-out-loud moments, with Jack's rough manner providing most of them. He's such a lovable character with no time and patience for niceties, and who forgets that he's sometimes not aboard ship. The scene at a mixed-company party where Jack, already a few sheets to the wind, boasts about his crew having shore leave with a couple coins to spend and "pricks a yard long!" had me giggling madly. The way Stephen handled the situation had me smiling. (Man, I love those two.)
The f*ckton of nautical terminology put me a bit off the first time I read it - Master Marshall's detailed tour of the Sophie with landlubber Stephen being as dense an interlude as a black hole - but this time I let it sweep over me and focused on the plot itself and didn't get distracted with the details. It's the flavor that's important, and O'Brian's time-specific vocabulary does much to throw the reader into the era and unique world of the masted ship and the men who lived and died on them. I feel like I'm right there thanks to O'Brian's masterful description and the flow of language and dialogue. There's nary an anachronism to be seen. It's beautiful, evocative and authentic. Sublime stuff.(less)
This was quite the uneven and rather shoddy type of bodice ripper, but didn’t crap all over itself too much. The final scene was so OTT and crazy, tha...moreThis was quite the uneven and rather shoddy type of bodice ripper, but didn’t crap all over itself too much. The final scene was so OTT and crazy, that it definitely redeemed itself for the lackluster way the hero and heroine got onto the path of reunion.
But back to the beginning...
Morag Elliot and her mother are in France, Catholic Scots exiles in the court of Louis XIV for their support of a now-dethroned James II. While Jimmy is trying to get his collective shit together and make a grab for his crown, Morag dreams of entering the nunnery and her mother sleeps with whoever will give her gambling money. Her lover of the moment is Quentin Sauvage, a half-Mohawk nobleman who is one of Louis' favorites. Morag hates the guy, namely for that one time when she walked in and caught her mom and Quentin going at it like minks. Oh, and she also hates him for making her get all breathless and tingly when he gets near her. His stealing of kisses doesn't help her confuzzled thoughts either.
OK, now I know what you're thinking. "OMG, that Quentin is a douche! Sleeping with the heroine's mother AND making plays for the daughter!" Well, I guess so, but he really was a likable guy. Because, really, the rest of the characters are an evil, shitty bunch. They make Quentin look like Galahad.
So Morag gets sold off for gambling pin money, drugged up with aphrodesiacs, winds up pregnant, is given an abortion (she has a second one later one as well), and ends up in England where her really godawful luck repeats itself in King William's court.
Then it's off to the New World, where she has no better luck in a Puritan settlement with marauding Indians and Bible-thumping loons.
Plenty happens in this rather short ripper, and the plot rollicks along without paying too much attention or seriousness to any one event. It's not a classic of crapsmanship like Passion's Sweet Sacrifice, but I was never bored, and I really had a soft spot for the swoonily-named Quentin Sauvage.(less)
Not badly written, but the pacing was way too slow. To start out the book with all hell breaking loose, then backtrack for a couple hundred pages of b...moreNot badly written, but the pacing was way too slow. To start out the book with all hell breaking loose, then backtrack for a couple hundred pages of backstory really ruined the momentum. I'd still have to skim another couple hundred pages to get to the action again, and I can't waste the time.(less)