Joseph Banks in the beginning had me hooked. I have always enjoyed stories that involve Captain Cooks voyages, in some ways yes they are terribly romantic, but have always found this Banks figure fairly elusive. The opening chapters really spread his life out before me and I felt really connected to the character and his life struggles especially in Tahiti. I became less connected with him during the later chapters (as he was not the focus- and this seemed to bother me a bit). Perhaps it was because I could not get into the stories, Mongo Parks especially threw me off. Which was unfortunate because his should have been terribly interesting! I mean some of his adventures in Africa should have really gotten my tail feathers up! Herschel was good enough but Caroline really stole my heart, she was just a dear! The story where the other young woman had to undergo surgery without anesthetic especially sticks out in my mind and was very vivid. I guess my major beef was with Davy. I mean to be fair the author didn't really set him up to be a hero or anything but I really found a massive distaste for him and hated reading his chapters. The chapters on ballooning were delightful though. It was frankly a more cohesive sampling than my hodgepodge review is making it out to be it was fairly well woven together, I don't know what to rate this! It had some really good moments that I think were absolutely worth it, but man that Davy what a stinker!