It would have been hard to match the sea battles and action of Master and Commander. I'm not a huge fan of Jane Austin type writing, so the beginning of the book, with it's emphasis on courtship and social life, felt a bit slow...but the relationships created are of great importance later in the series. The novel is great though at showing what a roller coaster ride the career of a naval officer can be. Aubrey, riding so high in the previous book, has a series of dramitic ups and downs. For those who favor naval action, the later part of the book does not disappoint, with a suspense-filled cutting-out expedition and a a creditable, though brief account of a fleet action.
I started this series after a comment by Leo Laport on a TWiT podcast. I have enjoyed the series. If you enjoy the relationships and details of the first, the second is for you. I intend to read all 20.
This is the current book, but I've been listening to these at random for about a year now, have really been surprised how much has soaked into my consciousness.
Saw a picture the other day of a small boat by a breakwater at what was obviously at high tide and a high sea. My first thought was not "nice picture"--it was--but "lee shore!!! does it have enough leeway?"
Appalled listening to Richard Zacks' book on the Barbary Pirates--total incompetence of an American naval captain, both as a leader and as a sailor. "HowEVER did the American Navy get to the point that they could best the Royal Navy by 1812?"
And a lot of that insight came from Post Captain, with that dreadful ship and flogging mad first officer.
And it is nice to finally know how our guys meet Sophie and Diana.
I actually gave the first book a 5. There is nothing wrong with this book. I enjoyed listening too it greatly, however parts of it were kind of a downer. I enjoyed the plot twists (hope that is not too revealing), and the intruduction of some new land bound female characters. I dont want to say too much, but how Jack can still be called 'Lucky Jack' is beyond me. The devolopment of stevens character in this book was also very pleasing. I still intend to finish the series.
The depth and complexity of character, historical nautical detail, and insight into human nature are rewarding enough in this second book of the series. The astonishing narration adds to to the richness- the subtle change of accent and voice for each character is pulled off with an ease unriveled in the audiobooks I've listened to.
A rivetting story, with very good historical detail. It spends quite a bit of time on shore at the start of the book, but the historical setting is marvellous, and the story told there essential for the rest of the book, and the next books too. Make sure you listen to the unabridged book (you don't want to miss anything), with Patrick Tull reading (an excellent reader).
O'Brian's dialog sometimes is difficult to follow. The narrator often helps you get a better understanding of the characters' intent.