I had tried to read this book some years ago and it just seemed to move to slowly. I never got very far. I love this genre and when this was on sale I thought I'd try it. This narrator is most expressive and brings the characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed his read and have already ordered book 2 before this one is finished. I only gave 4 stars because I think Alexander Kent is a 5.
I'm two hours in and have heard the narrator - recorded in the 1980s - swallow painfully and at improbable length more times than in all 60+ Audible titles combined which I have heard thus far.
I'm on book 18 of this series now and have decided to review what I've listened to so far. In the first hour or so I didn't think I'd like this book. It seemed to start slow and the older-sounding reader wasn't what I visualized as the voice of the young, adventurous captain (commander). After the characters got to sea though everything fell into place. Patrick Tull turned-out to be an excellent narator...he is great at giving unique voices for the different characters. The action starts flowing thick and fast, and Dr. Matruin is a great stand-in for the reader who is not a naval expert. Explanations given to the doctor help you understand a lot more of what is going-on...though it's still nice to have wikipedia handy to look-up terms. If you are interested in naval combat in the age of sail/napoleonic age then this book is a must have. What I especially like about this series is that it shows the imperfections of the characters and the age and doesn't just draw a black and white heroic epic. The only negatives I have on this book is that (1) it starts a bit slow and (2) you really need to go beyond the first book to really appreciate the characters and the story. All in all, this is a great book for those who love war at sea in the age of sail.
I had long been curious about this series, and when I heard Patrick Tull's voice in the listening sample, I had to give it a try. (His parts of the multi-reader MOONSTONE by Wilkie Collins are easily the best.) It's terrific historical fiction (exciting sea battles, interesting background asides on the Napoleonic wars and British politics) peppered with very droll, amusing remarks and social commentary that makes the narrative voice as much a character as Aubrey and Maturin. Tull is the perfect reader for this material, and now I find a new addiction as there are 20+ books in this series.
This series of books is one of the best that I've read. The characters are alive and lovable. A must read! I'm on book 5 now and can't wait to read the other 16 books.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the reader's style with the different voices. It was exciting and the details of life in those times was fascinating. I look forward to the next book in the series.