I thought this was an excellent addition to the Temeraire series, faster paced and with more adventure and emotion than books 6 and 7. This is among my favorites in the series, nearly up there with books 1 and 5.
Amnesia is certainly a tired potboiler plot device, but after all this is an adventure serial.
I thought Novik handled it well and delicately, using it to highlight how much Laurence has changed over the course of the series and how his relationship with Temeraire has developed as well. She also uses the device to get some emotion and tender moments, without wringing it dry.
It's good to see Temeraire moving to more of a general's position, which is very difficult for him but gives the readers a better idea of the big picture. There are a number of nice plot twists and bits of clever strategy which I thought were quite interesting. I only wish that Temeraire had been able to use his eloquence more to persuade other dragons, as he did in book 5. As usual we get to see some new countries and the different ways their cultures deal with dragons, in addition to some old familiar friends from earlier in the series. And of course the difference between human and dragon perspectives on events and characters is a source of humor and some deeper philosophy.
Simon Vance's narration is fantastic as always - I only disagreed with him on one voice (Granby's), but otherwise all the voices he choices were suitable and distinct, with accents noticeable but not intrusive.
This is the first Audible book in which I've found a technical problem - a bit from earlier in the book spliced in between 5:39 and 5:42 in the first section. Annoying, but on consideration I didn't feel that it detracted from my enjoyment enough to remove any stars.
The book ends on a cliffhanger, but not a horrible cruel one - just enough to have me looking forward eagerly to the next book!
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