You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Fortune of War

The Fortune of War is the sixth book in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. Jack Aubrey takes his surgeon friend Stephen Maturin and a few other shipmates on a voyage back to England from the Spice Islands. When the ship catches fire, a few of them end up on a boat, trying to make it to the South American coast. They are finally rescued by the Java, an English ship. Soon after, the Java gives chase to the Constitution, an American ship. The Americans have just declared war on England (the War of 1812).

When the ships engage, the Java is defeated, and Jack and Stephen are taken as prisoners. They end up in Boston as POWs, and Jack ends up in a mad-house because of his injured arm. Stephen meets the woman who wouldn't marry him, Diana Villiers, who's involved with an American man.

Most of the book is taken up with Maturin and his attempts at evading American and French spies. We see a bit bolder and more daring side of Stephen in this book. We also get to know Diana more. She is attached to a man who is an American agent. Also they meet with Mr. Herapath and his girlfriend, who escaped from the Jack's ship in the previous book. Somehow Stephen and Jack have to get out of the city before they are prosecuted by the Americans or killed by the French. There is another great ship battle to end the book, much anticipated throughout the story.

While the spy story is good, overall the book is not quite as good as some of the others in the series. It's still captivating though, especially the Java's chase of the Constitution, and the intrigue in Boston. It's got a good balance of sea life and action on the land. I'll give it a B+.


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