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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Yellow Admiral

The Yellow Admiral is the 18th installment in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. It starts with Jack and Stephen in England catching up with their family. Jack is distressed over the possibility of being "yellowed", or promoted to flag rank without any command, the yellow command being imaginary. Jack is dealing with political issues as an MP in the House of Commons. He leads the opposition to a land reform proposal that another powerful lord and admiral support. Despite the admiral trying to get him orders to go sea, Jack manages to get to Parliament and help vote down the measure.

Stephen Maturin is enjoying his wife Diana and daughter Brigid. He is concerned to learn that his fortune may not be safe in Spain, but then it all works out. Before leaving on a mission, Jack asserts to his wife Sophie that her rudeness to Clarissa Oakes is unwarranted since he has never been involved with her. Yet he soon receives a letter from Sophie informing him that she has knowledge of his affair in America. His attempts to reconcile are useless, until Sophie talks to Diana and Stephen and accepts him back.

Jack is assigned to the Bellona and gets into trouble when a pair of French ships slip the blockade. Then he gets into trouble for leaving formation to chase a French privateer. Stephen returns from a mission in France with plans for Jack to leave the navy when peace breaks out and take a command with the Chilean navy. When Napoleon is captured, Jack is ready to travel to Chile. He is on the first leg of his voyage to Chile when he gets word that Napoleon has escaped and the war is back on.

This book was a bit slower than most of the others. The conflict revolves around Jack's domestic duties and his identity as an MP. Stephen has his usual role as an intelligence agent. Their children get to know each other. Jack struggles with his life on shore and his life on sea, and faces the potential of leaving the sea behind with the end of his career. The voyage at the end with his family starts as a nice valediction until the news of Napoleon's escape. Overall, it's an adequate novel but not among the best in the series. B

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