Friends, this is my review of the book an Awkward Commission by David Donachie which I read recently. This is book three in the series which follows the life and adventures of John Pearce.
As a landlubber he has been illegally kidnapped and press ganged into King Georges Navy. His desire is to free himself and his friends called the Pelicans. The trouble is Britain is at war with various factions in France. Having been promoted up the ranks from a humble seaman, in recognition of his actions, rather than having to free him he finds himself in the Mediterranean taking part in various actions there. Including acting as a spy, as he can speak fluent French.
John's arch enemy is the captain who original was responsible for his initial capture. John has to make the difficult decision does he help rescue him or not, as the captain has let the ship he was in be captured..
The book ends with a very dramatic account of the taking of a French warship which had seemingly been abandoned, but in fact was a trap. The French were on the shore with their guns and cannons all lined up on the deck and rigging of the abandoned ship.
This account is made all the more exciting to realise that it is based on a real account that took place during the war. Incredible to think that people used such bravery and skill.
A very enjoyable book, and I am looking forward to reading more of the series, in the months to come.
This was book 11 week 9 fiction 10 (audio books 1) non fiction 1
There is a saying that time and tide wait for no-one. If one adds in internet connection problems then trying to keep a business running that uses the net this is an issue. Add keeping my book list reviews up to date is a real problem. (All I can say is if using BT Broadband then do read their spam emails because if they say they are going to change your settings even if you have not asked them to they will and it is not easy getting them to put things right and as to telling you why they changed things then “that is a mystery – The system seems to have a mind of it's own” as the man from their finance dept said).
So after much thought rather than playing catch up all the time, I will list all the 7 books I have read or listened to in the last few weeks without a review and then hopefully move on from there.
So this brings the total up to book 44 week 32 fiction 41 (audio books 12) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book By the Mast Divided by David Donachie. Having not read any of David's books before, I was a little apprehensive on reading this as to weather or not I would enjoy it. Especially as I do enjoy reading Patrick O' Brian's stories, and from the cover this did seems as if it could have been in a similar vain.
But I need not have worried, though they are both nautical and set in a similar time frame they are very different in style and content and both really enjoyable.
So getting to the plot line – Our hero of the hour is a certain John Pearce, who is illegally press ganged from the Pelican Tavern onto the HMS Brilliant, a frigate on its way to war, against the French.
Initially John tries to escape, but when he finds that this is not possible he forms a friendship with a group of other press ganged landlubbers. They form the gang of Pelican's and aim to look after themselves, with John as the leader. The narrative is very clever in so much as they are the bottom of the pile as far as the Navy goes and the description of life on board for these men is very realistic giving one real sympathy with them and their plight.
So HMS Brilliant goes off to war chasing a French Privateer along the channel. John shines and uses his natural skills to help the situation despite the captain.
I found it an enjoyable book, that brought back past memories of sailing in the channel – not chasing after a Privateer, but fighting against the wind and the waves. This is the first book in a series and I will be looking forward to reading the next, to see what happens to John. Though I somehow doubt that he manages to escape from the Navy otherwise there would not be a series of books about John on the High Seas.
This was book 30 week 23 fiction 27 (audio book 6) non fiction 3.
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.