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The comparison is a little simplistic, but this alternative history is tons of fun. The characters are consistant with the period, the writing is good, and Simon Vance is one of the best readers anywhere. I loved every minute of this book. A great adventure!
4 and a half was what I wanted, but it didn't quite reach my 5 star threshold.
33 of 34 people found this review helpful
The tone of the writing fits the setting perfectly, and the narrator matches as though the book were written specifically for him.
Some reviewers have complained that the story is tedious. Certainly the writing style is deliberate and considered, but as I said, it matches the setting and especially the naval character of Lawrence, the main character whose perspective is our own. Anyone who needs a very fast-paced writing style (like Carl Hiassan) might dislike it, but anyone who can tolerate Tolkein would have no trouble.
Temeraire is delightful, and Lawrence is such a good man. His gradual shift from the navy to the aerial corps is believable and involving; his struggle with integrating himself into the new culture is fraught with pitfalls that are paralleled nicely by Temeraire's difficulty with being a rare breed.
Lawrence's stiff manner and preoccupation with propriety stem from a powerful and selfless desire to do the right thing, both for his country and for his loved ones, making behavior that would come off as pompous in another man seem heartfelt and honest from him.
What little aerial combat there is (surprisingly little if you're expecting a war, but for the story and Temeraire's age it's appropriate) is occasionally paced a bit oddly, but in truth, the action sequences are exceptionally easy to follow, dramatic, and realistic, with real consequences and believable decision-making, none of the absurd posturing of the usual fantasy battle scene.
In short, Naomi does an excellent job of convincing the reader that her world is real, that dragons are real, that we know a guy named Lawrence, that he has a dragon named Temeraire, and that we care about them both.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful