I know there are many people who love these books, and others of the genre, dearly. And I mean no offense to them when I say, these are not for me. I don't care enough about life at the sea, and even with the rum and occasional flogging, the books are far too antiseptic to satisfy the historian in me.
Also, military history. I don't really give a rat's ass about military history. Those who do, good on you. But it bores me to death. Give me a rousing social history any time.
Maybe it was the wrong choice to start my foray into this genre with one of the last books in the series. But I'm not sure it made that much of a difference, unless someone can tell me that things have changed dramatically in between books.
So, in this one, the Napoleonic War ends and then doesn't. And ships battle other ships. And women are left behind. (Yes, I'm being overly reductionist here, but the book tends to pencil in details rather than paint them.)
And that is my one real quibble with the book, the others being mostly just that it isn't to my particular taste. The writing was far too opaque sometimes. There were sections I had to go back and read again and again and again to figure them out, and still sometimes I couldn't. Showing me instead of telling me might be good practice, but details are important too. For instance, no matter how many times I read the passage, I have no bloody idea how the main character died. Was he shot? Hit by shrapnel? Had a heart attack? WHAT? TELL ME!
So, this story of how Admiral Bolitho almost gets out and then they pull him back in! was fine, but not for me.