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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Napoleon's Gambit by Eric Goldman

Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 0595528430
Pages: 416 pgs
Genre: Thriller
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Synopsis from the Publisher
A modern sailor is recruited by the Royal Navy and finds himself on the deck of HMS Impérieuse in 1813, as she sails into battle against overwhelming odds. At stake are $5 billion in gold and the fate of the modern world. Think of it as Captain Kirk meets Captain Jack Aubrey: a moral tale, light-hearted and filled with action, yet rich in authentic historical and nautical detail. Napoleon's Gambit is set in exotic locations aboard the world's most advanced yacht and on old wooden warships. Its love-story, sword-fights, sea-battles, pirates and storms at sea add tension to an unpredictable and satisfying plot.
My Review
Napoleon’s Gambit was the perfect combination of naval history and time travelling adventure. As a fan of both H.G. Wells and Patrick O’ Brien, it was of particular interest to me. The combination of these genres resulted in a very unique reading experience. The book was a very quick and enjoyable read.  It is definitely a page turner.  I often found myself engrossed in the story to the point that I forgot my surroundings.  I particularly enjoyed the last half of the book where Josh Rick is in 1813 and educating these prominent historical characters about the nuances of modern technology.  The battle scene at the end was excellent. You really did get the feel of the chaos and brutality of battle. 

The one aspect of this book that I did not like was the romantic relationship between Josh and Ses. I perhaps wouldn’t have minded the relationship so much if Ses had been a more likeable character. She just seemed too pretty, too perfect, too intelligent. This, however, was not enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book. The historical characters of Captain Lord Thomas Cochrane and Dr. James Guthrie were excellent additions to the story. I almost forgot that they were historical characters. They fit into the story seamlessly. This book requires a basic knowledge of historical events and nautical terms. For readers who are lacking in this knowledge, visit for a glossary and other helpful materials. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

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