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The Darkening Sea Paperback – Nov 22 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (Nov. 22 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099484455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099484455
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #403,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“One of our foremost writers of naval fiction.”
Sunday Times

About the Author

Douglas Reeman (Alexander Kent) did convoy duty in the Atlantic, the Arctic and the North Sea. He has written over thirty novels under his own name and more than twenty bestselling historical novels featuring Richard Bolitho under the pseudonym Alexander Kent.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Richard Bolitho series now covers something like 23 books and (by my count) about forty years of story time. One of its chief attractions, especially in the last six or eight books, has been watching the characters grow and change and watching their lives criss-cross and intersect. The later books have (properly, since Kent is scrupulous about playing fair with Bolitho's age and medical problems) been less about swashbucking and more about relationships.
All those trends are at work in this installment. If your principal interest to Kent's novels is the sea battles and swordfights, you may want to give up on the series--or at least this piece of it. If you've stuck with the series because because you care about Bolitho and the other continuing characters, though . . . settle back and enjoy a deftly written story about love, loss, and second chances (punctuated by some 1st-rate sea battles).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a continuation of the Bolitho series. It starts after " Beyond the Reef". Bolitho is headed back to Cape town. The theme is more thoughtful then some of Kent's earlier works. It lacks some of the mindless action some readers might crave. It does have excellent ship to ship action as well good plot development, and the the usual excellent cast. I liked this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Has something happened to Douglas Reeman, that the Bolitho books after 'Success to the Brave' are unidentifiable as true Alexander Kent? (Reeman) This book and others are truly terrible writing. The main characters are radically different and perverse in attributes. This was not a Reeman work, assuredly. A shame and travesty!
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By A Customer on Jan. 25 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It' some time ago since I've last read one of his books, but I'm always happy do catch one. I'm only sad that it takes sooo long till there is an other Bolitho on the market. There is only one better in writing narval fiction who is C. S. Forester with Horatio Hornblower.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The series is evolving Jan. 22 2009
By N. Wallach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the 20th volume in the Richard Bolitho series and it has spanned some 30 years of warfare. This time we follow Sir Richard over the span of a bit less than a year and a half as several plot lines unfurl.

What I found good and interesting about this book is that there were multiple plot lines that were all moved forward. Early on in the series, we follow Bolitho on a single ship and a single action and that is the focus of the whole book. That was appropriate and very well done as Bolitho moved from Midshipman to officer ranks. What I like in this book is that Sir Richard is now a Vice-Admiral and his concerns are much more global - so having several plot lines at once is highly appropriate and even entertaining.

Secondly, Sir Richard has always been portrayed as human, but in this book the depictions of those situations is much more true to life. This is a testament to the author's growth in his trade! This also translates into Sir Richard's relationship with the love of his life - Lady Catherine. The scenes describing their life together - both on and off the water - ring true.

Some of the other threads that are addressed here are that Sir Richard is dispatched to handle a vague threat to a maritime expedition in the Indian Ocean. He is sent with a flottila. Of course, it is only two or three frigates with a couple of brigs to help out, but at least it is not a single ship under a Vice Admiral as we've seen in other recent books. Of course, you could quibble that the size of the force was more appropriate for a Commodore - but never mind that.

Other threads that carry forward are the relationship between Sir Richard and Thomas Herrick - this was getting very negative and dark in the last few books and is moved forward in this book; Also the history of Lady Catherine is brought to the foreground. There is a pretty remarkable set of chapters in which she reveals (through her actions) what her early life was like and we are also provided with the answer of why she cannot bear children. It is actually a sentimental and poignant scene! Lady Catherine also resolves her situation vis a vis the mysterious Sillitoe (where did he come up with THAT name?)

On the negative side, this book is so packed with threads of plot that we see almost nothing of Adam Bolitho and his relationship with Zenoria is really suspended (oh, there are many words written about it but nothing is resolved or changed). Some major changes in characters occur with very little convincing explanations (the First Sea Lord is replaced between the last volume and this one) and Sir Richard has access to two new officers who are mere caricatures: The harsh Trevenen and the enigmatic Avery. Flag Lieutenant Avery becomes 'one of the gang' and Captain Trevenen? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.

The most major personal development is that Allday gets married. This was a thread that started in the last book and reaches a climax in this one. One wonders if he will now retire from the service and spend the rest of his days running the Inn with his new wife - Not likely!

So, on balance, I really enjoyed this book regardless of its flaws and am looking forward to the next one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A solid entry in Kent's Richard Bolitho series Sept. 2 2010
By Michael Denney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Alexander Kent's continuing Richard Bolitho series sails squarely in the long tradition of English historical fiction celebrating the defeat of Napoleon. Like Forester's Hornblower and O'Brian's Aubrey, Bolitho is a creature of the sea, and is as uncomfortable on land as both of those worthies. Like Bolitho himself, Kent would have preferred to have his character remain in a command of frigates, the fast, glamorous ships known as fifth-rates that were a captain's best chance for prize money. By 1809, however, in which The Darkening Sea is set, Bolitho is a vice-admiral. Kent's preference for the freedom of frigates is as obvious as Bolitho's.

The shipboard scenes are capably written, particularly once battle is joined, and are marred only by Bolitho's insistence that England had no true appreciation of the sacrifice made by those brave tars who were snatched from their pastoral lives by the dreaded press-gang. The point is a good one, but does not need to be made in every novel. The book is worth the read, however, particularly because of Kent's expert portrayal of Lady Catherine Somervell. Catherine is a fascinating character, especially in this genre -- a woman whose relationship with Bolitho mirrors the real-life scandal of Emma Hamilton. Kent's willingness to show Catherine apart from Bolitho, particularly in a dramatic scene set in the lower-class London of Catherine's youth, is a refreshing complement to the guns-and-grapnels narrative that appearsin all of the fiction set in this era.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kindle Edition Issues Jan. 1 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is not about the book itself but about the Kindle edition. The formatting on this edition is incredibly bad. I downloaded it 10 minutes earlier and I can't say I am a fan.

As for the story, I'll read and judge.

The Bolitho adventure is winding down for Richard and soon Adam will take center stage, I know that much. While Lewrie may start to get tired and wear on my nerves, Bolitho's introspection and self doubt kept him real.
Drama, and Battle on the High Seas Feb. 19 2015
By Michael S. Kraus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Our main character is Vice Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho. The Bolitho novels have followed him since he was a young midshipman. Now he has ascended to high rank in the British Navy. Yet, he has maintained a modest self image. He is loved by a beautiful woman, he knows how to be a leader of men, but he is hounded by his doubts.

This installment of the series is part war story and part soap opera. We have the drama of battle on the high seas combined with the drama of love, friendship, and personal secrets.

Will Sir Richard be able tho keep the secret of his failing eyesight?

Can Catherine, Sir Richard's great love, maintain the secret of her humble beginnings?

Is there any way Bolitho can mend his broken friendship with his best friend Thomas Herrick?

What will happen between Bolitho's nephew Adam, and his great love Zenoria?

Zenoria has given birth to Adam's child even though she is married to another captain. Can she keep the secret of the child's true paternity?

Interwoven between the relationship drama is some fine naval warfare action. Bolitho's small squadron must battle the French. But now there is a pesky American frigate to deal with.

Even though Sir Richard is hounded by self doubts, in the end he proves his worth as a great naval commander.

For me, this was a fun read.
Time to pay off the crew? June 7 2012
By Ursus Somnolicus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the twentieth volume in the Richard Bolitho series by Douglas Reeman (Alexander Kent). The early novels focus on the ships and the men who sailed them. Themes of leadership and loyalty figure prominently, with the courage and sacrifice of the common sailor always featured.

As volume followed volume, the series risked becoming formulaic. In the latter novels the author delves more into the personal stories of the characters, which some fans love and some hate. A few of the books steered to deeply into soap opera for my taste. Does anyone really care about the checkered past of the Admiral's cabin servant?

This particular volume does not fall into that trap. It is mercifully light on the melodrama and spends most of its time shipboard, where it belongs. And while there is sacrifice and loss, this novel resolves several ongoing character conflicts and leaves our hero with a reasonably happy ending. I believe I shall stop reading the series right here. Twenty is a nice round number. After all, nobody lives forever; why drive the thing to its bitter end? Much better to go back to the beginning The Complete Midshipman Bolitho (The Bolitho Novels, Volume 1) and live it all over again.

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