Wednesday 6 March 2013

Captain Blackwell's Prize by V.E. Ulett

Official Blurb

A romantic adventure from the days of wooden ships and iron men, CAPTAIN BLACKWELL’S PRIZE is a story of honor, duty, social class and the bond of sexual love.

In 1802 Captain James Blackwell attacks and takes La Trinidad, a Spanish frigate aboard which Blackwell finds 35,000 gold dollars and the American woman Mercedes de Aragon. On putting into Gibraltar with his treasure and his new mistress Blackwell is informed by his irate evangelical admiral of the Treaty of Amiens, denying him prize money earned by the capture and setting Mercedes at liberty. But the self-possessed American has formed a strong attachment to lusty Captain Blackwell. When she journeys with the captain to the North African coast and is taken into the Dey of Oran’s harem, Captain Blackwell must follow his own code of morality and honor to rescue the woman on whom his future happiness depends.

CAPTAIN BLACKWELL’S PRIZE is historical fiction where sword fights and sea battles are depicted alongside the manners, ideas, and prejudices of men and women from the time of Nelson and Napoleon.

My Review

Oh dear...

Well, I suppose that's not enough of a review.  Actually, now I think about it, it's unfair.

When I saw this title on Podiobooks I was flooded with hope and delight. I've long been a fan of the historical drama afloat, I've read all of the Bolitho, Aubrey and Hornblower books, I love the genre.

This book opened just as I wanted, with the drama and excitement of a boarding action, cannons were fired, swords unsheathed and blood was spilt. Excellent stuff, and well written too.

But then it fell from grace.  Rather than simply being a romance at sea, it fell into simple erotica and every chapter then started having a sex scene in all it's gory detail.  I tried skipping the scenes as it really didn't interest me, but found that I ended up missing vast sections.

In the end it wasn't worth the effort and I quit listening.

Now I have said that it was well written, and I truly believe that. The prose and the dialogue was good. I thought that the "romance" was played through too quickly, in a they-meet-they-sleep-together kind of way.  Not a lot actual romance or will-they-wont-they tension.

And so my disappointment leaves me writing a review where I can't actually give it a rating because I didn't finish it.

Reading ?/?
Production ?/?
Story ?/?

Total Score ?/9

Download it from the Podiobooks
Listen to the first part