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Old 07-08-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
MaggieScratch
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Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik (no spoilers!)

Anybody else into the Temeraire series? The latest book just came out today. No spoilers as I've only read a couple of chapters...I downloaded it at 2 a.m. and read a couple of chapters before bed, then nearly missed my train stop on the way to work this morning with my nose in my Cybook!

I do love this series and Naomi is in top form so far--the dragons are great, the action is superb, the dialogue and historical details are top-rate, but Temeraire and Laurence are separated and it's breaking my heart. I generally don't go in for slash but they are my interspecies OTP.

Obviously just putting dragons in the Napoleonic Wars makes this series alternate history, but she's really going out there this time--Napoleon's invading England. Well, not too far into it yet, so I can't speak too much to plot, but it's a humdinger and page-turner (er, button-pusher? LOL) so far. Wellington's just showed up! Wheeee! (Not Wellington yet, of course, just "General Wellesley.") And I believe Nelson's still around...he survived Trafalgar if memory serves. I would like to see them have scenes together though I dare say both their egos wouldn't fit in one room.

I do want to have a bit of a rant about the (Mobipocket) ebook's aesthetics, though. I don't mind paying almost-hardback prices, because I want to read the book now and that's what it costs. But for that price I expect the REAL cover art, not some crappy-looking placeholder, and I would really like to be able to justify the frakking text. I feel like I'm reading the free-verse version of the Napoleonic wars. Somebody at Ballantine will be receiving a strongly-worded e-mail.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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I'm not into fantasy but your comments of the latest book has intrigued me, think I'm gonner check it out thx.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieScratch View Post
...Wellington's just showed up! Wheeee! (Not Wellington yet, of course, just "General Wellesley.") And I believe Nelson's still around...he survived Trafalgar if memory serves. I would like to see them have scenes together though I dare say both their egos wouldn't fit in one room.

According to "Wellington : the years of the sword" by Elizabeth Longford, they met just once in real life (both waiting to see the Secretary of War), Wellington described their initial conversation:

"... it was almost all on his side, and all about himself, and, really, in a style so vain and silly as to surprise and almost disgust me."

Nelson then left the room for a moment, discovered who Wellington was, and on his return:

"All that I thought a charlatan style had vanished, and he talked with good sense ... in fact, he talked like an officer and a statesman ... I don't know that I ever had a conversation that interested me more."

Last edited by Sparrow; 07-08-2008 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MaggieScratch View Post
Obviously just putting dragons in the Napoleonic Wars makes this series alternate history, but she's really going out there this time--Napoleon's invading England. Well, not too far into it yet, so I can't speak too much to plot, but it's a humdinger and page-turner (er, button-pusher? LOL) so far. Wellington's just showed up! Wheeee! (Not Wellington yet, of course, just "General Wellesley.") And I believe Nelson's still around...he survived Trafalgar if memory serves. I would like to see them have scenes together though I dare say both their egos wouldn't fit in one room.
Alas, Nelson didn't survive Trafalgar.

I'm amused by David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series. He has essentially moved the Napoleonic Wars into space, and the character of Honor Harrington is modeled on and parallels the careers of both C.S. Forestor's Horatio Hornblower and Admiral Lord Nelson.

Incidentally, Peter Jackson has optioned the film rights.

Quote:
I do want to have a bit of a rant about the (Mobipocket) ebook's aesthetics, though. I don't mind paying almost-hardback prices, because I want to read the book now and that's what it costs. But for that price I expect the REAL cover art, not some crappy-looking placeholder, and I would really like to be able to justify the frakking text. I feel like I'm reading the free-verse version of the Napoleonic wars. Somebody at Ballantine will be receiving a strongly-worded e-mail.
Mobipocket Reader on my PDA has a "Full justification" setting to control that. The version on the Cybook doesn't?
______
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Last edited by DMcCunney; 07-08-2008 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:39 PM   #5
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Just remembered I got 5$ off Fictionwise yesterday for renewing a few weeks early the club membership I'll use it to buy the first book
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Alas, Nelson didn't survive Trafalgar.
Yes, I know... I meant in the series, not real life! I've stood next to the spot where he was shot on the Victory, saw his shot-up uniform, etc. (and it made me cry). I guess I should have realized that dragons instantly made the series an alternate history, but it was REALLY weird when I got to the scenes with Nelson chatting about Trafalgar! It seems like each book gets even more, um, alternative.

My Brother the Rocket Scientist has been trying to get me to read the Honor Harrington books for yonks. I'm a big Hornblower fan and a minor Trekkie, so I can see why.

And yes, the Cybook has full justification, and in fact it works better with the last firmware upgrade and is my default setting. However, the book settings can override the device if I'm not mistaken. I'm assuming that's what's going on here. I can't imagine why else I can't justify the text. It's really annoying--other than that and the crappy cover art, it's nicely laid out.

P.S. Gibbo, they're like crack, I'm warning ya.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieScratch View Post
Yes, I know... I meant in the series, not real life! I've stood next to the spot where he was shot on the Victory, saw his shot-up uniform, etc. (and it made me cry). I guess I should have realized that dragons instantly made the series an alternate history, but it was REALLY weird when I got to the scenes with Nelson chatting about Trafalgar! It seems like each book gets even more, um, alternative.
Oh, OK. Wasn't sure you knew.

And when you have the Napoleonic Wars with dragons, things like Nelson surviving Trafalgar are minor divergences, really.

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My Brother the Rocket Scientist has been trying to get me to read the Honor Harrington books for yonks. I'm a big Hornblower fan and a minor Trekkie, so I can see why.
I recommend them. Weber had a lot of fun working it all out. Among other things, the physics he postulates for the FTL drives used allows him to have ships of the line drawn up in formation in space and whaling away at each other with missles, lasers, and grasers, in a three dimensional equivalent of Napoleonic War naval tactics.

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And yes, the Cybook has full justification, and in fact it works better with the last firmware upgrade and is my default setting. However, the book settings can override the device if I'm not mistaken. I'm assuming that's what's going on here. I can't imagine why else I can't justify the text. It's really annoying--other than that and the crappy cover art, it's nicely laid out.
I gather the book setting are overriding the reader defaults. That would be an annoyance.

Is the cover out simply a scaled down greyscale conversion of the book cover, or something worse yet? (That's another reason on my part for not wanting eInk till it gets color support. I know an assortment of folks who do SF and fantasy covers, and I shudder to think what their work would look like in greyscale, even with 16 shades.)
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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Is the cover out simply a scaled down greyscale conversion of the book cover, or something worse yet?
Worse! It just has the title and author, all caps in a plain serif font, and then a large rendering of the Ballantine logo, then the logo itself. They've set it to look like "a" book cover, but it's not the cover of the book. It's actually not unlike the covers the Cybook creates by default when there is no cover art. The cover art for all the books has been stunning, so I'm really disappointed it wasn't included. Even though the Cybook is B&W, I have my PC registered as a Mobipocket device so I could look at it in glorious full color if I wanted to.

I'm really enjoying the book, though...not much in the way of plot so far, but lots and lots of the dragons interacting and they are as delightful as ever. I do love them as characters. They are so well incorporated into the story, I didn't feel like the books were "alternate history" until, as I said above, Nelson started talking about Trafalgar. Now THAT was freaky.

*teeny spoiler below*

I read the Big Reunion Scene on the train this morning and started crying like a big sap.

Last edited by MaggieScratch; 07-09-2008 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:34 PM   #9
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Worse! It just has the title and author, all caps in a plain serif font, and then a large rendering of the Ballantine logo, then the logo itself. They've set it to look like "a" book cover, but it's not the cover of the book. It's actually not unlike the covers the Cybook creates by default when there is no cover art. The cover art for all the books has been stunning, so I'm really disappointed it wasn't included. Even though the Cybook is B&W, I have my PC registered as a Mobipocket device so I could look at it in glorious full color if I wanted to.
Which means that whoever prepared the Mobi edition either doesn't have a clue about doing it right, or couldn't be bothered, or both,

By all means, send Ballantine a complaint.
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