Originally published on the The Old Salt Blog
Grundner's latest book "The Temple" ends with the Battle of the Nile in 1789. (See our review here.) I just happened to pick up Jay Worrall's Any Approaching Enemy, whose climax also happens to be the Battle of the Nile. And why not? It is a great moment in naval history.
I really wanted to like Any Approaching Enemy. Worrall writes very well. His prose is a delight. The pacing is taut. It is a fun read. His characters are vivid and engaging. The problem I had was that, by the end of the book, I didn't find the the main character, in particular, to be believable.
Captain Charles Edgemont, the hero of Any Approaching Enemy , is charming, wise, courageous and loved by his crew, most of whom attended his wedding. He disobeys orders with no apparent consequences and inserts himself into the history in unnecessarily implausible ways. With the possible exception of being disobeyed by his Quaker wife on shipboard in public, in a most non-eighteen century fashion, he is near enough to perfect. He is in short - everything, with the possible exception of being a believable character. Without revealing plot points, by the end of the book I was shaking my head in frustration and disbelief.
I really wanted to like Any Approaching Enemy. Regrettably, I didn't.
Description of: Any Approaching Enemy
Author: Jay Worrall