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The Fighting Anthonys series

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The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by Astrodene on Wed 03 Sep 2008, 01:33

First 2 books in the series are 'The Reaper, and 'HMS Seawolf'. Have not had time to read these yet, however if you are thinking of buying the author has a website http://www.michaelaye.com/ where you can read the first chapter of the books.

The site also indicates that a new book has been released 'Barracuda' although it doesn't appear in an Amazon search at the time of writing

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Re: The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by reb01501 on Sat 18 Jul 2009, 13:47

I've just finished the 3 books in this series. They were small books and as such, were a very quick read. The stories were fine: colorful characters, rip-roaring battle action (set in the years leading up to, and then during, the American Revolution - or should I say "insurrection" Wink ) - they reminded me a lot of the Bolitho series.

The Anthony family has a distinguished naval tradition, which the current generation is determined to uphold. The Reaper begins with the current Lord Anthony, a famed Admiral who had made his reputation as "Fighting James Anthony" at Cape Finisterre and Quiberon Bay, on his deathbed revealing to his son and heir, Gilbert Anthony, the news that he has an illegitimate brother, Gabe. Gil, who has recently distinguished himself as captain of the Recourse, vows to accept his brother as an Anthony, and takes the lad, who has two years as a middie under his belt, into his heart. Upon Lord Anthony's death, Gil is given the Drakkar, a 44-gun frigate and with Gabe along as midshipman, is assigned to chase pirates in the Carribean.

The jacket promises "fast-paced sea adventure" and that is exactly what is delivered.

Now for the less-than good news. Be prepared for an onslaught of spelling and grammatical errors. The editor failed the author miserably when it came time for proof-reading. While a typo here and there doesn't faze me and would not merit a mention in a review, the onslaught in these books became a distraction. For example, in Barracuda, I encountered this:

A group of off watch seamen had fashioned fishing lines and one had caught a nice size red snapper. As he was pulling the fish in a barracuda flashed by. His body like silver daggers as he bit the snapper into, leaving the fisherman with only the head for his troubles.

While I cringed at the sentence fragment, what really distracted me was the incomplete preposition, which had me wondering what the 'cuda had bit the fish "into" ... it took a few seconds for me to realize that of course it was intended to be "in two".

Mistakes like these made me suspect that the book was composed via dictation rather than pen or keyboard. However, reading the acknowledgment in The Reaper disabused me of this suspicion. To be fair, The Reaper had far fewer distractions than the sequels.

I am really sorry to devote so much of my review of these fine stories to what some might consider to be trivialities. Unfortunately, the prevalence of these distractions did affect my enjoyment of the books, so I believe I had to make a mention of them. Fortunately, the stories and characters were good enough to keep me reading despite the distractions.

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Re: The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 14 Apr 2012, 18:26

Since I read the first 3 books together, and then the 4th book when published in 2010, I've had to "review the bidding" before writing my review. Now having read "Bobby Blue's" (hey, doesn't every Admiral have a 'nickname" he's quietly given by his men?) I find that I'm in total agreement (now what would Lewrie call that?).

As to the "grammatical insufficiency", not only are we back to discussing the writing of an American author vs an English author as products of their education, but I would add that "folks in the South" (of which I was one) speak and spell a unique variation of American english. Somewhere there's a 'dictionary' of Southern english -- and it's mostly contractions! Nuff said.

These are, to me, 'classic swashbuckler', but not necessarily "classics". They don't leave you with a lot to ponder about "is there a deeper meaning here"? The timeframe of American Rev and the starting point with the main character a senior captain are a good match, for action set in the Indies. Brother Gabe assures both a secondary interest and a follow-on legacy if the tale is to continue "at the ship action level" in the future.

I'd recommend this series to any American just "getting their oar wet" on HNF (even better if you're from the South, so you'll feel at home with the grammar and punctuation (I'll explain what that is later). OK, OK, I'm just kidding (I am after all, a 'son of the confederacy'), so let's be friends?

I don't have the new book Perebrine yet, but I'm putting it on order today and I know that I'll enjoy it as well as the other 4 in the series --so far.

"Their" in my library (sorry, I couldn't help myself).
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Re: The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by reb01501 on Sat 14 Apr 2012, 20:58

80 Winters wrote:
As to the "grammatical insufficiency", not only are we back to discussing the writing of an American author vs an English author as products of their education, , but I would add that "folks in the South"
Sorry, but no we are not ... at least, I'm not. I am talking about a serious lack of proof-reading. The author's place of origin is not an excuse IMO. One only has to read the first few pages of his new book to realize that. Those pages display none of the deficiencies I easily found in the first three books. I've purchased the Kindle edition of Peregrine and am looking forward to reading it when finished with May 1812, the book I'm currently reading.

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Re: The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 14 Apr 2012, 21:43

I too am glad to see that they've finally "deep six'd" that ignorant 'ole proofreader' (however, I fear he was 'rehired' by my local newspaper).

Interestingly, the publisher of The Reaper, Broadside Press was located in Lake Junaluska, NC (that's up in the mountains where they say: "you'uns and we'uns) so maybe they were "hiring local" proofreaders) (JK). However, later titles were published by Bosun Books and they're headquartered down in Raleigh, NC (big town with lots of good 'higher education' nearby (one of which I barely made it thorugh -- Duke U.) so there's no excuse there.

All that being said (WTIC) -- you're absolutely right, whether grammatical mistakes or sloppy proofreading, it is a distraction.
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Re: The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by Joolz on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 02:21

reb01501 wrote:
80 Winters wrote:
As to the "grammatical insufficiency", not only are we back to discussing the writing of an American author vs an English author as products of their education, , but I would add that "folks in the South"
Sorry, but no we are not ... at least, I'm not. I am talking about a serious lack of proof-reading. The author's place of origin is not an excuse
I absolutely agree ... to for too, loose for lose, there for their etc etc ... far too many to list. I find it incredibly frustrating. I wonder how much is down to use of automated spellcheckers?

Back on topic ... learning of the problems of the earlier books in this series made me very wary so I'm pleased to know the latest one is OK and will give it a try.
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Re: The Fighting Anthonys series

Post by 80 Winters on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 04:56

Truly, I think you are on topic because the discussion is "did you enjoy this book"? If the misspelling was so prevalent as to be a distraction to the enjoyment of the story......then it needs to be mentioned.

I think your comment concerning the use of "spell checker" is very valid and the resultant "mispelling" all too common an occurrence today as I notice it in my morning paper all to often, but seldom did in the "pre-spell checker" past.
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