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Helen MacInnes
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Laura Joh Rowland
Sharpe's Triumph - Bernard Cornwell Oh, thank heaven I'm done with this book! This thing just dragged on, and I was terribly diappointed in it because I enjoyed Sharpe's Tiger so much! I really felt like everything in this book was so uneven.

First of all, the plot was meandering, as though the author was unsure of where he wanted to go with this story. Sharpe had a mission in this book, but I often found it difficult to recall what that mission was because the construction of the story wasn't in service to that mission. There was a lot of fluff in here--honestly, this book could have been done as a short story, and it would have been much neater and tighter.

Secondly, Sharpe's Triumph contained long stretches of boring. Most of the book consisted of McCandless and Sharpe wandering all over the place with little or no action to speak of. When the battle finally does start, it's exciting, because finally something is going on! But then the battle goes on, and on, and on in great detail for 60 pages! The story got bogged down in the battle so that even the battle became boring!

The characters were also not as strong in this book. Sharpe almost seemed like a supporting character, Hakeswill, our villain, who was exquisitely evil in Sharpe's Tiger, was more annoying than menacing in this story. In fact, Hakeswill was completely unnecessary in this book--he was actually some of that "fluff" I talked about in the second paragraph. In addition, all of the other characters (except McCandless) were vanilla and bland.

Finally, one thing that really impressed me about Sharpe's Tiger was how seamlessly Bernard Cornwell was able to shift the reader's perspective from character to character--I mean, it was pretty slick! But in this book, there was nothing particularly special about the writing. There was nothing that pulled me in, and nothing that impressed me. I'll probably read the next book in the series, but I'm going to hope it's better than this one was, because if it doesn't catch me and hold me quickly, I'm not going to suffer with it until the end.