Wednesday 10 October 2018

The Battle of Lake Erie - David Vining - One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812

The Battle of Lake Erie: 
One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
David Vining
ISBN 9781718004528


I have not read a lot of books about navel warfare. The few I have I have appreciated. And I greatly enjoyed the few novels in the Aubrey & Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. This book combines the best of both worlds. It is a masterfully told story of the battle of Lake Erie. It is history brought to life. As a Canadian, I have encountered few American's who are familiar with the war of 1812. To read an account of one of America's most important victories of the war is intriguing from foreign eyes. 

The story follows the leadership of Oliver Hazard Perry over the American squadron on the great lakes. Oliver's younger brother, James Alexander, serves as a midshipman on board the American flagship. The story follows the brothers through this historic battle. 

Vining is either an amateur historian or an impeccable researcher. And maybe both. The attention to detail in the battles, life on ship, and navel warfare are exceptional. That is why the book reminds me so much of Patrick O'Brian. As such there is a great attention to details. But unlike O'Brian's writings this story is written from actual events. Readers will find themselves immersed in the battle. Now yes it takes some time for the set up, but that is part of the beauty of this work, the stage is set properly. And once the battle begins the reader is invested, especially with the midshipmen. 

As a first novel this is a fantastic read. The author has a passion for the subject, and his passion is contagious. His potential for excellence is clear. And I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

This book was recommended to me by and author whose works I love. I am always a little weary approaching new author, so I had picked up one of Vining's collection of short stories, A Light in the Darkness, to read first. It was an excellent read and I had picked up this novel and another of the collections of short stories. Before I had even finished this novel, I had purchased the other three collections of stories. That is how good Vining's writings are! 

An excellent read by a young author whose career I am eager to follow. Excellent for fans of historical fiction, for fans of navel warfare, or just for people who enjoy a great read!

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

The Sharp Kid

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
A Boy and His Satellit


Author profile and interview with David Vining.

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