cover image Under Enemy Colors

Under Enemy Colors

S. Thomas Russell. Penguin Audiobooks, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-314248-5

Audio fans of Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester will rejoice as Vance admirably re-creates Russell's debut novel set in 1793, during those authors' period. There's arguably more Forester than O'Brian here, but few listeners will be disappointed. A promising young Royal Navy officer, Lt. Charles Hayden, is passed over for a command of his own because his father is English and his mother is French. Instead, Hayden boards a smart new frigate called Themis, captained by Josiah Hart, who is reviled as ""Faint Hart"" by his crew for his cowardice. To make up for his dislike of battle, Hart treats his men like the enemy. Vance gets all the voices right: the proud and ambitious young Hayden and the sniveling Hart, who abuses his power. The other snobs and older officers, who don't have as much to do or say, are also vividly brought to life. Vance transports listeners to a world both exciting and memorable. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, May 14).