January 2020, Question 5

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  1. What did you think about the characters - Harry Gilmour? His crewmates? Harry's girlfriends? Harry's superiors?

Comments

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    Only some of them emerged for me as memorable characters, though I suspect some are being set up for a longer life in future books.

    The girlfriends were an exercise in contrast, and (I suspect like most of us) I hugely preferred Shirley to Janis. No doubt that's something else to be continued...

    Someone I found intriguing (and, of course, repelling) was Janis's father. I had not heard before that there was a belief that the Royal Navy would if necessary cut and run to a safe place - but if said belief existed, it is all too credible that someone in his position would try and leverage the potential family connection to his advantage.

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    I myself find Janis strange and Shirley eccentric. Lord I love the English language!

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    edited February 6
    Farty Marty and the ships cook (not sure how his name is spelled since I listened to the audio) who hates speaking to officers, for sure. Actually I quite liked all the officers in the sub and thought they were well drawn and distinct.

    I’ve read a few books with fun, incidental characters this winter. One Russian novel I read featured a zealous administrator that everyone nicknamed ‘the quotationer’ for his ‘habit’ of ‘framing’ ‘everything he said’ with ‘air quotes’. He’s depicted in a scene threatening someone with torture.
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    I found all the characters interesting and distinct, and well drawn. There were some good examples there of how to have a cast of competent characters, all good at their jobs, but still very much people. This is the sort of thing I find difficult to do in my gaming, so it's good to see it done well.

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    edited February 6

    One of the things I really like about Black is his characters. They are, well, characters. :D

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    Yes, the characters were great and really vivid. It was a nice contrast that one of the very first non-Harry Gilmour characters we get a glimpse of is the arrogant, high-class spotter plane pilot, and then we close out with that assistant to the VIP who decides he has had enough of "carrying another man's pencil box" and wants to go into the Trade himself. The Shakespeare quote was nicely used.

    Although the romance story was barely a subplot (as opposed to the main SUB plot), I did like the way Harry is described as not really understanding that Janice considers him her boyfriend.

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    I see what you did there, @Michael_S_Miller! :D

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    The good characters were good. The crew of the second sub. The contrast between the two girlfriends. The first sub captain. And the father's particularly interesting - I want to see more of his point of view, his pacifism and what he thinks of the Nazis. Is he just opposed to his son being in danger, or something more.
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    As the series goes on, you do find out more on the father!

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    > @clash_bowley said:
    > As the series goes on, you do find out more on the father!

    Well, I bought the next book immediately after finishing this one!
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