It is perhaps indicative of how little impact The Ionian Mission had on me that, writing this review several weeks after I actually read the novel, I can barely remember what happened in it. Which isn’t really fair to the novel or Mr. O’Brian’s writing, to be sure, since this is after all an Aubrey-Maturin novel and by definition comes with a certain default level of Awesome. Also, a lot of the events in this book naturally inform what comes next in Treason’s Harbour.
Unfortunately, the book did indeed make little impact on me. I do recall Jack’s encounter with his old flame Mercedes (who goes clear back to Master and Commander), and his later being called on the carpet by Admiral Harte, and the general sucktitude of the Worcester as a ship when compared with Surprise. Other than that, though, the book’s primary virtue for me is serving as a lead-in to the superior Treason’s Harbour. Three stars.