The Invasion Year

Written by Dewey Lambdin
Review by John R. Vallely

Captain Alan Lewrie sets sail for the seventeenth time as part of Britain’s war against Napoleon. Lewrie is a stunning contrast to the stoic Hornblower of historical fiction’s past. He is a less than perfect father, an adventurous seeker of female companionship, and a man continually looking out for promotion and financial security. That said, Lewrie is not a naval Flashman, for he is both a skilled seaman and a bold combat officer. This mixture of the noble hero and the profane “man on the make” is a major part of the success of what promises to be a lengthy series.

The invasion year of the title is 1803, but Lewrie first grapples with a slave revolt against France in Haiti and an exacting escort detail for a home-bound convoy. One comes to expect, even anticipate, the unexpected with this officer, and the reader will enjoy experiencing it with an awards ceremony featuring a George III who is more than a bit confused regarding Captain Lewrie. The now socially prominent officer returns to work charged with testing an innovative weapon of war—the torpedo. Lewrie leads a small Channel force against French forces being assembled for the feared invasion. The naval action is dramatic, and Lewrie’s powers of leadership and command prove themselves yet again.