I think the author has grown as a writer over the series, though the books will always pale beside the best of the Fraser Flashman books. He's right that his Flashman is more "politically correct" than Fraser's. That said, there aren't going to be any more Flashmans from Fraser and Brightwell's books are quick enjoyable reads set in "our" era.
Here's what the author has to say:
"George MacDonald Fraser was an exceptional writer and he developed a character that he took from Tom Brown's School Days into a truly legendary figure. While Harry Flashman might not have been a typical Victorian, he certainly brought the period to life. For me the Regency/Napoleonic era was one of even greater colour and extremes and so I have created a new earlier member of the family: Thomas Flashman.
"There are similarities between the generations in that they both have the uncanny knack of finding themselves in the hotspots of their time, often while endeavouring to avoid them. Thomas though is not exactly the same character as Harry Flashman, this is partly accidental and partly deliberate.
"For example Harry Flashman makes prolific use of the 'n' word which will never appear in my work. This is not just political correctness but reflects the different times the two fictional characters occupy. While Harry Flashman in India thrashed and abused the natives; in Thomas' time many British were in business with Indian partners or had Indian wives. The British Resident of Delhi went so far as to marry a harem of thirteen Indian women who used to parade around the city every evening on elephants.
"As several reviewers have pointed out Thomas is not quite the vicious villainous rogue his nephew became, at least in the first book. I think the character develops more in the second book and this trend will hopefully continue. The genius of George MacDonald Fraser was to create a spiteful bully that the reader could still relate to. I have tried to convey a character that lived in his time and who balanced cowardice, pride, lust etc with the need to bring the reader with him."