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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Water - Part 3 – Book Review – Young Adult - Bloody Jackie series, by L.A. Meyer


[I won't use characters from my series for this review. I can't add anything to this act.]

The coming-of-age series that I highly recommend is by L.A. Meyer. It starts with Bloody Jack, a story about an orphaned street girl, Mary Faber, that gets herself taken on board a British Naval ship as a cabin boy just before the French Revolution. She signs on as Jacky Faber and by pluck, fast thinking and hard work, elevates her station in life, if under false pretenses. I'm sure you can imagine some of the difficulties she faces. After a series of wild adventures, stemming from the extremes of fortune that she rides through by the skin of her teeth, Jacky propels forth like an unstoppable cannon ball.



The book has won several children's literature awards that it well deserves. It is well researched and excellently written historical fiction. There are many sequels that are just as wild and fun. I'm in the middle of book 3 and loving it.

Now an added layer of recommendation is that I am listening to rather than reading the series. [Given my very limited sit down to read time, and my much more abundant taxi driving my kids about, kitchen work and illustration work time, audio books have become my newest best friend.]

This great fun loving series has been taken up by Listen & Live Audio, Inc. www.listenandlive.com

where it is read by Katherine Kellgren. She does a fabulous job bringing to life the excitement and various accents of Jackie and the wide range of nationalities she meets on the high seas. She most have a great set of lungs to keep up with all the singing and rampaging that Jackie does.

Katherine Kellgren does such an amazing job of playing the part, and L.A. Meyer does such a wonderful job of portraying depth of character that I was surprised to learn that this book was written by a man. I never doubted my assumption that it was written by a woman, with such a convincing, brilliant female protagonist. When, in book three, I finally flipped to and read the back, about who has provided me with so many hours of quality entertainment, tears and laughter, I wasn't surprised to see the training of Katherine Kellgren, but was floored to see that L.A. Meyer is a man! Hats off to both of them for first rate literature and voice acting!


The series titles are:

Bloody Jack, Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (#1)

The Curse of the Blue Tattoo, Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady (#2)

Under the Jolly Roger, Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (#3)

In the Belly of the Bloodhound, Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the life of Jacky Faber (#4)

Mississippi Jack, Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady and the Lily of the West (#5)

There are 12 books in all.
If you are interested in more information about the series Here's the website: Bloody Jack Series


I have listened to 4 out of the 12 and find them delightful and mildly addictive in the good sense. I'm eager to listen to the rest!

Addendum – Having skipped book 4 because it wasn't available and am now listening to book 5. I find the profanity levels creeping up to the point that I'm now under the opinion that Jacky and the people around her have quite foul mouths at times. I don't recommend it to those that have reasons to avoid swearing. I wish L.A.Meyer, the author, would tone it down a bit. But Jacky does hang with the rough crowds, so I guess it wouldn't be realistic.

I also wish Katherine Kellgren, the reader, would not yell quite so much and with quite the vigor she uses for the swear words. I have to turn it up to hear the frequent whispers then turn it down to avoid hurting my hears and disturbing others.

(I have to do that with movies, too. I wish people producing these media forms realized that some of us are sensitive to loud noises. [I'm sounding a bit old and cranky, aren't I? But I have to be honest!] The sound levels won't be a problem if you choose to read it instead.)

Having put in my complaints, I'm still eager to get the next one. The character of Jacky Faber gives me good, usually clean, hearty laughs often, and there's not enough laughter in this world.

If you've read any of this series or similar books, I'd love to hear from you and what you think of them. I love funny stories with strong female characters!


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