Friday, April 27, 2012

Retro Friday Review: Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

Retro Friday is a meme hosted by Angie of Angieville and "focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc." 

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
Publisher: Listen & Live Audio
Publication date: (book published in September 2002)
Length: 7hrs, 22 min
Source: Audiobook from Library
For: Fun
Series: Bloody Jack Adventures, Book 1

Jacky Faber, formerly Mary Faber, finds life as a ship's boy practically a dream.  She no longer has to fight for food and her life on the streets of London and being a boy makes things a LOT easier.  But everything is not as easy as all that, especially if her secret gets out.

Things I Liked:
Oh. My. Word.  Why didn't I get to this series sooner?  (Huge thanks to Susan for always raving about it and to Megan for giving me the heads up on the audio.) I love, love, love it!  Jacky is so hilarious and has become one of my new favorite characters.  She is tough and smart and also really stupid sometimes.  She made me laugh even while she was dealing with horrible things.  I fell in love with her and wanted her to succeed.  I am a big sucker for the girl disguised as boy thing and this one does it very well and very thoroughly.  There are lots of things Jacky does throughout to make the deception believable.  And I love that she is always thinking ahead to when she will be found out.  She doesn't just ignore that it will happen, she expects it.  She deals with a lot of crap and she takes it, well, like a smart girl.  And, oh, the audio of this book is the very best I've ever listened to.  Katherine Kellgren is amazing at the cockney accent, making it so believable and doing so many voices that I honestly didn't care how long my commute was, I was only paying attention to the story and the characters and loving every minute.

Things I Didn't Like:
The romance element was not that amazing, since I didn't know why she liked him and I didn't get a good handle on him as a character, but honestly that isn't the focus of this book.  And I liked it that way just fine.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Maybe a bit like Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

s-factor: !@
they are sailors, after all :)

mrg-factor: XX
there is attempted rape and plenty of passionate kissing

v-factor: ->
some fighting and killing

Overall rating: *****

What series do you wish you'd discovered sooner?  (And if you haven't tried this one, do yourself a favor and get on it!!)

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. For some reason, I was thinking this was a kids book... but then I read the part about attempted rape and passionate kissing... so hopefully it's aimed at an older crowd? This sounds really good. I have two credits on my audible account and I'm planning on getting insurgent with one of them when it is available, but I may have to use the other for this one.

    1. Definitely NOT a kids book - it gets pretty bawdy at times :) It is a really fun audiobook, that's for sure!

  2. As so often happens, I've only read the first one in this series. But I really loved it. Someday maybe I'll get to the rest.....

    1. I've been devouring them, but only because they are audiobooks and I am in desperate need of audiobooks :)

  3. I agree that the audio book is the best way to experience Bloody Jack! Katherine Kellgren does such a fabulous job with these books. They do get a little more "mature" as the series goes on, but they're a lot of fun!

    1. I've noticed it's getting a bit more mature even in the second book, but I really love the voices Kellgren does - she is very good.

  4. I am leery--Pirates aren't really my thing. But you do make the series sound tempting.

    1. Don't be leery! They aren't all about pirates. The series is more about adventure and friendship. And the audio is so much fun. I highly recommend the series.

    2. Completely agree with Megan - Jacky isn't actually a pirate in the book, she is a member of the Royal Navy. They have very few run-ins with pirates either, so don't let that put you off!

  5. Oh, thanks so much for the shout out! I am so happy you enjoyed it. I will make converts out of everyone! I am all caught up and anxiously awaiting the next book. Love Jacky!

    1. No, no - thank you! The series is still going on? I will have commute material for months!

  6. Yay! So glad you love these books, too. Funnest. Series. Ever. I adore it. And, for those who are leery of the pirate thing, try the series anyway. It's SO GOOD.

    I don't listen to audiobooks ever, but I'm tempted to get this one just to hear this narrator you're all raving about!

    1. Oh, dooo eeet! You will love the cockney. I don't think I could ever imagine Jacky's voice as anything else.


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