Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer

Review: Bloody Jack
Series: Bloody Jack – Book 1
Author: L. A. Meyer
No of Pages: 290
Release Date: 1 June 2004


Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and daring sailor as the crew hunts murderous pirates on the high seas.

There’s just one problem: Jacky is a girl...

My Thoughts:

Bloody Jack has potential to rival Captain Jack Sparrow, she is that good.

Jacky wasn’t always called Jacky; she was once called Mary, living on the streets of London after That Dark Day when her parents and sister were claimed by the plague. The first part of our story details some of Mary’s adventures on the streets of London, begging, stealing and reading for pennies but when the boy who has been her gangs leader for four years dies she decides it’s time to move on with her life, and pursue her dream of sailing on the water. Because as Jacky says doesn’t matter if you die by hanging or die by drowning, you’re still dead, so she may as well give sailing a go.

I absolutely loved Jacky in every way, her scallywag nature, her adventurous mind and her caring heart. In many situations that most people would have stood back and saved their own necks, Jacky stepped forward and did what was right. Sure Jacky also causes quite a bit of trouble as she gets older, but all of it is good natured and well meaning.

What I loved most about Bloody Jack though – apart from Jacky of course – was the writing. It’s the sort that isn’t overly detailed but one still has the perfect picture of what is going on. The writing flows and reads fairly quickly. I also loved the style of Jacky’s language as she recounted her days in London and on the Dolphin. She literally wrote how she spoke with all of the:

“Methinks meself to bes a proper lady what gets married to some handsome man some day, or so methinks in me dreams and such, I knows I’m not a proper lady, but hopefully someone will takes me good-natured heart and all.”

One would think that may get a little annoying but it was so well done that it only added to the picture being painted. Jacky was no lady, and she never pretended to be, but she did have dreams and those dreams were quite big.

Bloody Jack was also split into five parts which I absolutely loved as well. We weren’t overloaded with plotlines, because Jacky can only do one thing at a time and have one thing on her mind at one time. Five different plotlines weren’t played out through the story but as each part came to a close so that part of the story was over and the next part began. It was marvellous to read because it let me keep track of everything that was going on and fit perfectly with the story.

Add into the masterful writing the plot and you have a perfect piece. Nothing about Jacky’s adventure was ever dull, but you still got time to breathe. Jacky got all the important information across without dumping it on us and still made room for witty remarks and engaging monologue.

I cannot fault Bloody Jack in anyway, the storyline was brilliant, the characters were flawless and Jacky is so loveable that I absolutely cannot wait to revisit her world as soon as possible.

Others in this series:
Curse of the Blue Tattoo
Under the Jolly Roger
In the Belly of the Bloodhound
Mississippi Jack
My Bonny Light Horseman
Rapture of the Deep
The Wake of the Lorei


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