First Line: My name is Jacky Faber and in London I was born, but, no, I wasn't born with that name.
It's 1797 in London, and little Mary Faber's family has just died of the plague. In order to survive, she takes up with a gang of street urchins, but it's a rough, dangerous life, and Mary hopes for something better. She disguises herself as a boy, changes her name to Jacky and signs on as a ship's boy on the HMS Dolphin. Life at sea is adventure indeed, and Jacky has just the voice to tell us about it all.
I'm not an audio book fan, but I can see the books in this series being perfect for it because Jacky has such a strong, unique voice. The plot moves right along as Jacky gets herself out of one scrape after another. She tells us what it's like the first time a landlubber finds herself on the open sea; she philosophizes about dresses; she deals with peeing standing up; and she voices her opinion on tattoos:
"I agree with all my heart, thinking about how I'd have some real explainin' to do if I grow up to be a lady and get married and on my wedding night my husband discovers a naked dancing girl tattooed on my tail. Course, I'd rather not get a tattoo at all."
What makes Jacky so different from so many of the other women-disguised-as-men is that she isn't mannish at all. She makes it quite clear that her disguise is a matter of survival and nothing more. She has dreams of wearing dresses, falling in love, getting married, and having children. Me having had a much more tomboyish outlook for most of my life, I found that the only thing that drove me nuts about Jacky was her tendency to screech and cry whenever she got in trouble. Fortunately it drove the captain mad as well; there was a time or two I was ready to throw 'er overboard!
If you or someone you know is in the mood for something fast-paced and fun that gives a real feeling for the time period, by all means give Bloody Jack a try. Chances are you'll be cheering Jacky on just as much as I did. Now I've got to get out me spyglass and find the rest of the books in this series.
Mimi H. (larie) reviewed Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack Adventures, Bk 1) on
i loved it. i love adventures of girls in the old days dressing up as men and getting into all sorts of fixes and troubles. i also love how louis meyer made her a normal kind of cowardly girl. i felt like i could relate with her more.
Emma S. (emalou2) reviewed Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack Adventures, Bk 1) on
The Bloody Jack series has been one of my favorites and was practically all I read from the end of middle school through the 11th grade. I haven't had time lately, but I cannot wait to read the 8th 9th books! THATS HOW GOOD THIS SERIES IS!
This is the first book and, once you read it, you are hooked. The character development and personalities are fascinating and hysterical. You don't just feel emotionally invested in them, you feel as if they exist because they are simply so real and dynamic. Jacky is a riot! She was my role model during my pre-teen/teenage years (probably not the best role model, but she is fantastic).
L.A. Meyer is a genius! The adventure and action never slows down or stops. This series takes so many twists and turns and there are so many characters you will never get bored.
The one thing I recommend is that, if you are determined to read the whole series, do not wait long periods of time between books. I read the first four all within a week and it was an incredible literary experience.
Even though I fell in love with this book at a young age, it certainly wasn't a children's book. These books are kind of young adult, but more so adult fiction. My mom even read it and loved it!
It's a YA novel, but it's also great fun. It's one of those books where I'm like, "There should be more of these." (And there are! It's a whole series!) None of the elements are terribly new or original (or realistic), but it's all put together well and has just what (well, I) like to read!
A young girl, Mary Faber, is orphaned on the streets of 18th-century London. She joins a gang of kids and learns begging and even some thieving, but when a ghoulish thug who sells the bodies of dead street kids to medical schools kills the leader of her gang, she realizes it's time to leave. Disguising herself as a boy and calling herself Jack, she gets taken on as a cabin boy on a ship bound to hunt down pirates.
Much nautical adventure ensues...
What a rollicking good yarn! I picked up this audio CD along with 3 or 4 other audiobooks at a library sale and thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was marked as a teen or young adult book. I'm a history buff and there were plenty of historical references to this time period (late 1700's) to keep me happy and although it had some romance aspects to it, it wasn't annoying or inappropriate.
The author made the title character Mary/Jack totally believable and the narrator was very good, especially when switching between American,English cockney and English upperclass accents.
The last audiobook narrator was not nearly as good and it was very distracting to me.
Hoping I can find other books by this author!I thoroughly recommend this book.
I really liked this young adult historical novel and it was read beautifully by Katherine Kellgren. Adventure on the streets of London, on the high seas, on a desert island. Danger, friendship, love... Recommend.