vegaenglit (vegaenglit) wrote in bookish,

Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer

Premise: Mary "Jacky" Faber is originally an orphan after her entire family dies from plague in London in the early 1800s and later goes on to act as a ship's boy on a british naval vessel.  In book two, having been discovered a girl at the end of book one is dropped at a fancy finishing school in boston.  Your basic coming of age, rags to riches story.

Review:  I am almost finished with book number two, The Curse of the Blue Tattoo, and I am hooked on this series and can't recommend it highly enough. Some of the reviewers on goodreads called jacky a mary-sue, and to a degree, maybe she is (though i think "mary-sue" is a very damning term) - she does manage to survive every scrape she finds herself and is better off for it, but i dont see it as overbearing, unlike the prototypical mary-sue, ayla (clan of the cavebear series) where the only thing she cant do perfectly is sing and sparkle in the sun.    she does have a major love interested, but it's not the be-all end-all of her existence, like bella.  and jaimy, at least to my current reading, doesnt appear to be a complete dick or have uncomfortably similar abuser personality.  utlimately, you want jacky to win, you want jacky and jaimy to be together.

Also, as a period fiction, it's well-researched, but not overbearing, early 1800s isnt usually my favourite time period, but fascinating nonetheless.

I would hope, given the last name, people looking for twilight will stumble across this much better, IMHO, series.  better written, better characters, better plot.

Additional:  This series is worth owning and if you can, listen to the audio version (and buy that one, too).  Katy Kellgren does a phenomenal job bring jacky to life.  dialect, accents, male and female voices are outstanding and i believe she, rightly, won an award for her performance.  goodread reviewers called ms. kellgren a "female jim dale" (narrator of the harry potter series) but jim dale pales in comparison.  or maybe i'm biased because i couldnt stand dale's hermione-version of the word "harr-eeee!!!!"

Lastly,  As a coming-of-age story there are issues of maturation and "sexual awakening" though it's not prurient.  jacky's exact age is never actually mentioned, if i recall correctly, mostly because she doesnt know, herself.  i would age the book 13+, YMMV.  I say this only because i like the series so much, i would want my kids to read it and was trying to think when it would be appropriate.  they are currently under 5.
Tags: category: young adult, genre: fiction, xxx author last name: i-q

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