Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Irrepressible Jacky Faber returns in her fifth adventure!

L.A. Meyer's "Bloody Jack" series is one that I enjoy so much, I jump up and down (and possibly squeal with delight) when a new book comes out. This time was no exception - especially because the last book, In the Belly of the Bloodhound, ended with such a cliffhanger!

I will say nothing about how Jacky managed to extricate herself from that situation, but anyone who's read any of her adventures would have no doubt that she would somehow manage to do so. This series, which begins with Bloody Jack, follows the adventures of Jacky Faber, who is without a doubt one of my favorite characters in fiction.

She is resourceful, intelligent, impulsive, creative, thirsty for knowledge, kindhearted and a natural leader. Unfortunately for her (but not for the reader), her impulsive nature gets her into one scrape after another, which leads to one harrowing narrow escape after another (not necessarily unscathed, either - bad things can and do happen throughout the course of the novels). The adventure never takes place at the expense of theme or characterization - the stories have a depth to them and a richness of historical detail that make them a true pleasure to read.

Jacky starts out an orphan on the streets of Victorian England in the first book, manages to become up a cabin "boy," falls in love with fellow cabin boy Jaimy Fletcher, and goes on to have many wonderful adventures on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as in other areas of the world. This installment takes her to the Mississippi river, where she travels on a boat downriver to New Orleans, hoping to meet up with her beloved Jaimy. My only criticism of the book is that it's getting just a little tiresome to have their perpetual attempts to find each other drive the plot of so many of these books. Still, the books are so exciting and delightful that it's hard to mind too much, especially since what happens along the way is invariably surprising and enjoyable to read about. Mississippi Jack explores some hard-hitting issues of 19th-century America, including slavery and government dealings with Native American tribes.

The books in the series are:
1. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy
2. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady
3. Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber
4. In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber
5. Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and the Lily of the West
6. My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War
7. Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy

It is extremely important to read these in order! I know I always say that, but it's essential with this series. I highly recommend every one of them.

Mississippi Jack by L.A. Meyer (Harcourt, Inc., 2007)

15 comments:

  1. This sounds so good! And the cover is awesome. I think I really need to try this series.

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  2. Ooh, I really love the sound of this series! I had never heard of it before, so thank you! I will definitely look for the first book.

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  3. Oh, you two are in for a treat! I can't wait to hear how you like them. Just a word of warning - don't start one if you have anything important to do!

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  4. Have you nominated a book for the Cybil Award for YA Fiction? If not, you may want to nominate this one if it hasn't already been nominated.

    Go here to nominate: http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/2007/10/young-adult-fic.html

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  5. Oh, thanks, Sherry - I've been meaning to look into that! I will stop by the link and take a look.

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  6. I've been reading this series, and can't wait to get ahold of this book. I thought that "In the Belly of the Bloodhound" got a little boring during certain parts, but I am so glad to hear that Jacky will keep running from the authorities. I can't wait to read it!!!

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  7. Thanks for stopping by, mic_mic! I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the series as much as I have been. I'm hoping that in the next book there won't be this constant separation between Jacky and Jaimy driving the book forward - it would be fun to read about them having an adventure together, don't you think? You'll have to let me know what you think when you read this one!

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  8. Glad you love these books, too! Unfortunately, from the summary of My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War I don't think it will be JF + JF off on adventures together. But it sounds really exciting, anyway! I can't WAIT until September 1st!

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  9. Oh, that's a shame - I'd love for them to get SOME time together, for goodness sake! But still, I can't complain too much because I know I'll happily follow along with Jacky wherever the next book takes her. Can't wait for it to come out!

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  10. AnonymousJune 27, 2008

    I do hope that Jaimy and Jacky get together sometime... It is getting a little repetitive to keep hearing about them chasing each other around the globe. But, nevertheless, I LOVE the books! I can't wait until September 1st!

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  11. Anonymous - thanks for stopping by. I completely agree. And September will be here before we know it!

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  12. AnonymousJuly 07, 2008

    These books are an amazing series. I hope that September gets here soon because waiting for the next book is such a burden.

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  13. I completely agree. And I know that summer always flies by, so it'll be here before we know it! Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. AnonymousJuly 28, 2009

    I have read three of them so far, but not in order because of their availability at my library. So far though the series is turning out to be one of the best I have ever read. L.A. Meyer is a tremendous storyteller who includes adventure, suspense, romance, and humour in every single book. Along with keeping up with a great story line that brings all the books together. I hear there will be two more written. I wish they would start making a movie though because that would be a must-see! Good day!

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  15. Hi, anonymous visitor - thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoy this series as much as I do - it is wonderful, as you say. I'm thinking of going back and listening to the audio versions, just for fun. Only two more? Well, I'll be grateful for whatever others come along. A movie would be fabulous!

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