When a new Bloody Jack novel comes out, I do the happy dance around the library (quietly, of course). This is one of my hands-down favorite series, combining evocative historical settings, a strong and clever heroine, unforgettable characters, swashbuckling action and adventure, and a touch of romance - not to mention a healthy dash of humor. I started writing this blog when I was midway through the series, so unfortunately I only have reviews from books five on. But I have heard from many a book blogger that the audio versions of these books are excellent, so one of these days I may go back and start all over again.
This installment of the series, set in 1806, sees Jacky whisked away very rudely from a most important personal moment in her life. She has become, it seems, a pawn at the mercy of British Naval Intelligence, and they have a job for her to do. Jacky is none too pleased until she hears her mission involves a sunken Spanish ship carrying a whole lot of treasure - something that is sure to warm the cockles of this former pirate-maiden's heart.
Jacky's mission takes her to the balmy waters off the coast of Havana, where she poses as a member of a fake scientific expedition as they search for the sunken ship, while coming up against a particularly nasty Spanish naval officer, some pirates, and a very fast and hungry alligator.
This novel lacked some of the breakneck pace of previous books, but I enjoyed it all the same. I was pleased to see that Jacky finally got to spend some time with her beloved Jaimy, instead of never being in the same place at the same time, as has happened so often in previous books. I could have done without the cockfighting scenes; it seemed rather out of character for Jacky, who has always had such a soft heart for animals, to train up a bird to fight, and I didn't find her justification terribly convincing. Still, it is always a pleasure to spend some time in the company of the feisty, quick-witted Jacky, and I hope to follow many, many more of her adventures.
Books in the Bloody Jack series:
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
Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy (#7 in the Bloody Jack series) by L.A. Meyer (Harcourt, 2009)
Also reviewed at:
WORD for Teens: "The series is quite character driven - if Jacky was anything less what who she is, the plot lines and all the crazy stunts just wouldn't work. However, Jacky being Jacky, it works wonderfully and makes for a fantastically fun tale."