I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
I came to this series very late, but made up for that this summer by devouring all nine then available in an embarrassingly short time. For those very familiar with the series, take what I write with the knowledge that my favorites were the first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth, and that I ccan only be said to have been disappointed in the ninth. I was so disappointed that I worried about this book as much as I eagerly awaited its release.
Mark of the Golden Dragon with what I considered to be an overly convoluted plot and uneven pacing made me wonder what the rest of the series would hold, particularly with its emphasis on Jacky's nights on the town and involved scheming. This time around though, we have something I think is far more akin to Bonnie Light Horseman, with Jacky hopping from place to place, balancing her attempts to learn what's going on in a given locale and building relationships with the friendly or not so friendly people she meets, particularly every young male in sight. There is also action distributed fairly regularly throughout to keep things lively, and of course, Jacky is cursed with as much bad luck as she's blessed with good. I think Jamie's side-chapters were at their best with Mississippi Jack and Lorelei Lee, where he was actively pursuing her. Having him on his own, while better than watching him go insane, doesn't really add much if you're not overly invested in that aspect of the story aside from wanting it to reach some sort of conclusion. All the same though, it is not so distracting as in the last installment. Also, there is no nautical action in this outing, but a return to running around continental city streets and countryside looking to bring confusion to Napoleon's forces.
Happily, this book continues to deliver the constants that will always make this series a favorite, regardless of the odd turns it might take. The writing is still hilarious, Jacky is still a lovable scoundrel and Katherine Kellgren's performance is simply top notch.
If you were at all hesitant, I urge you to sail on. And if you haven't tried the series before, this installment means you now have one more adventure to look forward to than you did before.