" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
I ended up reading this book because of all the reviews & I was worrieed that it would be over-hyped for me when I read it, BUT... such was NOT the case... Katherine Kellgren has an amazing narrating voice & takes a semi-good story & transforms it into great overall performance. It borders on a teen book in my opinion but the way K.K. reads with fluidity, originality, & humor making the book a blast. I normally have a rule about books that are less than 10 hours, but I made an exception because after listening to the sample I had to get the book & I will probably end up getting at least a few of the other sequels to see what happens to 'Bloody Jack-y Faber'.
I'll probably get the one where she becomes a pirate but if u want a fun read that u can finish in one day this a perfect book... there are all the good parts of a book - Humor, action, adventure, & the funny fact that a girl is trying to pass as a boy as she is going thru puberty or as she says 'me growin hairs in da private places making meself a proper ape' & trying to shove her machine gun jubbly's in clothes to hide them....
FUN READ.... I'll most certainly look for other books K.Kellgren narrated because of this read, she's got skillz
Say something about yourself!
I bought this book on a whim when it went on sale. It looked interesting, but not so interesting I started it right away. In fact I probably held on to it for 6 months before I ran out of another series and gave it a shot. That was a huge mistake, by far one of the best series I've listened to/read. Once I started this book I could not stop. I'm normally one who needs to stop and listen to a different book in the middle of a series because I get bored with the plot line, not so far with this one.
Katherine Kellgren is amazing, they could not have picked a better narrator. She sings the songs and her voice lends so much life to this book series. I think she really adds a whole extra dimension to the books.
To sum it up (TL;DR):
The Dickensian story of Jacky Faber in Bloody Jack is heartwrenching and joyous all at once, a truly enthralling tale. Katherine Kellgren's narration is beyond "wonderous good" - frankly she is the best narrator I've ever hoped to listen to.
Actually, I'm kidding, I love these books. Unlike most audiobooks where the author merely READS the book, with only slight changes in voice to delineate from one character to another, Ms. Kellgren actually PERFORMS these books. I dare not call it reading, as she enthusiastically brings these books to life like no other performer I've heard on any other book series. When there are songs, she actually SINGS -- and she has a good, strong voice. The books themselves are fun and full of wild adventure -- although they do become repetitive after the first 4 books, but with the added bonus of Ms. Kellgren's amazing performance, it is hard to imagine not listening to these. She is by-far the best performer and voice talent (at least in my humble opinion) working in the field today. The reason I say I hate these audiobooks, is because Ms. Kellgren is so outstanding that she has really ruined other audio-books for me -- I wish everyone put as much effort into their readings as she does, but, alas, they do not; they merely READ, and thus, she has forever spoiled me. So, as far as that goes... Thanks for your outstanding performance Ms. Kellgren.
I am a 57 year-old female and I am LOVING this series. Everything you could want in a book and more. Clearly this author knows and loves all of the classics, as well as the Shirley Temple movies. The performer, for that is what she is, is quite possibly the best I've heard in the 7 years I've been downloading books from Audible. A must-listen for young and not-so-young alike. Bravo!
The world through a childs eyes is a much more interesting place. The narrator Kathrine Kellgren, is perfect for this book, and reminds me of the girl that did the tell, in Thunderdome. I enjoyed the accent both displayed. The book is written for young people, maybe teens or tweens, but I am seventy one and I enjoyed it. It is a fiction that only a young imagination could dream up. But just suspend your disbelief and enjoy it. I have already downloaded the second in the series, Curse of the Blue Tattoo.
Well, one of the reviewers stated that this is a fun story even though the gentleman is over 40 years old... much like Harry Potter. Well, it's a fun ride. The first story in the series was really entertaining and I did enjoy it. It is no where near Harry Potter in the immersive power, but once again, Katherine Kellgren brings this thing to life. She is really that good.
The basic story is that of a girl, a street urchin in London, who breaks out and has some crazy adventures onboard ships in the British Navy in the early 1800s. The main character, Jackie, is clever and comes up with some fun answers to some pretty tense troubles. Like I said, I enjoyed this book like I enjoy an occasional piece of cheese pizza, but the narrator makes this audiobook a good, solid, pepperoni with mushrooms and olives... good enough to eat!!!
Katherine Kellgren absolutely made this book for me. "Bloody Jack" is a well-written, well-plotted historical adventure, but Kellgren's performance transformed it into something truly special. She brought color and nuance to Jacky’s world, pulling me right onto the deck of the HMS Dolphin. I could hear the roar of cannons, the swell of the sea and the music played by the sailors in her voice. I can’t imagine experiencing this book in any other way.
Set at the turn of the 19th Century, “Bloody Jack” uses the familiar trope of a girl dressed as a boy to experience a man’s world, but the appealing heroine, diverse cast of characters and spot-on pacing made the story fresh and exciting.
Mary “Jacky” Faber escapes a dismal life as a London street urchin by fast-talking her way on board a British man-of-war headed out to sea in pursuit of pirates. Because she can read and write, she is assigned to help the tutor who instructs the young midshipmen and ship's boys. As performed by Kellgren, Jacky's voice conveys her wonder at the sights and workings of the ship, terror in battle, and later in the story, the overwhelming joy of young love. She comes fully alive in Kellgren's telling – smart, resourceful, self-deprecating, tender-hearted yet practical.
Much of the humor and dramatic tension in the story comes from Jacky's efforts to maintain her disguise – first because she does not think through all the implications ("What about the call of nature, you twit?") and second because she begins to fall in love with another ship's boy, Jamie Fletcher, who comes from a respectable family fallen on hard times. Jacky struggles very believably to choose between the freedom of being a boy – able to climb rigging, visit taverns on shore leave and explore opportunities denied to women – and her desire to live as her true self. (She also discovers, later on, what is meant by the phrase "feminine wiles" and how to use hers to advantage.)
Jacky also learns hard lessons about grown men who bully those they perceive as weaker, and about abusers who victimize children to satisfy their twisted desires. The HMS Dolphin is a microcosm of humanity itself, with all of the good and evil of men represented on its decks. Much of the story was quite dark and brutal, showing the hardships sailors endured and how cheaply life was sometimes held.
I greatly appreciated how the characters behaved in ways both true to their times and to their own experiences. (For example, Jamie at first turns up his nose at the daily ration of horse meat, while the malnourished Jacky wolfs it down as if it’s the best thing she’s ever tasted.) By the story's end, many of the characters - from the unflappable Captain Locke to the passionate but prudish scholar Mr. Tilden to the kindly "sea dad" Liam Delaney - seemed like old friends.
This book has it all: adventure, excitement, humor, pathos and tenderness – all vividly rendered by Kellgren. I am looking forward to joining Jacky on the rest of her adventures in this series.
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
This book was over way to quickly, I wanted more (so I'm off to download the next book in the series). If you want to get lost in a fun story set upon the high seas, this is the book for you. The performance was so good that it was like listening to someone telling their own story.
It wasn't perfect... many of the characters were very stereotyped. However, the main character was so atypical that it made up for the rest of the typical cast of characters for the most part. But, introducing some additional non-standard characters would have made a really good book, great. Also, the book should have been longer (I can't believe I said that, but it's true). I know this is a series and I'm sure I will get to know the characters very well in other books, but there were lots of parts of this book that went by way to quickly.
I happen to love books about ships, sailing, military, pirates, adventure, and plunder. I think one of the things I like about this combination is that you can't just walk away from a ship (or the military) and I like to see all of the inter-personal threads unwind as people are forced together in these kinds of environments, especially when matters of treasure and life-and-death fighting is introduced into the mix. It brings out the worst and the best in humankind. I mean really, what more can you want?!
As others have stated, the narrator and the book match wonderfully. As a fan of historical fiction authors such as Patrick O'Brian, I enjoyed this lighter look at the world of the sea. Jack is a terrific character and now I'm hooked and will have to listen to the rest of the series.