Listen to the sequel, Curse of the Blue Tattoo.
©2003 L.A. Meyer; (P)2007 Listen and Live Audio, Inc.
I love not only this book, but the entire series. Wonderfully narrated by Katherine Kellgren, who's performance brings Jacky to life through not only voice, but also in song. While this may not be for young readers, it is age appropriate for 12 and up. The girl I nanny for (she is 12) is absolutely in love, as am I. We can both truly enjoy it, and I look forward to surprising her with the next in the series over her holiday break.
I love listening to or reading books--especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, classics, & historical.
Bloody Jack read by Katherine Kellgren is a perfect matching of story and reader, for Kellgren IS Jack, the orphan girl who leaves her gang of London guttersnipes, cuts her hair and puts on boy's clothes, and joins the HMS frigate man-o-war The Dolphin as one of its new ship's boys and then experiences and learns more than she could have imagined about the sea, sailors, friendship, death, love, music, gender, and herself. As Kellgren reads Jack's narration, she convincingly changes her voice to suit the various characters who appear, among them cockney boys, Irish salts, lordly captains, pedantic Americans, French pirates, Jamaican merchants, and more. The story is fast-paced, savory, exciting, funny, and involving. The terrible sides of human nature are in evidence, too, including snobbishness, bullying, rape, and war. And Kellgren is there every step of the way, enhancing L. A. Meyer's prose with her enthusiasm and understanding. I'm looking forward to more of Jack Faber's sea adventures.
I think that says it all but this is the most entertaining historical fiction I have ever listened to. I am forty something but Katherine Kellgren captures my imagination and Jackie Faber is just such a joy to follow. I love how L A Meyer tackles some pretty harsh subjects with frankness, not sugarcoating history. At the same time you meet such amazing characters you end each book upbeat and wanting more.
My daughter and I commute quite a bit and are always listening to one audio book or another. This was a welcome change from the endless spate of fantasy she's been into of late. The history, action, adventure, humor and and feminism appealed to us both. Kellgren did a brilliant job and really brought the whole thing vividly to life.
I agree there are several tense moments and this is not for younger children. My daughter is a mature and well-read 11 year old, so the sexual and violent references actually made made for good points of mother-daughter discussion, but this is not a book the less mature.
My 12-year old neighbor recommended this series to me. I downloaded the first book (Bloody Jack) on a whim at the time. But now I've listened to the next 3 in the series. Not only are the stories fantastic, rich and lively, but the narrator is absolutely brilliant. Her voice and accents are lovely. I highly recommend these audiobooks (even if you're a little older than 12 ... or a lot older).
Kellgren deserves every bit of praise she receives for her multi-voiced narration that gains both charm and steam as she works through the harrowing beginnings of an orphan who is long on grit and talent but short on common sense. Kellgren has us careening along with Jackie on this wonderful ride. Heroes and villians are read with equal verve and the settings and scenery are described and read with such detail that visualizing the story, characters, and time made bloody Jack one of my favorite listens.
We loik'd it, me 'usband 'n' me -- good storytellin' to pass long hours on the car trips, it was. Lookin' fo'ward to 'er next adventures, we is.
Not so sure its for the wee bairns, though. Touchy stuff ahead.
Listen in to find if you like the narrator.
If you do and if you fancy great adventure novels I think you will not be disappointed.
As for me I listen to the Jacky Faber series with great joy.
So I give it 5 (for all I've listened to so far).
Have a go and find out.
I almost didn't finish listening to this book, it was a little hard for me to get into until the action started getting good near the end. By the time it was done, I knew I had to continue on to Book 2. I am now on Book 4 and am completely engrossed in the life of Jacky Faber, one of the greatest characters/heroines ever! Needless to say, if you start with Bloody Jack and don't get what all the hoopla is about, hang in there and go on to "The Curse of the Blue Tattoo"...you WILL get hooked. I am a 40-something woman, and I listen and read all sorts of books, for all age groups. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and I must admit, this series and the character of Jacky Faber are AS GOOD, in my opinion.
All that being said. Yes, the narrator is fantastic (I could do without the singing. I find it extremely annoying and usually fast forward) and the action is great, but I don't think some of the subject matter is appropriate for young kids or even young teens. I wish the author had not included SO MANY references to attempted rape and such, but maybe he's staying true to the times. Thank goodness there are 7 books in this series, and another on the way...I can't imagine a day without Jacky Faber and her adventures. She's a lovable one, she is!!
I love the characters(especially Jackie) and the narrator is amazing! I have read the first 5 books so far and can't wait to see what happens to Jackie next!
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