The vivacious Jacky Faber return in the 10th tale in L. A. Meyer's Bloody Jack series! Once again under the thumb of British Intelligence, Jacky is sent to Spain to spy for the crown during the early days of the 19th-century Peninsular War. She finds herself in the company of guerilla freedom fighters, poses for the famous artist Goya, runs with the bulls, is kidnapped by the Spanish Inquisition, and travels with a caravan of gypsies...all while hoping to one day reunite with her beloved Jamie Fletcher.
©2013 LA Meyer (P)2013 Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
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.
Okay, this is more like it. I was not a big fan of Mark of the Golden Dragon, so I hesitated about starting Viva Jacquelina, because I didn't want to deal with the disappointment again. So it was a relief to discover that Jacky is back in the fight against Napoleon this time around, with plenty of battles and action. Is it up to par with WotLL or UtJR? No, it isn't (those are tough acts to follow), but this was still an enjoyable listen. Jacky still exhibits plenty of "free and easy ways" with the lads in this outing, but she is much more restrained and focused. She really does seem to be maturing, in my opinion. We get mostly new characters in this book, although Higgins (LOVE him!) and Richard Allen both make appearances early on.
I actually thought that the most interesting parts of Viva Jacquelina were the chapters told from Jaimy's point of view. I was impressed with his growth as a character in WotLL, and while he regressed in MotGD, we get continued character development from him in Viva Jacquelina, and I wish he had gotten more "screen time," because he is turning out to be quite an exciting guy. I wouldn't mind having a whole book told from his perspective, especially given recent developments in his combat skills, which I won't spoil here. Let's just say that he and Jacky are going to be much more evenly matched as characters when they meet up again.
Overall plot aside, my favorite little moment was when Jacky announces herself as "la belle jeune fille sans merci" to a group of French soldiers - I know I won't be the only listener to have cheered out loud to hear Katherine Kellgren growling that phrase in her fiercest Jacky voice once again.
This was a pretty good listen, and we now have quite a buildup of anticipation for the next Jacky/Jaimy reunion. I, for one, can't wait.
If you like the bloody jack series you will definitely enjoy the newest installment. I laughed the whole way through (typical Jackie mischief) and I think this has the best ending of any of the books. Enjoy
This story was as great as all the previous ones, with one exception. The ending. I felt a little cheated. I think the story should have continued for one more chapter. But it does leave me breathlessly waiting for the next book, as ususal. Katherine Kellgren was awesome, as I have come to expect.
Viva Meyer and Kellgren! Another excellent Bloody Jack book.
Loved the other 9 Bloody Jack books. This one is another hit.
Running with the bulls.
Death of the French soldier.
This series had so much promise at the start but has gotten progressively worse with each installment. Couldn't force myself to finish this one. I had been hoping Meyer would get back on track for several books now but that obviously isn't happening. Planning to test out the new 'dud' option with Audible and get a refund on this one and write off the series.
Love the characters
The tongue in cheek
Of course Jackie
It felt like it was written quickly, a little incomplete . I was let down at the end , figuring there would a follow up novel right away. Still love this series though.
This series is my all-time favorite audiobooks! Viva Jacquelina continues to wonderful story of Jackie Faber and her many adventures. She is once again a spy for the British sent to Spain to find out how they receiving the French king. Set in the 1800's this book provides a fun way to learn more about art and politics of the time. All through the eyes and experiences of Jackie, a teenage women who can dress like a boy or flirt like a pretty girl. This is a good addition to the series.
This book is very similar in style and story to the other books in this series. Starting with Bloody Jack (Book 1) and beyond. Start with 1 and you will be hooked on them all.
Katherine Kellgren is my favorite reader! I have read many of her audible books but this series is my very favorite for her characterizations. She is amazing! She goes from using a cockney accent to high-brow english in a blink of an eye. I tried reading one of these books and I could hear Katherine's voice for Jackie in my mind. I missed it so much I decided to listen to these rather than read them because I wanted the whole experience.
Read the whole series. Start with Book 1 (Bloody Jack) and Book 2 (Curse of the Blue Tatoo) which give the background for most of the main characters. I also very much like "The Bonney Light Horseman" which is later in the series but very good.Fall in love with Jackie just as I have. Don't be concerned that this is juvenile literature. It delivers for all readers who love strong women characters and adventures.
Librarian, Avid Reader, Audiobook Addict!
Oh Jacky! Again men just can’t help being drawn to her! I think my favorite part is when she eats the mushrooms and has a whole conversation with Brother Frog and of course since our Jacky is always thinking and after she comes down from her high she saves some of these mushrooms to use at a later time. And when she does it is hilarious!!! She ends up being the inventor of Purple haze!
Our Jacky also finds herself in her own version of the Girl with the Pearl Earring and running with the bulls. Oh and gets herself caught up in the inquisition too! I think Jacky found her long lost family in the gypsies too she fit in so well with them!
As usual Jacky finds herself caught in bad situations and meets famous people, but there was something different about this book, Jacky seemed a bit more mature and although she does want to get to Jamie it isn’t all encompassing as it has been in past books, and Jamie was a bit more secondary in this one. She meets a lot of new people, yes she still runs into people she knows but not as many as in past books and she didn’t have Higgins with her which I missed. And the ending was very abrupt but it sounds like everyone is headed to Boston so I guess we will see if Jacky & Jamie ever do get together. I love this series but I think I do see the end in sight which is sad but I’d hate to see this series run into the ground by having too many books, this is a series that you can read over and over again so it’s not like I can’t go back and visit Jacky anytime I want to.
Katy Kellgren makes these books even better with her perfect narration and singing, yes, lots & lots of singing and in many different languages & styles and she pulls it off with seeming ease. It's a rollicking good time and as always Katherine Kellgren's narration is perfection!
Loved it as usual but I want the next one NOW!
4 ½ Stars
Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.
I have loved all of the previous Bloody Jack books. This one, however,was sophomorically predictable.
Katherine Kellgren sounded like she was reading while awaiting a late supper - like she just want to get through quickly so she she could move on.
I was disappointed.
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