BLOODY JACK by L.A. Meyer

BLOODY JACK

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Posing as a lad in the late 1790s, a spunky orphan girl secures a job as a ship’s boy in the British Navy, a position that becomes compromised by her evolving maturity and love for a fellow crewmember. Meyer, a debut novelist, has penned a rousing old-time girl’s adventure story, with an outsized heroine who is equal parts gutsy and vulnerable, then sets her loose on a pirate-hunting vessel in the high seas. The novel is full of action and derring-do, but the real suspense is generated by maintaining what the heroine calls “The Deception,” her disguise as a boy. Initially, it’s fairly easy because Jacky, as the heroine decides to call herself, is as flat-chested, hairless, and high-voiced as the rest of the boys. She simulates using the ship’s head, imitating the boys’ “shake-and-wiggle action” and even creates a faux penis out of cloth under her drawers, so that she’s as “well rigged out” as the rest of the lads. Clever and courageous, Jacky deals with both the ship’s bully and pedophile, fights pirates valiantly, and manages to save the day for her shipmates, enabling them to secure the buccaneers’ booty. Jacky is such a marvelous creation that the other characters feel shadowy in comparison, and the least engaging parts of the novel involve her secret romance with a fellow ship’s boy. Capped by a fitting but bittersweet ending, the first-person narrative shines, and a wealth of historical research is seamlessly knitted into the material. A first-rate read. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-15-216731-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002




MORE BY L.A. MEYER

ChildrenBOSTON JACKY by L.A. Meyer
by L.A. Meyer
ChildrenVIVA JACQUELINA! by L.A. Meyer
by L.A. Meyer
ChildrenTHE MARK OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON by L.A. Meyer
by L.A. Meyer

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE DAGGER X by Brian Eames
by Brian Eames
ChildrenTHE DAGGER QUICK by Brian Eames
by Brian Eames
IndieTHE LOST TAVERN by Kerry  Brown
by Kerry Brown