London. 1797. The plague is hitting full force and Mary “Jacky” Faber can do nothing as her parents and her only sibling are soon counted among the dead. Alone and penniless, eight year old Mary takes to the streets with a gang of orphans, doing her best to learn the way of the streets and how to survive. When the leader of the orphans is killed, Mary once again finds herself alone and struggling to find her way.
When an idea strikes, Mary cuts her hair short, dresses in men’s clothes, changes her name to “Jack” Faber and finds her way to employment as a ships boy on the HMS Dolphin. During the first battle with a pirates ship, her bravery saves the life of a fellow ship boy and earns her the nickname ‘Bloody Jack’.
As time goes on and “Jack” learns the way of the sea… she also turns her eye to Jaimy, the boy she saved. But what is a girl to do who is dressed as a boy, but so desperately wishes she could just be herself. If anyone finds out her true identity, she will certainly be thrown overboard…
yet she can not keep this charade up forever.
I have seen this series floating around for about a year now around the blogs. My first peek of interest was the raving of this series on audio. Good audio raving always peeks my interest. But really – a whole series around a young girl on a ship? Would I really find that interesting? Would I?
But the blog buzz continued and time and again I seen this title come up and my curiosity grew…
I jumped on board.
(Get it? A little ship humor…)
At first listen, Katherine Kellgren’s narration of a rough voiced orphan girl with a thick accident takes a little getting used to. I honestly had to wonder if I would get into this…
It did not take long to change my mind.
Bloody Jack is an amazing story. Mary “Jacky” Faber tells her take of life on the streets to life on this ship in humorous detail.
“He’s got muscles like a horse and looks to have a brain to match”
With a variety of voices, narrator Katherine Kellgren covers everyone from the Irish sailor Liam, a Jamaican seaman, creepy and sinister Jacob Sloat as well as the other ship boys, including Jamey, the one who has stolen Mary’s heart – but he thinks she is just another ships boy.
Before I was done with this audio I had already requested and received the next book in this series, as I wanted to know more about the adventures of Bloody Jack!
Do not drag your feet like I did on this one, I highly recommend the audio version and sit back and enjoy a tale that I think will surprise you!
The 2011 WHERE Are You reading Map has been updated to include Bloody Jack
I borrowed this audio from our local library