This book I picked off the teen librarian’s pirate display, because I needed to read a teen book and was feeling lazy about choosing one. It is a fine book, though!
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy by L.A. Meyer
On the Dark Day, the body collector took away Mary’s mother and sister just days after he’d taken her father. For a time, she finds a home on the streets with a gang of orphans, but she dreams of adventure and seeing the legendary Kangaroo. Finding a place as a ship’s boy could be the perfect way out. Only hopefully, it won’t be too bloody. Jack finds herself caught up in the middle of conflict on board ship – with good friends among the other ship’s boys, but hated by the midshipmen. Can she save her friends from the pirates, avoid starting a war on ship, and keep up The Deception? Jacky tells her story herself in language that brings the age of pirates to life, while she stays a real and ordinary girl caught up in extraordinary adventures. You won’t be able to put the book down.
This book was given to me by . It’s a Book Crossings book, so I passed it on to when we saw her lately. It is an awfully fun concept, Book Crossings.
Carpe Demon: Confessions of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner Kate Connor was raised to be a demon hunter. She left the job after marrying her second husband (her first, Eric*, had been a demon hunter as well, but died of Causes Unknown). Now she’s got a teenage daughter, a two-year-old and a husband who don’t know anything about her past – and demons crashing through her kitchen window. It’s Buffy trying to keep up with carpools, find a place to stash the toddler, and host cocktail parties for her husband on top of the demon hunting. I never quite bought her not telling her husband about it, especially after she winds up telling her best friend. I have been spoiled by Buffy, which usually had resonances of deeper issues under the fun vampire-slaying. This story, which is really a perfectly fine adventure story, felt like it was trying to be Buffy but missed the point. It may not be Joss, but it’s a fun story, particularly for people like, well, me, a Buffy fan and a mother.
*Good names, don’cha think?
Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen I have loved Donna Jo Napoli, and in general, love retold fairy tales. This one is a retelling of Rumplestiltskin, and started off with a love of yarn, making it extra seductive for me. The retelling is good insofar as I really cared about all the characters and had a hard time putting it down. As told here, Rumplestiltskin is about greed and love gone wrong. But Saskia, our heroine, seems to be caught in the middle and never finds a way out. Her mother died at birth and the man she thinks is her father never really loved her – though we know from the beginning that Rumplestiltskin is actually her father. She’s making a fine living for herself spinning when her father decides to take her to the king. Everything goes downhill from there and comes to a screeching halt at the end of the story, without resolving (for me) any of the messy issues that got brought up.