This is me plugging away at my series, and also me still being about five weeks behind on my reviewing. I finished this book, put in a request for the next two books in the series, finished the next book in another series, and am now on to the next Jacky Faber book.
The Wake of the Lorelei Lee. Bloody Jack Adventures Book 8. by L.A. Meyer. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren.
This entry in the long-running Jacky Faber series involves Jacky going to Australia. She had always dreamed of going to Bombay, Cathay, and Australia – but not as a convict sentenced to life in the penal colony. And certainly not on board the ship she paid for herself and lovingly outfitted before it was seized by the English crown. She’s on board with 200 other female convicts, and her beloved fiancé Jaimy, in despair at her loss, is himself similarly sentenced and sent on another ship. The resulting journey is full of the usual Jacky Faber hijinks. There are reunions with old friends, new friends made, historical figures charmed, lustful kisses exchanged, and torment from enemies endured. I will not dwell too much on these, since the real fun is in reading them. I pause to note, though, some of the unexpected historical accuracies: a Jewish female convict falls in love with and then marries a naval officer on board the penal ship, and the naval officer goes on to a position of power in Australia. I’d thought, reading the book, that such a difference in class and religion would surely have prevented a marriage – but the note at the end said that was lifted straight from the historical record. Jacky also meets the pirate queen Cheng Shih, one of the most powerful pirate queens in history.
I love the Jacky series for the straight-up quasi-historical adventure. That is, the setting is historical, but Jacky herself has a deliberately modern feel. I dropped a less-satisfying audio book for this one: Katherine Kellgren is quite possibly my favorite narrator of all time, and this series really showcases the breadth of her range. The characters, all with different voices and accents, the range of emotion, even her ability to sing all the tunes, and sing them in different voices depending on who’s singing in the book – these amaze me every time. I don’t have enough child-free car time right now to make it through these quickly, and they are exciting enough that I feel a need to listen to something more restful in between the entries. Still, for any fan of adventure looking for a good audio book series (or just to find out why audio book fans love them so), I’d heartily recommend this series.