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Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky"… (2002)

by L. A. Meyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bloody Jack Adventures (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6931108,471 (4.17)217
Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.
  1. 60
    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are about an adventurous and headstrong girl disguising herself as a boy for a chance to join the military. Jacky is trying to make a living for herself and escape poverty during the Napoleonic Wars and joins the Navy as a ship's boy in Bloody Jack. Deryn Sharp wants nothing more than to join the Royal Air Corps in Leviathan - a steampunk alternate history of WWI. Both books are packed full of adventure and spunky protagonists.… (more)
  2. 40
    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (Caramellunacy, la_librarian)
    Caramellunacy: Both of these adventure stories are about a strong girl proving her worth on board a sailing ship. Charlotte shows the crew her mettle despite the fact that she's a girl, and Jacky disguises herself as a boy to escape detection. Both are great stories for those who love nautical stories.… (more)
  3. 10
    Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 1: Foundling by D. M. Cornish (clif_hiker)
  4. 10
    The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding (foggidawn)
  5. 00
    Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: YA books about girls who want to be pirates.
  6. 00
    Dodger by Terry Pratchett (foggidawn)
  7. 00
    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (SheReads)
    SheReads: The strong female characters navigating a boy's world.
  8. 00
    Nim's Island by Wendy Orr (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Also, Star Crossed by Linda Collison (not in the system yet).

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» See also 217 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Loved it! A young girl living in the 1800's is forced into a life of survival on the streets when her family dies from an epidemic. She lives on the streets with a gang of other children and avoids the body snatchers and other dangers until she is about 12. Then her gang leader is killed and she must make a choice to find her own way out. That choice is to don boys clothes and to volunteer to become a ship's boy aboard the H.M.S. Dolphin. The Mary becomes Jacky and eventually Bloody Jack as he/she is inventive enough to do well on the ship, avoid detection, and avoid the bullies that prey on the younger boys. Being disguised as a boy does not mean that Jacky also gets involved in a bit of romance as well, along with adventures that involve hunting down pirates, avoiding shipwreck, getting tattooed, learning to play the pennywhistle. Highly enjoyable, I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy tales of adventure. I would also say that I would rate it PG-13, as Jacky does not shy away from talking about her developing body (and the problems that it causes her) and she is also preyed upon by a sexual predator. ( )
  debs4jc | Jul 5, 2022 |
Bloody Jack is an awesome pirate (and also a girl coming of age). Narrator Katherine Kellgren does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
3.75 stars

At the end of the 18th century, Mary thinks she was about 8 years old or so when her parents died and she was literally put out on the street and left to fend for herself. She managed to join up with some other homeless kids and they begged and stole and did what they could for money and food. When she was a few years older, Mary decided to dress like a boy and she managed to get on a ship as a ship’s boy. But no one knew she was really girl as they went about their adventures on the sea.

I listened to the audio and loved the accent. I think it was a Cockney accent (had to look that up!). I quite enjoyed this and it gets the extra ¼ star for the audio. The story was fun, too. It’s odd, but whether I listen to or read adventure, I tend to not pay as much attention to the adventure parts. Odd, I know. But I still quite liked the story and I will be continuing the series. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 24, 2021 |
I'm really torn about "Bloody Jack." The first half is a quick, exciting read. But the love story introduced in the last half bogs things down quickly and strangely changes Jacky's character completely, and not for the better. She goes from being a strong, independent heroine to a flirty, weepy girly-girl in a matter of pages. I can't help but feel the book is merely masquerading as a feminist tale when really at its heart it believes that girls just want to wear frilly dresses and be fawned over by a pretty boy. I also really feel that the character of Jacky isn't nearly as endearing as L.A. Meyer thinks she is.

There's also a strange sexual predation undercurrent that runs throughout the whole story, most obviously seen in the pedophilic sailor that wants Jacky, but also in pretty much every other nook and cranny of the story. I don't think this was necessarily intended by the author, but it is there and I have no idea what it means. The storyline involving said pedophilic sailor also strangely goes nowhere and feels unresolved.

The above points might lead you to think I'd give this a negative review, but the first half was so enjoyable that I can't help but give it three stars. I'll probably read the next installment in the series as well, just to see what scrapes Jacky gets into next. Perhaps the books get less thematically bizarre as they go on. ( )
  bugaboo_4 | Jan 3, 2021 |
Excellent narrator! ( )
  elifra | Aug 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. A. Meyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As always, for Annetje
First words
My name is Jacky Faber and in London I was born, but, no, I wasn't born with that name.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.

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Average: (4.17)
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2 12
2.5 4
3 76
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4 200
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