Saturday, March 21, 2009
More Jacky Faber
Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber, by L.A. Meyer, Harcourt, 2005
L.A. Meyer's character Mary "Jacky" Faber is a kind of YA female version of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman. In addition to being on the scene of historic events such as the Battle of Trafalgar, characters from other books, including Moby Dick and Dicken's Oliver make cameo appearances in her story.
In the third book of the series, Jacky is back in the Royal Navy, against her will. She's been carried off to a British warship by a press gang who mistakes her for a boy (because she was dressed that way.) The ship is on blockade duty off the coast of France and is under the control of an evil and corrupt captain. Jacky announces that she is a female in order to gain her freedom but it is apparent the captain has other cruel plans for her. Not able to escape, she demands the rights and privileges of the rank of midshipman that she earned while on HMS Dolphin in the first book. Faber is a born leader and natural seaman. This installment of her story is my favorite as Jacky takes command of her situation and the ship.
In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber by L.A. Meyer, Harcourt, 2006
In book four, Jacky decides to return to her school in Boston because she is wanted for piracy back in England. Hoping to just hide out there until her name can be cleared or her beloved Jaimy can come for her, Jacky and the girls of the Lawson Peabody School are kidnapped by slavers and smuggled onto a slave ship bound for north Africa. Jacky's seafaring and command experience help her formulate escape plans which give the girls a purpose and structure to their days.
The story is a sort of mix of The Great Escape and The Arabian Nights, as Jacky tells the girls stories from her past, every night.
My least favorite of the four books, still, even with the predictable cliffhanger ending, I cannot wait to hear more. I cannot imagine reading these books now as I am so fond of Katherine Kellgren's narration. I did not realize she was also the narrator of Shannon Hale's Austenland and The Diamond of Darkhold: The Fourth Book of Ember which I enjoyed greatly.
I hope they are planning to release the rest of this series in audio format very soon.