Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on Under the Jolly Roger by L.A. Meyer

This one is definitely one of my favorites in the Bloody Jack Adventures series. Leaving Boston burning behind her (literally!), Jacky is at it again, getting into all sorts of trouble!


Series: The Bloody Jack Adventures, Book 3 (Being the Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber)

Genres:  Young Adult, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Romance

Rating: 5 stars


A pirate at heart, unlikely heroine Jacky Faber returns to the sea in a truly swashbuckling tale filled with good humor, wit, and courage.

After leaving the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston—under dire circumstances, of course—she boards a whaling ship bound for London, where she hopes to find her beloved Jaimy. But things don’t go as planned, and soon Jacky is off on a wild misadventure at sea. She thwarts the lecherous advances of a crazy captain, rallies the sailors to her side, and ultimately gains command of a ship in His Majesty’s Royal Navy. But Jacky’s adventures don’t end there….


This one is definitely one of my favorites in the Bloody Jack Adventures series. Leaving Boston burning behind her (literally!), Jacky is at it again, getting into all sorts of trouble! (No spoilers not already given away by the author:) After heading to London hoping to reunite with her true love, Jaimy, and running into bad luck in many different forms, Jacky is taken by a Press Gang and hauled back to sea to serve under the Royal Navy. But more bad luck awaits when the captain of the HMS Wolverine turns out to be a not very honorable man, and signs Jacky up in the ship’s log just so he can have his own fun with her. Optimistic Jacky soon takes control of the situation, but not without some low moments — each and every one impossible to see coming or predict its solution!

But Jacky’s adventure on the Wolverine and in the historical Battle of Trafalgar is only the beginning of this never-ending book. Part two involves a little more “piracy” than is completely healthy, another ill-fated run-in with Jaimy, and a daring and dangerous jail break (with Jacky on the outside for once)!

This book introduces some of my favorite characters in the Bloody Jack series including loyal Higgins, Jacky’s new fatherly friend and manservant; Maeread, Liam’s fiery young daughter; and Joseph Jared, the first real man with a love interest in Jacky.

Something that completely amazed me was how well L.A. Meyer does his homework. There are so many historically accurate things in this book that don’t necessarily need to be to make it a good story. For example, an important historical event described in this book is the Battle of Trafalgar, and much historical name-dropping occurs. For example, boats mentioned such as the HMS Victory, Temeraire, Raleigh, Essex, and the French ship Redoubtable, are all historical boats, and L.A. Meyer even mentions the correct number of guns each has in his telling!

I learn so much from these books without even realizing. For example, I had a specifically proud moment the other day when my dad was telling me about one of his adventures abroad and how he learned about the historical naval Battle of Gibraltar. I was nodding along, not really paying attention, but then he mentioned the name Lord Nelson, which rung a bell in my head. Acting the nerd, I got to correct him, saying that Lord Nelson was actually the famed admiral who won the Battle of Trafalgar for the British, against the French and Spanish during the Napoleonic Wars. For a history nerd like me, these books perfectly combine accurate details with exciting adventure and world-wide explorations in a fascinating time period in history.


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This entry was posted on June 2, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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