This post may contain some spoilers, so if you are new to the Bloody Jack series STOP READING!!! Then again, I am not revealing anything more than the book jacket, so maybe you should read on. It’s up to you.
The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber on Her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer is the eighth, but hopefully not the last, book in the Bloody Jack series. This book picks up where the last left off. Jacky uses her newly “found” wealth to purchase a new ship, the Lorelei Lee. Her name has been cleared of all charges and she sets sail to finally be reunited with her beloved Jaimy. When she arrives in London she is met with an unpleasant surprise. She is arrested, tried, and sentenced to life in the penal colony of New South Wales. The journey from London to Australia is relatively smooth sailings, with only a minor hiccup in India, until they reach the China Sea and encounter a notorious pirate. From this point on it is non-stop action as Jacky once again tries to wriggle her way out of trouble.
First the story. I was not surprised at all to learn that Jacky was once again in trouble, but I was a bit surprised at the pace of the beginning part of the book. It was slower than most of the previous books and contained a lot of recaps of Jacky’s previous adventures (I actually appreciated having my memory refreshed, but I understand others may not enjoy the repetition). In this book the adventure slowly sneaks up on you. One minute everything is fine, everyone is happy, than BAM! all hell breaks loose and Jacky is off on another wild and dangerous adventure! I am 100% certain that I so willingly overlook the few flaws in this latest installment because of Katherine Kellgren, the narrator of the audiobook. Her voice has some magical, hypnotic quality to it that makes me fairly certain that she would have my undivided attention if she were reading Jacky Faber’s grocery list. Listening to Ms. Kellgren read a Bloody Jack book is like having a full-cast play performed just for you. She does it all: she sings, she dances (in my mind she dances along with Jacky), and she has a different voice for all the characters (I am particularly fond of Higgins). I don’t know how she does it, but boy am I glad that she does!
I think it is good idea to remind readers that Jacky has gotten older and the nature of some of her adventures may not be suitable for younger readers. This latest installment has more bad language than the previous books, there is discussion of prostitution, and there is some violence and murder. I know that sounds grim, but one of the best things about Jacky is that she and her friends always land on their feet.
This wasn’t my favorite in the series (I personally loved Mississippi Jack), but it’s a wonderful addition to the Bloody Jack collection. I highly recommend these books.