This is Book Three. Click here for the Bradt Cousins' review of Book One.
Stephanie Bradt: UNDER THE JOLLY ROGER is probably my favorite Bloody Jack book so far. I don’t know why; it just is. Perhaps it is because it is shorter than the second book and it seems to stay more on track. Or just because I thought it was very fun. Jacky is in her element in this one—- being all pirate-y and such.
Here is my disorganized ramble about why I like this book: The reader has fun with Jacky as she and her newly-formed crew collect their riches. Her “sea dad” from the H.M.S. Dolphin, Liam Delaney, returns, and I had a newfound appreciation for him in this book. I think he is in my top 3 favorite characters even though he does not show up in the books a lot. Anyway, I also like Irish-y things, so I was also excited when we first see Liam again. I fell in love with his stereotypically Irish family: They have a bunch of kids, they are all redheads, and they are poor. (Hmmm, sounds like the Weasley family). Anyway, the potato crop is failing and the family needs money, so what do they have to lose? We meet Liam’s family, including his eldest son, Padraic, and daughter, Mairead. Liam’s family, as well as all the other awesome Irish people in this book, all have awesome Irish names.
The joyful reunion takes place when Jacky goes to Liam’s home in Ireland seeking a captain for her ship, since she, as a female, is nothing. This is one theme of the series I do recognize. While it seems like it would be cool to live in the book’s time and place, it would actually suck to be a girl in that time and place, as the reader learns. More than once, Jacky makes simple but telling statements about the differences between living as a boy and living as a girl. For starters, it is easier and a lot more fun to be a boy. Being a girl isn’t worth much.
As for new characters, besides Liam’s brood and all the cool Irish people, there is the addition of the Scotsman Robin Raeburne, who is my favorite side of Jacky’s ridiculous love dodecagon. I also liked the addition of Higgins, Jacky’s faithful gay manservant who reminds me of the butler in the movie ARTHUR.
All in all, I liked how this book combined the old adventurousness of the first book with a ton of colorful new characters. By the way, there is only one straight man in this series who does not throw himself at Jacky—Liam Delaney. Perhaps that is why he is my favorite.
This book's featured side in Jacky’s love dodecagon: Robin Raeburne
My favorite new character: Robin Raeburne
Jordan Bradt: Warning: this will be a very short review. UNDER THE JOLLY ROGER is the third book in the Bloody Jack series by L. A. Meyer. I still love this series, and after reading this book, I hurried to get the fourth. This book just isn’t “wow.”
For one thing, Jacky still isn’t with her true love, Jaimy. WTF, get with him already! By this book, I was getting sick of them always just missing each other…but hey, that’s a theme throughout the whole series. *mutter, mutter*
For another, the adventures weren’t very memorable. All I really remember from the book is that she still wasn’t with Jaimy. Granted, I read this when it first came out in 2005, so it’s been a while, but usually books stay with me.
The cool thing about this story was that it involved pirates on the open seas. I adore pirates and historical fiction, so I was hooked from page 1 to page 528 (yes, the book IS that long). It just wasn’t very…spectacular. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.