Back to Boston with Jacky Faber

I’ve been reading the Jacky Faber series by L. A. Meyer since high school.  I think there were only two or three books when I started.  Last month, I was very excited to read the latest installment–Book Eleven, Boston Jacky.

I’ve previously reviewed the (amazingly brilliant) audiobooks (Book One and Books Two through Five), as well as last year’s Book Ten.  The series follows the adventures of Jacky Mary Faber, a London street orphan who disguised herself as a boy to join a Royal Navy ship (hoping for regular meals).  Her adventures have taken her around the world as a pirate, a spy, a deep-sea diver, an artist’s model, a singer…and sometimes a fine lady.

Book Eleven sees Jacky back in her beloved port of Boston, where she buys a tavern, scraps with the local gangs, has a falling out with beloved friend Amy, and may finally lose her long-time and long-separated love Jaimy Fletcher (but I doubt it).

The last few books have been wild geography tours, taking Jacky to Australia, China and Spain, and fun though that was, I was happy to see that we were heading back to familiar locales.  This let us focus less on the strange landscape and more on the characters–with plenty of familiar ones back, like Amy Trevelyne, Mistress Pimm, Clarissa Worthington Howe (of the Virginia Howes) and the endlessly-supportive Higgins.  The cast makes this a good one for people who have read the series…but not a good one to jump into if you haven’t!

Far less happens in this book than in the previous one, and I think that’s a good thing.  Book Ten felt like a mad whirlwind of too-briefly touched-on incidents with far, FAR too many flirtations.  This book felt like a short but effective chapter in Jacky’s career.  It didn’t move the story forward very far, but it was a better trip for what was covered.  And maybe I wasn’t the only one who felt serious sparking with five men (I counted) in a short book was a bit much in Book Ten–this one toned it down, and while Jacky still has her moments, it was all with old familiar characters instead of an endless parade of new ones.

We also get another installment of miscommunication and missed-opportunities with Jacky’s “own true love” Jaimy.  I have been thoroughly over the Jacky/Jaimy romance since Book Five, and really wish Meyer would give up the ongoing separations and misunderstandings coming between them.  Either have them marry, or break them up permanently–or Jaimy could die, I’d be comfortable with that.  I don’t dislike him, but I really don’t think he’s right for Jacky…so at this point I’m actually rooting for them to not resolve their endless obstacles.

I will say that at least this particular romantic mishap is fairly amusing, and at least doesn’t get in the way of the more interesting plot developments, like the fight with the Ladies Temperance League, or the abduction of two children Jacky has taken under wing.

On the whole, this book was a solid installment in the series, and if not extraordinary, it was an improvement on Book Ten.  It left me deeply curious where Meyer plans to go next–not because of the specific cliffhanger, but just because I’m wondering if this one (or the next book) may signal a change in direction.  I love irrepressible Jacky, but she’s only aged about four years since Book Two, and I’m thinking I’d very much like to see an older, more mature (though still irrepressible!) Jacky.  I feel like settling down in Boston is our best chance at a more stable future in the series…  Or maybe Jacky’ll set sail again in Book Twelve and we’ll see where the wind takes us.  For now at least, I’m still willing to continue the ride.

Author’s Site:

Other reviews:
In Bed with Books
Lori Twitchell
Kid Lit Geek
Anyone else?

Buy it here: Boston Jacky

6 thoughts on “Back to Boston with Jacky Faber

  1. I haven’t started reading this series yet, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. But for her to have traveled that much in only four years seems a bit… unrealistic, given the time such journeys usually took in those days. Oh, well, five impossible things before breakfast and all that!

    1. Well, yes…if you start lining up all of Jacky’s adventures and looking at them together, it becomes rather, erm, implausible. For what it’s worth, Meyer does seem to devote adequate time to each, say, cross-ocean voyage…it’s just that put together, it means that Jacky has hardly stopped moving for a week at a time! It’s one of those series you have to take as it goes and not question too much…

    1. We-ell…it is VERY good! But probably not a good one to start (11 books and counting) when you’re trying to finish series! On the other hand, if you’re looking for good audiobooks, these are *excellent.* I didn’t have time to reread this series, so I started listening to the audio instead, and they’re the best I’ve heard!

  2. I’d just started “Viva Jaquelina!” on audio when I got hold of “The Dream Thieves”, also on audio. It will probably take me a couple of months to get through all three books that way… but you’ll see the review when I do! Anyway, I’m glad to see that you liked it better than Liviana did. And you might be right about Jaimy not being right for Jacky anymore, but I really have a hard time seeing them breaking up. Especially since I’ve heard Meyer has the final book already written, and just plans to write in between as long as he can.

    1. Oh, I don’t expect Meyer to break Jacky and Jaimy up (I’ve also heard that about the final book)…but I’d be comfortable with it if he did! Otherwise, I’ll just keep reading along and hope they manage to repair their rather tattered relationship–and that Jaimy gains some understanding about Jacky!

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s