Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer

rapture of the deep

Numbers 1-7 in the series

2-4 stars.

This series starts out as pretty interesting. Mary Faber is an orphan running wild on the streets of London until she signs on as a ship’s boy on a Royal Navy ship. She then proceeds to become an experienced sailor and has all sorts of adventures in the early 1800s. They have a light-hearted tone and lots of adventure. The first book in the series is very novel and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The next two were also very interesting, but by the fourth book in the series, they get a little more dull, and by the time you hit the 7th and 8th they are downright repetitive.

Every book has the same story arc:1) Mary Faber thinks her life is going fine  2) she is coerced against her will into an adventure and separated from her boyfriend 3) she is threatened with rape multiple times  4) she is threatened with death by hanging  5) she is rescued by her own cleverness with the help of her friends 6) she thinks her life is going fine again.

Meyer keeps recycling many of the same characters and uses rape as a action-instigator waaay too many times.The humour stays the same and none of the characters grow as people. The books start to feel like the exact same story, just thinly veiled with a different geographic location. By the 7th book I was bored and I did not get through the 8th. Mary Faber always gets into scrapes because of her impetuous nature, regrets it, and then goes off and does the exact same thing the next time. Her friends are all steadfast and the villains remain villainous. They are all sisyphus, doomed to roll the same boulder up the same hill forever.

I would very much recommend the first two or three, because they do start out charming and exciting. Meyer just never does anything to her formula that makes the later books anything but carbon copies of the first one.


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