L. A. Meyer – Rapture of the Deep
153. Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy by L. A. Meyer (2009)
Bloody Jack Adventures, Book 7
Length: 454 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction; Young Adult
Started: 23 December 2009
Finished: 24 December 2009
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Jacky’s books are so much fun that of course I was going to read the new one.
Treasure, spies, pirates,
and gators: it’s all in a
day’s work for Jacky!
Summary: After surviving her ordeal as a soldier and spy in France, Jacky Faber is back in England, preparing to marry her sweetheart, Jaimy, and settle down into marital bliss. (Well, maybe not settle down, exactly – this is Jacky Faber – but she’s certainly looking forward to the marital bliss part.) However, the ceremony is rudely interrupted by members of the British Intelligence Service, coming to press Jacky into yet another tour of duty as a spy and secret agent. Her mission: find the site of a sunken Spanish ship in the Carribbean, and use a newly-invented diving apparatus to recover the treasure it holds… treasure that is dearly needed to fund the ongoing war against Napoleon.
Review: I don’t know where my love of nautical adventure stories came from, but give me a book set in the Age of Sail, with a little bit of scuba-diving and a lot of Jacky’s trademark hijinks thrown in, and I’m a happy girl. Rapture of the Deep is just as much fun as earlier books in the series, and with one distinct advantage over most of them: the story was less fragmented and more cohesive. Jacky gets into just as much trouble, and has just as many adventures as ever, but they seemed to fit together better without feeling quite as jumbled as previous books.
On the other hand, each book is becoming more and more reliant on knowledge of the preceeding books in the series. It seems like Jacky knows just about everyone on two continents and the ocean between, and runs into old friends and enemies with startling regularity. That’s all well and good, but for those of us who first read Bloody Jack almost five years ago, some of the details are starting to get rather hazy, and Meyer doesn’t provide a lot of background information to remind us of who various bit players are and why they’re important. I remembered enough to understand what was going on, but there were a few places where I just had to take Jacky’s word that this character was an enemy while that one was a friend.
One thing I didn’t particularly care for was the device of Jemimah (a slave that Jacky frees) telling Brer Rabbit stories to the youngsters aboard Jacky’s ship. It’s not a bad idea, and it did provide some nice parallels to Jacky’s situation, but it was just overused, and got to the point where it would distract from Jacky’s narrative and her misadventures, which are what we’re here for. Still, even with that, I really enjoyed this book. It’s manifestly very similar to the other Bloody Jack books, but in this case, that’s okay. I wanted something reliably light, fun, and entertaining, and unsurprisingly, Jacky delivered yet again. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: For fans of the earlier Bloody Jack books, Rapture of the Deep is more of the same – which, if you’re a fan, that’s all to the good. If you haven’t read the earlier books, then I wouldn’t start here, but if you like fun YA historical fiction, or nautical adventure stories, then I’d definitely recommend the series as a whole.
Links: L. A. Meyer’s website
First Line: “Ah, and it’s a bonny, bonny bride ye shall be, Jacky. Just look at you, now!” exclaims one of my attending bridesmaids.
Cover Thoughts: The book makes a big point several times about the deplorable – and short – state of Jacky’s hair, so the picture seems a little inaccurate. Other than that, it’s very nice, and a pretty color.
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- p. 418: “The lads fire, then the smoke clears. I see that the enemy’s rudder is damaged yet hangs in its gudgeons and still works.” – a socket attached to the stern frame of a vessel, for holding the pintle of a rudder.
- p. 425: “He reaches over and tucks the bomb in the notch between the upper pintle of the San Cristobal’s rudder.” – a pin or bolt, esp. one on which something turns, as the gudgeon of a hinge.