Title: The Wake of the Lorelei Lee (Book 8 in Bloody Jack)
Author: L. A. Meyer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: September 13, 2010
Jacky Faber’s longtime dream has come true: she is owner of the Lorelei Lee, a large brigantine that can carry passengers across the Atlantic in legal trade. The owner of Faber Shipping Worldwide, she is newly rich from her exploits diving for Spanish gold and absolved of past sins against the Crown. Yet when she docks in London to take on her crew, she discovers that her enemies Flashby and Bliffel have spread lies about her – and she is immediately arrested and sentenced to life in the newly formed penal colony in Australia.
Adding insult to injury, the Lorelei Lee has been commandeered to carry 250 female convicts (including several of the founding mothers of Australia – and the occupants of more than one brothel) to populate New South Wales. Never one to wallow in a bad situation, Jacky rallies her convict sisters to make the best of their position. That they do, for a voyage filled with wild escapades and brushes with danger.
As the Lorelei Lee journeys toward New South Wales, Jacky meets up with friends and foes from her past, is captured by the famed female Chinese pirate Cheng Shih, reclaims her beloved Lorelei Lee – and eventually sails into Jaimy’s arms. Well, maybe.
Jacky is a very special character in my heart, but honestly, if I didn’t know that there were several more books about her, then I would have thought that she was finally done. I was very close to giving up on her in several instances throughout the book, but I suppose that having stunted growth gives her a little more wiggle room than most people to squeeze out of sticky situations. She continually amazed me, and I give a LOT of credit to L. A. Meyer for being so innovative. I also give him credit for doing so much research – there are notes in the back of this one about the actual founding of Australia, and some of the names are taken from history. His knowledge as a sailor and naval officer, as well as from historical research, really brings the story to life.
I also loved the new cultures that were brought into this book. We get a little bit more of the English, but also a sneak peek into the Eastern culture, perhaps a hint of more to come? Either way, the incorporation of so many different languages and cultures is impressive, and there are times that I wish I could be Jacky and explore the world like she has. Well, maybe not exactly like she has – I could do with a little less danger, tar-and-feathering, and the like. However, she has had the most wondrous experiences with unique people and places, and I envy her a bit.
The new characters in the book were great, too. Enoch Lightner was an amazing addition to the cast, as well as Ravi, Lee Chi, and Cheng Shih. They added depth to the story and to Jacky’s character. Ravi is probably my favorite, though. He is adorable, and both his child-like manner and his broken English cause him to be a very blunt and straightforward character. He was very well written, and I think that if I could meet any character from this series (other than Jacky), then Ravi would be the one I’d like to meet.
Basically, the story was no disappointment, and I absolutely adored it. I recommend this book to both teenagers and adults; anyone looking for an exciting, memorable read will fall in love with the series immediately!
**Note: I don’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of 13 due to sexual references and profanity.