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My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

22 / 100 books. 22% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sixth Installment in Charming Action/Adventure Series As Enjoyable As All the Rest

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for My Bonny Light Horseman, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Bloody Jack novels.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

Jacqueline "Jacky" Faber is no stranger to danger.  In fact, it seems to follow the 16-year-old orphan wherever she goes.  Although she's had a fine time being a ship's boy, a pirate, a riverboat captain, an entertainer, and a student at a fancy Boston school, it seems her life of adventure is about to come to an end—at the guillotine.  She's in deep trouble and there seems to be no way out.

Luckily (or unluckily as the case may be), everything is not as it seems.  By faking Jacky's death, British Intelligence is able to enlist her as a spy in the war against the French.  Going undercover as a dancer in a seamy Parisian nightclub, her job is to flirt her way into the private lives of enemy soldiers, coaxing out secrets she can pass along to her own government.  Jacky's not happy about taking such a big risk—both to her life and to her virtue—but it's the only way she can get her friends freed from prison.  In her trademark fashion, Jacky soon finds an even more daring way to fight the French, one that will take her to the front lines, even into the presence of Napoléon Bonaparte himself.  While Jacky's certainly gotten herself into some grand scrapes before, this one might be the most dangerous one of all.  If she fails, her friends will surely rot in prison and "Bloody" Jack—the infamous, unforgettable pirate and adventurer—will be no more.

It's no secret that I'm mad about the Bloody Jack series by the late L.A. Meyer.  I've loved every installment, each of which is full of humor, adventure, and charm.  My Bonny Light Horseman, the sixth book, is no exception.  It's exciting, fun, and just downright enjoyable.  No surprise here, I adored it.  I'm reading this series slowly, savoring every book, knowing that there will be no more.  R.I.P., Mr. Meyer.

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Bloody Jack series, including Bloody Jack; Curse of the Blue Tattoo; Under the Jolly Roger; In the Belly of the Bloodhound; Mississippi Jack; Rapture of the Deep; The Wake of the Lorelei Lee; The Mark of the Golden Dragon; Viva Jacquelina!; Boston Jacky; and Wild Rover No More)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of My Bonny Light Horseman with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

Space Apocalypse Story Quiet, Contemplative, and Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Born on the Northumbrian coast of England, Jamie Allenby has always longed for the wide open space of ... space.  When given the chance to relocate off-world at 22, she takes it.  Now 38, she's a veterinarian living on Soltaire, a planet roughly the size of Russia.  Jamie gains consciousness one day after suffering from a debilitating fever to find that the deadly virus has killed most of Soltaire's 10,000 inhabitants.  Fearing she's the only survivor, she heads out looking for others.  It's a desperate, frantic search through an endless, empty landscape. 

Eventually, Jamie finds a ragtag group of survivors, which includes Callan Jacobs, the captain of a spaceship.  Against the advice of his crew, Callan has been landing wherever he can in an effort to save as many humans as possible.  Relieved to be rescued, Jamie sets her sights on Planet Earth.  She and her estranged lover, Daniel, always said they'd meet in Northumberland if—when—their world in the stars ended. 

Turns out, Jamie's not the only one with an ambitious plan.  Others have their own ideas about how to move on, rebuild, and repopulate the human race.  Torn between duty, desperation, and desire, Jamie must decide what she really wants and how much she's willing to risk to get it.  With opposition around every corner, it will take all her strength, all her courage, to make her own future worth living.

The Space Between the Stars, a debut novel by English short story writer Anne Corlett, tells a sci fi tale unlike any other I've read.  Unlike most space age adventures, this one is quiet, contemplative, and fiercely character-driven.  Its brilliance comes not from elaborate world-building or creative creature-inventing, but from its ruminations on what it means to be human.  This isn't to say the novel's boring.  It's not.  Not at all.  There's more than enough action to keep a reader flipping pages.  That's just not what makes the book memorable.  Instead, it's the novel's chilling (without being too gory or graphic) vibe; vivid, lovely prose; and its thought-provoking questions that cause it to linger in the reader's mind long after they finish it.  I loved this unique novel and can't wait for more from its promising author.  

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives), mild sexual content, violence, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Space Between the Stars from the generous folks at Penguin Random House.  Thank you!
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