Books,  Reviews

Book Review: Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West

Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West by L.A. Meyer
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Genre: Historical, YA, Adventure
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 2010

You would think that at this point, Jacky Faber had done nearly everything that a teenage girl could do in the mid-1800’s. She’s captained a ship, joined a British naval crew, fallen in love, attended a girl’s finishing school, rescued herself from pirates…it’s hard to imagine that she’d have more adventures left. But then again, it’s Jacky. It’s hard to picture her ever slowing down.

This time she’s back in the states and she’s got her own sailing vessel that she’s piloting down the Mississippi. That’s right – Jacky owns a beautiful entertainment ship and she’s making her way through the American wilderness. This time though, there’s a new twist to Jacky’s tale. While she is in charge and she does encounter native Americans, more pirates, even more entertainers and back woods loggers, she’s also got a man following her. Jaimy has given up on patiently waiting and hoping that he will find Jacky somewhere and he’s decided that he will track her down and find her. Nothing will stop Jaimy from finding his beloved Jacky. Or will it?

He’s not expecting a beautiful young damsel in distress – or the completely uncouth and horrifyingly obnoxious Americans. This time both Jacky and Jaimy (separately – but at the same time) find themselves in dire circumstances. What happens when Jaimy finally catches Jacky? Will this be their happy ever after or will cirumstances once again set them apart?

This was, by far, my favorite of the Jacky Faber books thus far. Part of that could have been because the book takes place (a large part of it at least) around the Western Pennsylvania area where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Johnstown, and other locales are beautifully described in this story – even though some harm does come to our favorite characters in these places – the author nailed the era and location perfectly. (As well he should – since he grew up in PA himself.) I was absolutely delighted to listen to Jacky and Jaimy learning how to muddle through America. Yes, this audiobook shone brilliantly – as have the others in the series.

Rife with music, laughter and adventure, this story was a wonderful follow up to the previous, darker book, In the Belly of the Bloodhound. Though Jacky’s situation and story maintains it’s more mature rating, it wasn’t nearly as dire or difficult as the last one to follow. The audio adventures give us a glimpse into what it must have really been like at the time as the story is peppered with a variety of tunes that would have been popular at the time.

Once again, Jacky Faber’s brilliance, adventures and glory are completely enthralling. The audio book version shines with exceptional detail and production qualities and the storyline is fun, has some educational value and is fabulously engaging.

Highly recommended!

Rated PG-13: This book takes a step back from the darker tones of the previous book, In the Belly of the Bloodhound. Though there are some more mature adventures in here and I would still strongly recommend it for 14/15 years at least, it’s not as heavy or as tough to handle as the previous book.

Review copy provided by the publisher and Listen and Live Audio. Thank you!