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Bloody Jack: 11/26/12
Bloody Jack by LA Meyer is the first of the Mary "Jack" Faber books. Mary, having been orphaned when her parents and sister die during an epidemic, is forced out on the streets. There she learns boys are being hired as ships boys on the burgeoning British fleet. She decides to don men's clothes and join up if they'll have her.
Jack takes a while to settle into a convincing voice. The opening chapters, especially, while still in London, have dialog akin to the Mary Poppins movie version of cockney.
For the most part, the book settles into a blow by blow of Jack learning her place on the HMS Dolphin. There are fascinating details of how she has to disguise herself to look more boyish and the problems she faces especially when having to take care of her day to day needs. Later on she's further confused by her first period.
Bloody Jack is an okay start to a series (but it could have been better). It was good enough to warrant putting the second book, Curse of the Blue Tattoo, on my wishlist. But I wasn't blown away by it as some reviewers were.