So I picked up this book on Audible because the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, won the best female narrator on Audible in 2016. At the time I had not heard of the Bloody Jack series, nor had I heard Katherine Kellgren read an audio book. I said to myself, “what the heck, at least the narration will be good if she won an award for it, and the book cover certainly looks interesting.” Wow, wow, wow! Katherine Kellgren is simply amazing.
I like to read books, lots and lots of books, and I’ve had an Audible membership for about two years now and cranked through about 25 or 30 books each year just listening to them. I’ve discovered that there are some books that are just made to be read out loud and the Bloody Jack Series is one of them.
There are multiple voices in each of the 12 Bloody Jack books [I’m into number 6 now], and by multiple, I’m talking 20 or 30 per book! So far I have not heard Ms. Kellgren repeat a voice. You have to listen to her read to fully understand her talent in voices, English, Cockney, American, Irish, French, Jamaican, etc., she does them all and does them well and believably and BOTH men’s and women’s voices. I often listen to her read and just shake my head going, “how does she do this?”
Imagine that someone gives you two pages of dialogue with 10 voices total and tells you to read those two pages switching effortlessly between the ten voices and making them all different and accurate to their respective characters. Ms. Kellgren does all this, makes it sound easy and sings too!
Here’s the thing, the story is engaging also. The books follow the adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber as she cuts a swath [she begins by enlisting as a ship’s boy on a Royal Navy ship] through three [so far] countries, constantly getting herself into and back out of trouble and all the while entertaining those around her because you know, “I am a bit of a show off.”
While these books look like they might be for children, they really are not, probably teen and above because of the subject matter, but do get them in audio format and be amazed at the story and the sheer talent of Katherine Kellgren. You won’t be disappointed.