The Unmapped Sea, by Maryrose Wood

The 5th book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

With the entirely unexpected news of Lady Constance’s pregnancy, Lord Frederick flies into a panic about how to deal with it. Certain circumstances make the baby…undesirable. Of course, Lady Constance doesn’t know of Lord Frederick’s secret malady, which will most likely be passed on to the pup – I mean baby.

Miss Penelope Lumley, the governess to the three Incorrigible children, agrees to accompany the Ashton’s to Brighton, which the doctor prescribes as the best thing for Lady Constance’s health. Upon arrival, they stumble into many people who warn them to stay away from the ‘horrible Babushkinov’s’, who are the only other people staying at the English seaside on the off-season. Of course, what else should happen except just that?

The Babushkinov children are the wildest things the Incorrigibles have ever met. They themselves are now nearly tame, and only occasionally have the urge to howl or gnaw. Is it just coincidence, or is the darker scheming of Lord Edward Ashton at work?

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It is imperative that you read the first four books about the Incorrigibles, who were raised by wolves, in order. Here is my review on the first book.

If, by now, you are dying to know what happens next, join the club. Thankfully, this book offers more answers as to the mystery of it all, but still leaves many questions unanswered. Wood also does an amazing job at leaving the end at a cliffhanger, the hopeless kind in which you are dangling off a ledge, no one can hear your cries for help, gravel is falling into your eyes, and your fingers are getting sweaty and beginning to slip….

Enough of that. That isn’t actually what happens. It also was a little dark, with evil threats which are certainly going to be carried out, leaving me worried for the character’s safety in the ending. Which is all good.

With the other four books setting high standards, there were parts of this book which seemed a little unneccesary. Each book is progressively longer than the last, and this one was no exception. It wasn’t exactly my favorite out of all the books, but hilarious stagecraft managed to save the book from being more dull than the others.

There were a couple random love triangles which can be interpreted as funny, but I thought that part was uninteresting for a children’s book. Also, Penelope-in-love tends to lose her usual pluck when in the presence of a certain playwright who was kidnapped by pirates in the last book. I found myself missing the old Penelope, whose sole devotion was to the children. I suppose it can’t always be the same, otherwise the book would be “dull, boring, tedious, and uninteresting” (see what I did there?).

Overall rating: 4/5 (one point knocked off for being a little slow in the beginning, and the love triangles)

Violence: 2/10 (although violent threats can be interpreted as much as you wish)

Language: 0/10

Inappropriateness/Romance: 2.5/10 (not really inappropriate)

Audience: Ages 8 and up

Bloody Jack, by L. A. Meyer

Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life–if only she doesn’t get caught. . . .

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Excuse my borrowed plot description, but I couldn’t think of a good description. This is not so much a review as a warning.

I wanted sooo badly to like this book. It’s narrated by my all-time favorite narrator, Katherine Kellgren, but was unsure of the book so picked up the hard copy instead. And the librarian mentioned it as a good audio.

Not only does the awkwardness of Jacky being a girl on a ship filled with men get on my nerves, but aside from that the crew is very, well….crude. They’ll talk about anything and everything, and it was filled with more swear words than I’m comfortable with.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t finish the book. It was too inappropriate for my taste, or for any kid’s taste for that matter.

Overall Rating: 2/5

Violence: 4/10 (guessing…)

Language: 4/10

Inappropriateness/Romance: 5/10 (guessing…..)

Audience: Uhhh, no idea.