October 18, 2010
Review of "Jane and the Damned" by Janet Mullany
Jane now regards her creation as a vampire as a gift. She rejects the cure and discovers a world of freedom, love, and adventure as a vampire. But as an immortal, she loses her ability to write and must sever ties with her beloved sister Cassandra and the rest of her family. Under the shadow of the guillotine, Jane will have to decide whether eternal life and love are too high a price to pay for the loss of what means most to her as a mortal.
Both Jane Austen inspired books and vampire themed books could be considered an oversaturated genre but Jane and the Damned makes it mark and stands out among the competition. I found the overall premise of Jane Austen, pre-author fame, being turned into a vampire novel (no pun intended) and refreshingly original. This Jane is humorous and witty but she also has a bloodlust - - she is certainly no chaste Cullen vampire.
Author Janet Mullany created wonderful conflict within the pages of this exciting read. Becoming a vampire and associating with other vampires and their heady, indulgent (non)lifestyle is stimulating for Jane, but goes against her upbringing. Not only does it conflict with her religious family's thinking (Jane's father is a minister) but it also depletes her desire to write and takes her away from her beloved sister Cassandra. While Jane is torn at the loss of familial relationships and devastated at not putting pen to paper, she thrills at assisting in ambushing the French, fighting as a male and rubbing shoulders with royalty. What's a beloved Regency gal to do?
Jane and the Damned wasn't what I was expecting; it far exceeded my expectations. I loved the action, I loved the vampire elements and I loved that Ms. Mullany kept many quirks and characteristics of the original Jane intact. The fictional characters Ms. Mullany introduced were vibrant, flamboyant , excessive and seductive - - Jane was made more remarkable by her alliance with them. It was fascinating to think of our beloved Jane, a proper lady of the times, a minister's daughter, who was perhaps most honest when penning tales, participating in feeding frenzies, throat ripping and yes, even romance. I liked this Jane, I would even go so far as to say I loved this Jane - - this determined, fearless and extremely resolute Jane - - and was sad to see this exhilirating vampire tale come to an end.
Jane and the Damned is a vampire story for those discriminating readers who enjoy a more cerebral type of supernatural yarn. For the diehard Austen purist, Jane and the Damned may be a little too much creative license. I am most certainly adding Ms. Mullany to my list of "must read" authors and look forward with anticipation to what literary delicacy she can offer us next.
Jane and the Damned is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.
Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.