Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review: Jane and the Damned By Janet Mullany

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Jane and the Damned
By Janet Mullany

Authors have been putting a paranormal twist on the classics a lot lately. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Bespelling Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim, Jane Slayre, Wuthering Bites, just to name a few. =) I am no expert on Jane Austen or similar figures and haven’t read a classic since high school, there are just so many other books out there that I have been more interested in I kind of put these on the backburner in my mind.
I first heard about Jane and the Damned and Janet Mullany from the Supernatural Underground and immediately put this book on my TBR list, and then I was lucky enough to win a signed copy. I approached it cautiously because I was not sure what to expect but after not being able to put it down and finishing it in a day I can say it was a phenomenal good ride!

This is a never-seen-before Jane Austen that will knock your socks off. Jane and the Damned is full of witty wordplay with a poetic twist, suspense, action, irony, conflict and just a dash of romance with vibrant and seductive characters.

Jane Austen, an aspiring writer, attends an assembly and falls prey to her dance partner William, one of the Damned. She wakes up several hours’ later feeling strange and immediately realizes what has happened, she has been changed into a vampire. She confides in her father, The Reverend Mr. Austen, who decides the family shall travel to Bath so Jane can partake in the healing waters, the only known cure for her condition.

While at the Pump Room Jane meets the vampire Luke Venning, who kindly takes her on to show her the ‘vampire ropes’ and introduce her to Damned society. And as Jane’s luck would have it, the French decide to invade the town at the same time and the Austen’s find themselves hosting several French soldiers in their home. Jane decides to use her new vampire abilities and takes up the cause to fight the French. While learning the ways of the Damned and fighting the French alongside Luke she starts to fall in love with him, but is it unrequited love?

Jane is conflicted and deters back and forth with her decision to remain a vampire. She feels she is loosing her writing ability because of the change; writing has been her life’s purpose. She is also concerned with the choice she makes and the effect it will have on her family. The Damned are a family unto itself and only allow mortals around for dining and serving. Jane has a lot of hard decisions to make, which way will she go?

A fast-paced and detail rich plot that never bores and comes to an epic battle, Janet Mullany has channeled Jane Austen in this novel and brought her to life on the pages. You can actually see and believe her as a kick-ass, humorous and witty vampire.

The romance was minimal and what little there is it’s very clean and ran YA style. There were, unfortunately, no steamy love scenes for our Miss Jane Austen who seemed rather naïve in the romance department for her age. Times were different though; this is a Regency era novel, and Ms. Mullany was staying true to her character as much as she could while being a vampire. LoL.  But I do so love steamy love scenes and thought being classified as a paranormal romance there might be just one or two but alas, there was not. Which is why, for me, it brought Jane and the Damned from a 5♥ down to a 4♥. Still a fabulous read despite that! I'm looking forward to the next encounter between Jane and the Damned.

Rating: 4 Wine Glasses

PG13- Some steaminess going on

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