"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

24 February 2011

Jane the Vampire Writer

Just before I succumbed to the Death Flu, I managed a feat I have not achieved in an embarrassingly long time: I read an entire book in one sitting. Granted, it was literary popcorn – quick, tasty and easy to consume – but after my reading drought I consider it quite an accomplishment.

I read Jane Goes Batty, the second in what now looks to be a series (or at least trilogy) of books about Jane Austen as a vampire. It’s a refreshing take on the supernatural Austen genre simply because it puts the author herself in the present day (in a fictional-yet-similar world to our own) as a vampire. It pokes good-natured fun at the Austen clones and supernatural takes and includes a couple of Austen’s literary rivals and contemporaries. I really enjoyed the first book, Jane Bites Back, because it was a fun, quirky, intelligent little mind-candy novel. The second book was much the same, though not quite as engaging, mostly because of the more Hollywood, as opposed to literary, storyline -- and I mean this literally. The first book was all about Jane trying to be published (again), and then dealing with the success while trying to hide her vampirism (especially from the man she likes). This one deals with the now-standard transformation of book to film aggravations, as well as hiding her vampirism from her now boyfriend and his creepy mother.
I enjoyed the characterization of one of Jane’s contemporaries that I won’t detail here only to avoid spoilers from book one… but I will say his escapades at times held my interest more than Jane’s. While the new characters were colorful, none of them interested me as much as the original characters and I would have preferred more with the starting line-up than the newcomers. I hope the next book gets back to the more literary aspects of the first book with a more streamlined and focused story, still for a popcorn read on a Saturday afternoon it satisfied my novel craving.

And if you're curious about book one and don't mind snark and spoilers, you can read my review of it.

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