Of course after finishing Jane and the Damned, we all knew I was going to go right into its sequel Blood Persuasion. Why slog through a novel that has issues when you can read paranormal Jane Austen fan fiction?! All you readers out there should be happy I’m only half serious about this. If I weren’t this would basically just be a Jane Austen fan-fiction love fest all the time.
Whereas Jane and the Damned was full of action and adventure, this one was a let down. I didn’t know this was a let down until I just now started writing this post and started to compare it to the first novel in the duology. That’s sad to think about, but not really surprising when so many sophomore novels and/or middle books in trilogies wind up disappointing.
Only a very small part of me wishes I could say this was the first Jane Austen/Vampire fiction mash-up I’ve read. I can’t even lie and say this is the second. I read the Jane Fairfax trilogy by Michael Thomas Ford (Jane Bites Back, Jane Goes Batty, and Jane Vows Vengeance) back in 2015, so I guess in my weird little world I was overdue. Strangely enough, the trilogy Ford wrote could easily be a continuation of this trilogy if the two books end with Jane staying a vampire, and that would be hilarious, to me at least.
Jane and the Damned has been on my shelf for almost SIX years. I didn’t realize that until I just searched the blog to see if it was on here already. I ended up blazing through it this past weekend because we went to the park to enjoy the weather for a few hours. I needed something quick and either a physical book or on my Kindle because the galley I’m reading is on my iPad and those are not great to read outside.
It’s very rare that a series starts off and continues to pick up steam the entire way through. In my previous experience, there is usually a middle-book slump. In the case of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy the middle book of the trilogy, Shadow of NIght, was the stand out, followed closely by The Book of Life and in a distant third, the trilogy opener A Discovery of Witches.
This could be because the entire series takes place over about a year (give or take a few months because of time travel), but more than likely I think it has to do with the amount of action continuously increasing as the series moved forward. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing as I’ll talk about below, but that’s my conjecture. Continue reading →
Picking up where A Discovery of Witches leaves off we are right back in the story of Diana and Matthew! It’s hard to hide spoilers, especially the one at the end of the first book because it sets up the entire second book, so if you plan on reading the series skip my response!
I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am, but I am a little surprised at how much I enjoyed book two of the All Souls Trilogy. For everything that was missing in book one, Harkness made a great effort to bring it back to this book. She reined in the over descriptions, she brought a little more sass to her characters, and she wrote 16th century Europe wonderfully. Continue reading →
I probably would have read this book closer to its release, but unfortunately it’s part of a trilogy (this followed by (Shadow of Night and The Book of Life) and I didn’t want to read the books as they came out so I waited to read it. I really wanted to read it a lot sooner because a lot of my blogger friends who really enjoyed it. That being said, I’m a little grumpy as I’ve just found out that Harkness will continue writing in this universe with the release of The Serpent’s Mirror next year. So bah.
If I had to break this down into a one sentence review it would be: Harry Potter meets Twilight for adults. That’s definitely a bit reductionist, but as I was reading that’s what I kept thinking. It wasn’t as much of a compulsive read as either of those series, but A Discovery of Witches definitely stands on its own.
Book three of the Jane Fairfax trilogy just didn’t live up to Jane Bites Back or Jane Goes Batty. That being said, there were some great moments, but overall it just wasn’t as light or as fun. As an end to the trilogy, it did a decent job wrapping everything up as it should and leaving enough room to keep going if Ford ever decides he wants to write more, but I doubt I’ll read more.
Rather than keeping the story in Upstate New York, Ford takes the traveling circus that is Jane Austen’s new life on the road. From Jane’s best friend, Lucy, to the future mother in law Miriam, everyone who is important either goes along or is named dropped at some point. Ford again introduces a cast of quirky minor characters, but this time they felt lightweight and fluffy. There wasn’t a lot of substance to many of them and I was left wanting.
When I finished this I did a little wiggle in my seat and clapped my hands. Some times I really do wonder about my sanity.
Having finished Jane Bites Back I immediately got a copy of the next two, this book and Jane Vows Vengeance from the library – YAY Kindle! I didn’t read this one quite as fast as the last one even though I was working from home, but it was just as well written and hilariously fun!
What I took out of this novel was how great Ford is at caricatures, not only of characters but of ideas and fads. I spoke about the Janeites and Brontëites in the last novel and how he brought those together, but he does it even better in this novel. There’s a giant love festival, don’t ask, and the culmination is a game between the two. Originally a softball match, it ultimately is a croquet match, fitting right, and the descriptions and tension are hilarious.