But what she encounters there is completely unexpected: perilous jealousies and further betrayals, a new friendship and a possible love. Yet all that must be put aside when the warring French invade unsuspecting Bath—and the streets run red with good English blood. Suddenly only the staunchly British Damned can defend the nation they love . . . with Jane Austen leading the charge at the battle’s forefront.
Aspiring writer Jane Austen knows that respectable young ladies like herself are supposed to shun the Damned—the beautiful, fashionable, exquisitely seductive vampires who are all the rage in Georgian England in 1797. So when an innocent (she believes) flirtation results in her being turned—by an absolute cad of a bloodsucker—she acquiesces to her family’s wishes and departs for Bath to take the waters, the only known cure.
I need to apologize for taking so long to review this book. I had it for a long time but had other books I was trying to read/review at the same time. In the end, though, it was well worth the wait! I really enjoyed Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany.
The first thing I noticed about the story was that it moved along nicely. It didn’t rush right into anything, but I didn’t find myself slogging through the beginning, as I often do with books. It was a nice change of pace after some slower books I’d been reading.
The second thing I noticed about the story was that I know very little about classic books. I thought Jane Austen was a book. I am almost too embarrassed to admit that, but I feel I should be honest about it. I realize, now, that I was thinking Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, but at the time I started reading this book, I was very confused. Once I got my people and places and books straight, though, it made it even more enjoyable. So the author of Pride and Prejudice became one of the Damned. That’s a twist I was not expecting.
Another thing I realized when reading this is that I know very little about European history. It’s pathetic, actually. So I spent some time with Google and Wikipedia and found out what I needed to know. This particular battle never happened. But if it had, apparently Jane Austen would have been right there in the thick of it…with her vampire friends.
This book was fun, light-hearted, and captivating. It was also a refreshing change from some of the teen-oriented vampire-lit that’s out there right now. I don’t mean to knock the success of those other books, it’s just not my ‘thing’. This book was more practical and less angst-ridden. Because of that I was able to immerse myself in the characters and the environment in a way I could not with other recent vampire books.
Being the kind of person who reads the end of a book first, I knew how it was going to end right away. But if I hadn’t read the end, I would have been surprised, and a little bummed out. Don’t let that dissuade you, though! It was a great way to end the book. Just don’t expect a tidy little happy ending wrapped in a bow.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. I’d recommend it as a slightly more grown-up alternative to the other vampire books out there right now.
I should also note, I’m not a big fan of romance novels, so it was nice to get a glimpse into Janet Mullany’s writing whereas I normally would not have noticed her stuff. Check her out. She’s funny, intelligent, and worth the read.
~4 out of 5 stars~