oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


The last of my vacation reading was Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany. It's the first Jane Austen takeoff I've read since Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen, which I think is hilarious. For the most part, I don't feel the need to see Jane Austen as a fictional character, or even her characters in future adventures, beyond the occasional short piece of fan fiction that gives me a new insight.

That aside, I enjoyed this book; Mullany's portrayal of Jane and her sister Cassandra was, to me, as much or more interesting than the vampire plot with its snooty aristocratic Damned. (I particularly loved that the vampires never "ate" or "fed." They only "dined.")

The book takes place after Sense and Sensibility has received its first rejection. Jane's thoughts and feelings about her writing are a constant undercurrent.

The alternate universe plot (vampires existing and acknowledged by society) was fun. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already had a concept of Jane Austen as a person, and knowledge of her future fate. Throughout, the fact of her early death (the real Jane) was in the back of my mind, and distracted me a bit from the story at hand. I was satisfied by the ending, and the Jane character's choices that led to it, but in another way I wasn't satisfied; not because I necessarily wanted more of this story, but I wanted to return to Jane's own writings. Or perhaps that I didn't want to delve into her self in this way, through fiction. The idea made me vaguely uncomfortable, and I'm still unpacking why.

It isn't the book itself I'm ambiguous about, I liked the book. It's the whole idea of famous author as character.
Tags: mullany, reading, sf/f

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