September 28, 2010 - HarperCollins Publishers, Mass Market Paperback, 304 pagesJane Austen with a bite!
In the fall of 1797 the Austen family is preparing for the winter and making the final rounds of social events still trying to procure a proper match for Jane. But at one such event Jane encounters a man that turns out to be everything she should fear and no one she should associate with. Before the end of the evening Jane has found herself turned into one of the feared vampires called The Damned and the quiet, modest life Jane led is over and choices she makes from here on out will impact everyone surrounding her.
Jane confides in her father what has happened and he takes the family to Bath to find a cure for this condition. There are powerful, healing waters he believes can save her but the condition the entire family needs saving from is the invasion of France onto the English shores. The French overtake one city after another and the Austen family finds itself not only staying in strange surrounding but also must share this home with the French military. Jane has spent her life writing and seeking to compose the perfect piece of literature but now even that does not bring her solace. Writing has been the core of her existence and now that she fails commit one word to paper she feels even more lost.
What Jane does encounter is the residence where the other Damned are staying and discovered there is a mentor called a Bearleader who can take the novice vampire Jane and help her through the transition from woman to vampire. The Damned are also a service to England’s military and use their special gifts of persuasion to help win back the country they may not love but call home.
But does Jane want immortality, can she leave her family and embrace the Damned as her closest allies, is the vampire relationships she is forming her destiny? So many decisions to be made in these the worst of times that will alter Jane and whatever family she choices as her future. Jane does learn to live life as a vampire and fight like a man but the choice of who her true family is has to be made. So what will Jane do to still keep the passion for her writing and what place can give her love and reassurance to pursue her true self?
There have been so many formats written about Jane Austen, her life and the books she wrote. But did I ever expect Jane to be a vampire and find that a credible, interesting story – honestly no. But it is and I think Janet Mullany is the only one that could pull this off because she has the eloquent writing style and wit to make a Jane Austen as a vampire believable. She takes what could have been a light subject and transforms it into showcasing what could happen if the unthinkable has happened to the amazing Jane Austen.