Thursday, April 14, 2011
Review: Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford
Life was a lot easier for Jane when she was just an unknown, undead bookstore owner in a sleepy hamlet in upstate New York. But now the world embraces her as Jane Fairfax, author of the bestselling novel Constance–and she’s having a killer time trying to keep her true identity as the Jane Austen a secret. Even the ongoing lessons in How to Be a Vampire, taught by her former lover Lord Byron, don’t seem to be helping much. Jane can barely focus on her boyfriend, Walter, while keeping him in the dark about her more sanguine tastes.
To make matters worse, Walter announces that his mother is coming for a visit–and she’s expecting Jane to be Jewish. Add in a demanding new editor, a convention of romance readers in period costume, a Hollywood camera crew following Jane’s every move, and the constant threat of a certain bloodsucking Brontë sister coming back to finish her off, and it’s enough to make even the most well-mannered heroine go batty!
What a fun, humorous weekend read! We've been plagued with the flu here in my neck of the woods and my remedy was to snuggle on the couch and read Jane Goes Batty. This didn't exactly cure my illness although I did feel noticeably happier, but it did make me laugh out loud. Ford does a fantastic job capturing the spirit of Jane Austen.
Jane isn't what you'd call a natural at being a vampire which is, in part, what makes this book so funny. However, what made this work for me was the camaraderie between all the characters. Byron and Jane, both still writing (although the subject matter in their modern work is quite different) have this unspoken competition going on. Jane is trying to hide that she is the real Jane Austen from a bunch of nosy, zealot fans. Walter, his crazy mother with the hidden agenda, and Jane have quite a few issues to work through, namely that Jane hasn't revealed her nature to Walter. And Lucy and the twins provide comic relief. Nothing is ever easy in Jane's new world!
I didn't have the benefit of reading the first book, Jane Bites Back, but I will remedy that on my very next reading weekend, and I'm only mentioning it now so that other readers will know that it isn't necessarily a requirement. This is enough of a stand-alone that I didn't feel confused about the main ideas and anything that needed clarification was given an explanation.
Books in the series:
Michael Thomas Ford is the author of numerous books, including the novels Z, The Road Home, Jane Bites Back, What We Remember, Suicide Notes, Changing Tides, Full Circle, Looking for It, Last Summer, and the forthcoming Jane Goes Batty. His work has been nominated for 12 Lambda Literary Awards, twice winning for Best Humor Book, twice for Gay Men’s Romance, and most recently for Gay Men’s Mystery. He was also nominated for a Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for his novel The Dollhouse That Time Forgot.
Visit his website for full book details.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty for VampChix
*This book was sent to me in exchange for a fair ans honest review.