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Jane and the Damned: A Novel by Janet…

Jane and the Damned: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Janet Mullany

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1339195,657 (3.5)3
The "stakes" are high and vampires rule when legendary author Jane Austen joins the ranks of the undead in Janet Mullany's bloody wonderful literary mash-up, Jane and the Damned. In the bestselling tradition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters; and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, comes a supremely smart and wickedly fun novel that renders the beloved creator of Persuasion and Emma truly immortal--as Mullany pits a transformed Jane Austen and her vampire friends against savage hordes of invading French!… (more)
Title:Jane and the Damned: A Novel
Authors:Janet Mullany
Info:Avon A (2010), Edition: Original, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Paraliterature, alternative biography, vampires

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Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany (2010)


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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
From the title, and the cute black-and-pink cameo cover, one might assume that this is yet another Austen-rip-off. However, from the very first chapter, it's clear that Mullany knows her Austen and the period in which she wrote. From her muslin-choices to her religion, Jane Austen is written in a way that fits perfectly with what we know of her life. But her Britain is not precisely like ours. Vampires exist, and humanity not only knows about them, they even accept them at the fringe of Society (as they too rich, connected and beautiful to be outcast, but too bloody and sexual to be proper). Austen becomes one of the Damned after a chance flirtation, and her adventures begin.

The Jane in the first few chapters is almost startlingly recognizable--but all too soon her opinions and reactions transform into those of a modern paranormal romance heroine. I was particularly disappointed by two things:
1)Her romance doesn't feel authentic or earned in the least. As so often happens, two characters meet, dislike each other, banter, and are then abruptly in love. I could buy affection, attraction, a crush--but not all-consuming love. Luke gives up his lover, and Jane her virtue, so quickly that it strained credulity.
2)The characterizations of historical figures like Brummel and Prinny don't ring true. Prince George was selfish and lazy, but he wasn't stupid--and in this book, he is energetic, more interested in Jane's affairs than his own, and as dumb as a puppy. I dunno why Mullany, who has clearly done her research elsewhere, failed in this regard. I just know that it threw me out of the story.

The beginning of this book is surprisingly good, but Mullany's reliance on paranormal romance tropes drags it down. If this had been more about Jane, and less about her vampire luvah, I'd have enjoyed it a good deal more. ( )
1 vote wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
What happens if Jane Austen became a vampire, would her story change? Um- yes and no.

Jane is turned into a vampire against her wishes and her father, Rev. Austen takes the family to Bath to seek out a possible cure. The story takes a dramatic turn when the French invade and Jane turns to the Damned for help. The kind of welcome they offer, especially after the way Jane was 'turned', is not what she was expecting. Will it have a happy ending?...

As a Jane Austen nut I did not mind the vampire aspect, however as a historian I was put off by the French invasion. Still, that being said, it was a fun, quick read with great characters and overall I did enjoy it! ( )
  Shuffy2 | Aug 27, 2011 |
I believe in being frank and honest when it comes to my book reviews. I'm not about to simper and smirk and make love to a book if it's not good. If I feel the book was poorly written, or a waste of my time, or just plain silly, then the review should reflect that. And I was very ready to provide a very silly, very warranted negative review of Janet Mullany's Jane and the Damned prior to actually reading it because I already read so many monster mash-ups and I was sure that was going to be another bloody piece of Jane Austen-meets-monsters cake.

Oh boy, was I wrong.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "A good book about Jane Austen and vampires? Oh hell, no!", and roll their eyes. Others are thinking "A good book about vampires? Oh hell, no!" and go back to watching "Dawson's Creek". And still others are thinking: "A good book about Jane Austen?!?!" and then running away in droves. But it's true. It exists!

I confess I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Sure, it looks cheesy...and okay maybe it's a little cheesy. But it is so well-written and so well-researched (don't laugh at me, I'm talking about the actual historical stuff, not the vampire stuff. Jerks.) that one can almost imagine all of it to be true. And despite its rather fantastical premise (spoiler alert: Jane Austen becomes a vampire), Mullany has done a superb job of integrating both the facts of Austen's life as well as fictional additives of her own which support the creation of various Austen characters; it is easy to contrive the origins of any and all of her novels from the activities of this book.

And to top it all off, we got a young Jane Austen to boot. Too many historical fiction/time traveling novels introduce Jane Austen as the most minor of characters: quiet, subdued, well into her thirties, avoiding attention, and wearing her amber cross - it seems to be the going caricature of Jane Austen for most writers. Thankfully, Mullany utilizes the early years, a time before Jane was published, a halfway point in her life (seeing as she died so young), and there are no amber crosses. If there'd been any mention of an amber cross, I might have thrown the book across the room, as I've been known to do.

As it were, I actually found it very difficult to put the book down. Mullany has a strange, delicious talent for making the plot work and do her bidding. It may be difficult to suspend one's disbelief for too long, but the allusion to historical markers (i.e. Jane Austen's hatred for Bath) make it easier. And since she wasn't working within the parameters of one of Austen's novels, there was no poorly-written expansion of well-established characters, and little room for eye-rolling.

All-in-all, what we have here is not a flimsy stab at the...um...colorful world of works based on or in Austen novels, but a solid piece of actually not-half-bad historical mash-up fiction, written for the reader who knows enough about Jane Austen herself to really appreciate its nuances.

Lauren Cartelli
www.theliterarygothamite.com ( )
  laurscartelli | Mar 9, 2011 |
This was a fun twist on the classic/horror mashup trend. Jane Austen becomes a vampire - but will she choose immortality or writing?? I quite enjoyed the story - it was completely original while at the same time offering hints of storylines from Austen novels. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jan 30, 2011 |
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. ( )
  ali_marea | Jan 10, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
added by AoifeT | editAustenprose, Laurel Ann (Oct 10, 2010)
What kind of immortality would you choose: to be forever young, sexy, and beautiful and enjoy night after night of delightful orgies? Or to have your name on the binding of a book that may crumble away, unread?

That is the question posed in Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany. The book bears the catchy sub-title “It’s more than her wit that’s biting,” and this is true because Jane, disappointed that a publisher has once again turned down her novel of two sisters who live in the country, attends the Basingstoke Assembly, where she bitten and made a vampire by a rather Darcy-ish vamp.
added by AustenBlog | editAustenBlog, Allison T. (Oct 9, 2010)

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In memory of my Aunts Phyl and Nell Dowling, who introduced me to Bath and the novels of Georgette Heyer
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Declined by Return of Post.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The "stakes" are high and vampires rule when legendary author Jane Austen joins the ranks of the undead in Janet Mullany's bloody wonderful literary mash-up, Jane and the Damned. In the bestselling tradition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters; and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, comes a supremely smart and wickedly fun novel that renders the beloved creator of Persuasion and Emma truly immortal--as Mullany pits a transformed Jane Austen and her vampire friends against savage hordes of invading French!

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